Umbrella Corps Hands-On Preview
Umbrella Corps is Capcom’s Answer to Competitive Shooters
Let’s take a step back from the hate surrounding this game already. No, this Resident Evil is nothing like Resident Evil – it’s a spin-off, Capcom’s competitive shooter answer to the ever-growing eSports market and it plays brilliantly from what was shown on the Tokyo Game Show booth.
Umbrella Corps is a mix of Gears of War and Counter-Strike set in the Resident Evil universe. In the hands-on demo we played, it was a 3v3 setup where each team must eliminate the other on a single life. There was a few weapon setups on the demo from an assault rifle, SMG and shotgun. While somewhat daunting at first, I quickly got a grip with the control/gameplay mechanics within the first round as it was quite similar to how cover and movement works in Gears of War. It’s all about Close Quarter Combat and teamwork in Umbrella Corps where members must cooperate to move from cover to cover and take down enemies. The gameplay is surprisingly faster paced than other cover shooters and unlike Resident Evil games, feels very fluid, responsive and less clunky.
There’s more depth than just cover and shooting in Umbrella Corps as there’s zombie NPCs floating around the map which you can use to your advantage. Each player in the game has a zombie deterrent backpack on their backs which you can use to disable and make the undead attack them. You can even use the undead for cover if you really need to which creates some interesting scenarios.
The map we played in was quite small and featured two levels but there was plenty of flanking spots and tunnels to crawl through to surprise the enemies from behind. Teams are expected to work their way through the map covering every potential gap as they seek out the enemy. As we moved through the map, we had a pointman navigating the way, someone in the middle and myself trailing from the rear covering our backs. This proved much more effective than lone wolfing it without your backs covered which is vital to protecting your zombie repellent backpacks.
The brainer is probably one of the most coolest weapon in the game. It’s basically an ice pick which you can lunge at enemies with. Equipping the brainer allows you to move substantially faster than normal but leaves you open for easy takedowns. The enemy must be highlighted first before you can initiate a jump which takes them down instantly. Brainer showdowns provided some intense edge of your seat combat when lunges can be deflected. It all comes down to timing and hoping your opponent makes the wrong move.
One of the other things that I noticed with Umbrella Corps is the actual visuals themselves. For a game that runs on Unity, it looks and functions better than previous titles in the series. I didn’t see any drops in frame rates and for title that wants to be on the competitive level – they’ve seem to have got it down pat with this engine.
For what was showcased at Tokyo Game Show, I was quite sold that the team has something going on here. There’s some things that needed to be iron out like the analog cover, it works but pulling away from cover seems very unresponsive at times. That was my only gripe with the game so far but I was quite happy with everything else. I was hoping for more original Resident Evil but this spin-off and the HD re-releases should be enough until hopefully they announce Resident Evil 7.
Biohazard/Resident Evil Umbrella Corps releases in 2016.