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Resident Evil… I recall a time when that name was synonymous with survival horror and all the things that the genre entailed. They were games that forced you to conserve ammo and rely on sparsely available green and red herbs to survive. Instead of focusing on the next big title, (and getting Resident Evil back to its roots) Capcom decided they would venture far off the path. They decided that an online shooter was the way to go. Who could blame them? That is what holds the shelf life of a game these days. So, Umbrella Corps was born.

The story and the options are pretty barebones from the get-go. A training option allows you to suit up as an Umbrella Corp mercenary and learn the ropes of the game. Training is as you would expect, boring for an experienced or even half experienced gamer. It goes through the vanilla motions of showing you how to move around the map, switch and use weapons. The highlight of the weapons comes in the forms of a nasty little hatchet that you are able to charge up in order to unleash vicious melee attacks.

Once you are all trained and ready to go. An almost empty title screen, offers you the options of a multiplayer mode that places your merc in a 3 V 3 game, where you are unable to spawn after you are killed. Loading times between these games are long and annoying. Oddly enough these multiplayer matches are 3 mercs V 3 mercs. Even more odd is the fact that zombies are peppered in on the maps. They are easily dealt with and feel like more of a nuisance than an adversary. Would it have been cool to include Hunters and Lickers and have 3 mercs V those creatures? Well, it definitely would not have hurt and may have added a little variety to gameplay.

“Leveling up 

feels like a chore…”

The matches are unbalanced at best. That is partly due to clunky controls and and weapon damage that makes no sense in any given situation. Once the round is over you are awarded experience points in order to upgrade weapons and customize your mercenary.

Leveling up feels like a chore as opposed to something you are excited to do. Weapon customization is one of the few good things here. Merc armor customization is generic for the most part and will make you recall playing through better Resident Evil games where you were decimating these mercs.

Multi-Mission mode supplies you with a variety of game modes where you are able to re-spawn. This is a little more fast paced and a little more enjoyable but even at my most hopeful, clunky controls would hinder total immersion. The cover system is something that really leaves the game a long way from where it needs to be. The fact that an opponent can run up to you while in cover as easily as they are able to makes it completely useless, outside of hiding.

Umbrella Corps also offers a single-player mode. While I was playing through the multiplayer matches, I kept telling myself that maybe they saved the best stuff for single-player. Again, I was wrong. This mode consists of you mind-numbingly blasting your way through zombies and collecting DNA viles that are dropped. After a few of these types of missions, additional generic objectives are added to later missions that include, collecting briefcases, clearing areas, etc.

“clunky controls  

hinder total immersion”

I’m a huge Resident Evil fan and I had a very hard time finding anything worthwhile contained in this misguided spinoff. The fascination with being a merc for Umbrella, dissolves quickly. The weapon upgrade system and the chargeable hatchet are the only shining lights that remain when all is said and done. Any fun that is had is short-lived and doesn’t give any reason to revisit. Let’s all look forward to Resident Evil 7 and try to forget this departure ever existed.

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