Capcom has tried several times to focus on Resident Evil shooter mechanics to give life to new experiences, trying in practice to emphasize what was good in the Mercenaries mode of the classic episodes of the series. Where, however, the experiment done with Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City had given discreet results, the new journey of the Osaka house into third person shooter territory turned out to be a real disaster. Umbrella Corps immediately renounces to carve out a space in the tangled plot of the franchise, putting us in the shoes of anonymous mercenaries in the pay of the evil corporation who, for one reason or another, decide to face each other by dividing into two teams of three elements each, all inside seven small maps inspired by some of the most famous scenarios of the series: the Umbrella workshops, the streets of Raccoon City, the Spanish village of Resident Evil 4 and so on. To surround the matches, literally, we find hordes of unusually meek zombies, which in theory should have represented an element of variation of the gameplay, and who instead limit themselves to moving and attacking the players only in certain situations.
Umbrella Corps is a poor title, which fails to value its relationship with Resident Evil
The Umbrella Corps main menu allows you to access online modes, try your hand at a short tutorial to familiarize yourself with the controls, or tackle a sequence of single player missions called "The Experiment".
Let's start with the latter: these are very short stages, in which our character is often equipped in an essential way (at first he only holds the service pistol) and simply has the task of eliminating a certain number of zombies and collecting their DNA, eventually marking the time spent on leaderboard. Proceeding things get a little more complex, with devices to find and activate on the map, a greater amount of accessible weapons and more numerous and reactive enemies, but in principle we are talking about a completely bite-free mode, put there probably to somehow increase an offer that, in the face of a sale price of 29,99 euros, was considered by the publisher too narrow. Not wrongly. The point is that facing the zombies in The Experiment has nothing to do with the experience of the classic Resident Evil, nor the latest more action-oriented episodes., given that the artificial intelligence of the opponents leaves much to be desired (even for zombies, yes) and there is an underlying static that disturbs. The presence of the same scenarios of the multiplayer modes also demonstrates how the entire single player sector was created quickly and with very few resources, returning a dull and banal experience, which will not fail to bore you after a few missions.
Moving on to online modes, net of some initial connection problems and a rather slow matchmaking (certainly the fault of the few online users, a factor that in our opinion could push Capcom to quickly fall back on free-to-play to save what can be saved. ), the situation unfortunately does not improve in terms of design and production value.
There are two options available: Extermination, a strategy-oriented deathmatch team with no respawn until the end of each turn, and Multi-Mission, which includes a cycle of variants that can ensure greater action frenzy. The Unity Engine used for the game once again shows all its limitations, especially on consoles, but the lack of fluidity is only one of the problems of Umbrella Corps. The interface, a little too vague and cumbersome, reveals the ambitions of the game in terms of progression, with new customizations that are unlocked only by reaching certain levels of experience, and in the same way the possibility of adding accessories to weapons to improve their effectiveness, whether it is sights or grips capable of increasing shooting accuracy. It must be said that the performance of the gunplay is not bad: there is a good feeling and it is pleasant to open fire, whether it is pistols, light machine guns or shotguns. Similarly, the detection of the hits causes different reactions on the body of the enemies, with the inevitable headshots that alternate with crippling or other impairments, too bad that the management of the movement of the zombies on the ground often shows polygonal interpenetrations and other defects. visual. You shoot well, in short, but everything else is problematic: the third-person view is too close, with the result that the character covers an excessive portion of the screen, leaving completely blind corners, while the movement is unnaturally "fluid", with obvious lack of balance with regard to movements from squatting, which are as fast as normal walking. Then there is the question of the Brainer, a sort of scythe that each character has in their arsenal and that can be electrically charged, allowing you to eliminate opponents with a single blow. When the participants of a game understand that using it can give them an easy victory, you will see them attacking only in this way, hooking you even from a reasonable distance and without being able to effectively defend yourself from their maneuver.
Umbrella Corps includes forty-one Trophies, including that of Platinum. To unlock them you must mainly proceed in the online modes, winning matches, reaching high levels of experience, obtaining new equipment and distinguishing themselves for performance compared to the team. However, there are also achievements related to the internal challenges of the game, the U-Trials, and others that are obtained by completing the single player component and the tutorial.
There are elements in Umbrella Corps that hint at some interesting ideas: how the characters open doors or raise shutters, preparing to face whatever is beyond that barrier, with the ability to shoot in the meantime;
the mechanism that sees zombies attack a soldier en masse when he is hit, emitting a noise or bleeding, opening up potentially tantalizing strategies where you want to track down someone; or the ability to grab an undead and temporarily use it as a shield in a head-on confrontation with the opposing team. Unfortunately none of this is implemented in a convincing way, there is really a lot of wood in the controls and the cover system does not help in this regard, on the contrary increasing the feeling of often and willingly getting stuck somewhere and not being able to avoid enemy fire, thus feeling exposed and helpless rather than sheltered. As mentioned above, the performance of the Unity Engine leaves something to be desired and does not improve the general picture, which in itself over-relies on terribly generic assets, which manage to repress the personality of even those scenarios that in reality should at least evoke pleasant memories among Resident Evil fans, thanks to the lack of interactivity and the small size of each map. A very similar speech can be made for the sound sector, which is functional as regards the effects, but also here anonymous and dull when it comes to music.
Umbrella Corps is a poor title, which fails in any way to enhance its kinship with the Resident Evil franchise and which moves in a space made up of generic assets, rough gameplay, cumbersome controls and obvious structural and balance problems. The offer is extremely poor compared to the purchase price, both in terms of multiplayer and (above all) of single player, which together with the opinions of the press (currently merciless) will result in an even slower and more problematic matchmaking due to the few users online, forcing Capcom to make drastic choices (the move to free-to-play?) to stem this debacle. A bad parenthesis for the series, unfortunately not the first.
- There are some interesting ideas
- Discreet feeling of the guns
- Rough, cumbersome and bite-free gameplay
- Poor single player, immature and badly balanced multiplayer
- Technically mediocre