Why Did Umbrella Corps Suck So Bad?

Why Did Umbrella Corps Suck So Bad?

Resident Evil fans, I’m so sorry to report that Umbrella Corps , a game that should have been a breakout multiplayer hit set in your favorite zombie-filled universe, sucks pretty badly. You can read my review here , but you don’t have to take it from me. The game has unanimously reviewed very poorly from critics and Resident Evil fans. This is incredibly disappointing, especially in light of the rocky launch of Street Fighter V back in February. With all of the positive buzz around Resident Evil VII after its E3 reveal, we were hoping that Umbrella Corps would tide us over, if not until Resident Evil VII, then at least until the Resident Evil 5 remaster.

What went so wrong with Umbrella Corps? A 3v3 team shooter with zombies sounds incredible! How could Capcom screw that up? If you’re a die-hard Resident Evil fan, I don’t doubt that you can find a way to enjoy Umbrella Corps , but the sad fact is that it’s a game that you do have to work to enjoy. A few of the gameplay mechanics that really drag everything down became the stars of the show, while various elements that we would have loved to see more of felt criminally underused. Based on my experience, there were a few key things that stopped this game from being enjoyable, even as a budget title.

It’s a no-brainer.

The brainer ruined everything. It’s a cool weapon, as far as melee weapons go. I mean, it’s basically a giant, hooked pickax designed to puncture zombie skulls and turn their brains into shish kabobs. What’s the problem?

Almost every aspect of this weapon and the way it works is overpowered. Umbrella Chronicles already moves way too fast, considering how small the maps are. When wielding a brainer, you get a significant speed boost. Aiming down the sights in this game takes time, and you don’t have a lot of that when opponents are zipping all over the map with giant hooks. What’s more, those giant hooks will end you in a single hit. If it took even two hits to kill someone with a brainer, then multiplayer would feel more balanced, but the one-hit kills from soldiers who move at the speed of sound ensures that if you’re not seeing a bunch of screen-tearing as your sprint about, you’re seeing a respawn timer. Not fun.

Why Did Umbrella Corps Suck So Bad?

Zombies feel like props.

Umbrella Chronicles is a game set in the Resident Evil universe. When we think Resident Evil , we think zombies. We want to shoot them, be surprised and challenged by them, and we want them to rip our enemies to shreds. The only part of the game where you really interact with the zombies regularly is the single-player mode, which is terrible . I really do mean terrible – the single player is to be avoided at all costs. In multiplayer, the zombies very rarely play a roll at all. They fill the maps, but they ignore you completely until an enemy destroys your jammer (basically a cloaking device that hides you from zombies). If any enemy has you in their sights long enough to destroy your jammer, then they’ll probably shoot you dead. Even if they don’t, the zombies don’t aggro very aggressively. You can easily run away from them or just climb a ladder somewhere. Killing zombies has never been so dull, and never felt as meaningless as it does in Umbrella Corps .

This is not a polished, quality offering.

I began my review by quipping that Umbrella Corps felt like some college student’s grad-school final. It feels like a Unity project taken too far. There are strange bugs and graphical glitches in the single-player and multiplayer modes, weird grammatical errors or translation quirks, and every gameplay mechanic just seems… unfinished. I honestly feel like developers at Capcom were testing out ideas in Unity to see how they liked the engine, and at the end of testing they just took one of the concepts that they found most playable and decided to market it as a Resident Evil game. It probably seemed like an affordable way to make some extra scratch, but it really just comes off as lazy and impatient.

You’re better than this, Capcom. We know you are. You know you are. Now, you really do owe it to us to prove that you are.

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