Resi gets a new spin-off, for better or worse?
After the unveiling of Resident Evil 7, I felt excited for the series for the first time since Resident Evil 4…but while we wait for that, Capcom have released a spin-off known as Umbrella Corps. Essentially, it’s a 3 v 3 online multiplayer shooter with a few different modes, it also has a solo mode called “The Experiment” that almost acts as a training ground for the maps and the enemies that are there.
You move around in 3rd person, but if you wish to aim in 1st person you can do so by holding down the left trigger. The camera is pressed right up against your character, so it’s impossible to see behind you without actually turning around. There’s a cover system in place, while there’s a level of strategy in each match as you try and beat human opponents by either direct attack or by luring zombies towards them with gunfire noise.
Of course, that can backfire and they can come running after you instead. The zombies vary from your traditional slow moving ones to the fast ones from Resi 4, as well as zombie dogs and crows for equal measure. Maps are inspired from games in the series including the village from Resi 4 or Raccoon City itself as well as others. I’m sure they will probably add a few more via DLC, but it’s limited as it is.
Modes include collecting DNA samples by killing zombies, your standard Team Deathmatch and a King of the Hill-inspired mode. The single player experience does well to get you used to your surroundings, especially the harder missions where death can come pretty quickly. Having played a number of online matches, there’s a large learning curve…since the single player mode doesn’t host bots to play with/against.
Visually, Umbrella Corps is a mixed bag. It’s nice to see the Resi 4 village again, but there is a lack of detail. It’s not the best looking game, but it does seem to run at a steady framerate. There does appear to be hints that Wesker is still alive as the voice-actor reprises his role for a voice-over during the game and it is meant to be set after Resident Evil 6, leaving fans to speculate if he will appear in the much anticipated Resident Evil 7. I hope he does because I personally hated his ending in Resi 5, he deserved a better demise and maybe he might just get it.
Umbrella Corps is a difficult one to judge, it’s hardly the best multiplayer shooter out there…but it does things differently, it takes a risk…something that most shooters fail to do these days. It has some really fun moments, but there’s a lot of frustration to be found too. Essentially it’s down to personal taste, but I would give it a go if you are a fan of both/either the series and shooters.