In the past, Resident Evil is a series that would turn heads if a whisper of an announcement leaked out into the world - that was until Resident Evil 5 came into the scene and drove the series in a downward spiral. In recent years, the downward spiral has gotten worse with titles such as Resident Evil's 5, 6, and Operation Raccoon City. While Operation Raccoon City is a personal favourite, it doesn't mean the title was good or even great, but was still slightly enjoyable as a cooperative game.
A one would expect, Capcom has been renown for working on new IP's to see what direction fans would like, and if Umbrella Corp's is a sign of things to come - there's no hope. Starting with its reveal last last September, Umbrella Corps began to draw attention thanks to the fandom that surrounded Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City's Player vs Player vs A.I. gameplay.
The idea behind players fighting against each other amidst each other, the battles got heated the moment tyrants fell onto the map, and players hunted each other's objectives whether it was attack, defend or hold. Capcom's oddest spin-off is also it's worst, and it's even worse than Operation Raccoon City. I'd rather have a Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City Remaster than this pile of rot.
+Character and class edits offer plenty of variety for players to enjoy
+Memorable maps offer a sense of nostalgia momentarily
+Multiplayer can actually be enjoyable in short doses if players find a good lobby
-The use of jammer packs for infected A.I is unique, its poorly implemented
-Single-player is simply a tutorial for the multiplayer and it can be easily neglected
-Lag can be rather problematic between matches and continually appeared
-Character editing is locked behind the ranked mode
-Claustrophobic closeness to player character causing major U.I. clutter
While the idea of a competitive title following a long the lines of Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, Umbrella Corps fails miserably, and its entirety suffers due to this. Dropping the Resident Evil moniker, Umbrella Corps. Among the many little nuances that can be problematic, the deeper troubles lie within the deeper waters, and the ones that are close to being ripped apart here momentarily.
As one would expect, Umbrella Corps is a 3v3 title, one that pits two teams of Umbrella Agents against each other amidst a zombie infested arena that takes place among familiar maps such as Raccoon City's famed "Raccoon City Police Department", Resident Evil 5's "Village", and various other locales such as Operation Raccoon City's "Umbrella Lab's".
Carrying these battles takes place in two modes that run distinctly different from one another: One-life Team Death Match and Multi-Mission Mode. While enjoyable, One-life TDM offers a minor bit of enjoyment as players will find themselves quickly disposed of by infected if not by players running around with brutal melee weapons being brandished. Much as one would expect, Single-Life TDM wears out its welcome faster than it allows for players to enter the fray - if anything, this mode should have been scrapped quicker than it was implemented.
Where the game truly shines is in its Multi-Mission Mode where players will undergo multiple scenarios in a single match. These missions consist of a king-of-the hill style capture point's of a satellite dish, collecting briefcases for your handler, eliminating enemies in a respawn based Team Death Match, and even a virus sample based collection mission that requires players to kill infected.
While this is enjoyable for the short run, the missions can cause players to grow bored and quite possibly irritated within the hour. If Capcom wants or even wanted to save this title; they're running out of time as the game is starving for new content among its flawed design execution. The lag, frame rate drops, and repetitiveness can be fixed with new content and some hot fixing.
Among its many problematic designs, Umbrella Corps is a troubled spin-off for the Resident Evil franchise, which comes deeply flawed in many aspects. From poor design decisions such as a lack of modes, character design options, load-out optimizations, and even a real threat from zombies: Umbrella Corps is good as a dead the moment it launched.
However, I'd be lying if I stated that I didn't enjoy my moments of nostalgia while gunning down enemy agents in-front of a revamped Raccoon City Police department from Resident Evil 2. Sadly my enjoyment was killed when my disappointment resurfaced when trying to enjoy the view through the games painfully cluttered U.I. that focused more on the back of my agents head. The strangest of designs comes from the games flawed map, which highlights nearby movement in buildings as sound spikes. This can be misleading to players as both infected and players can trigger a nearby sound spike.
Among these small mechanics, I found myself a bit pained when my "Zombie Jammer" was broken only to find myself being attacked by zombies, Uroboros Infected, zombie dogs, and even the infamous crows. Among the battle it's mildly easy to notice bio weapons that have been missing across the battlefield. Unlike the critical failure Operation Raccoon City; O.R.C.'s multiplayer offered more variety as players could find themselves teaming up to down a Hunter Alpha among other bio weapons. The one thing this title does manage to pull off that none has so far? Weapon customization that allows for players to pick their weapon's from a large variety such as SMG's, pistols, shotguns, the attachments for the guns, and even the color pallet each gun has. Luckily the game will pull players in from each play style since the game has that amount of variety in its player load-out arsenal.
While I've played many of competitive shooters that players could be sucked into, Umbrella Corps is a travesty, one that could die out even quicker than Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, which only managed to stay alive a few months after launch. Unlike Operation Raccoon City, the chances of Umbrella Corps. lasting even that long comes out pretty slim as the game is already almost dead on Steam according to Twinfinite.
If anything? This is a sign of bad things to come for this title as franchise spin-off titles already have a bad reputation. It's time for Capcom to take notes on what has made other online competitive shooters good, or, y'know - ask the players for help. While Capcom's Osaka studio has their work cut out for them for a new title, this is one to avoid at all costs. There's plenty of titles out there for fans to enjoy if they are looking for a competitive team-based shooter to enjoy.