I’ve never subscribed to the notion that a game could survive on multiplayer alone. It's the reason I haven't played Evolve since the initial month of its release. Even Splatoon, which I maintain as easily the best Wii U exclusive, lost a bit of its allure over time, and while I do still play it, my time with it has definitely diminished.
However, what separates a game like Splatoon from a game like Resident Evil: Umbrella Corps—and the very reason I still return to Splatoon—is creativity, vibrancy and above all: fun. Resident Evil: Umbrella Corps has none of these things. It’s a lazy follow-up to Operation Raccoon City that I can’t imagine anyone asked for.
Resident Evil: Umbrella Corps’ first problem is an utter lack of content. As an online-multiplayer only game Umbrella Corps has two game modes. Your basic deathmatch, and multi-mission mode, where missions are randomly generated and players compete to finish them (but mostly just shoot each other a lot.) It’s a pretty standard affair; deathmatches are your bog standard 3rd person cover-based shooting, and while multi-mission adds the textbook definition of “variety,” every mission blurs together into a grey/brown mess of shooting and dying. The missions themselves are fairly typical, sometimes it’s deathmatch, sometimes it’s hold the object, but they are all just variations on modes you’ve seen in one form or another.
What is supposed to add further “variety” are the dangerous zombies that pervade the battlefield. These zombies would be dangerous if not for a special zombie-jammer that every player is equipped with that keeps them from being noticed by zombies. Should an opponent get a lucky shot and take out the jammer, then it’s open season. However, rarely did I notice this ever being exploited. It only takes a few shots to bring someone down, and typically, anytime you got shot at, you died.
Umbrella Corps is visually unappealing as well. While Unity can be used to make some amazing things, it can also make a bad product look cheap, and that’s exactly what’s going on here. Textures are low and choppy, there’s frequent screen tearing and certain things don’t connect to the ground properly and games look kind of muddy. It even finds a way to make the 3rd person camera look bad, being ridiculously tight to the character’s head and jumping into first person when trying to precision aim, making it incredibly hard to be aware of your surroundings, and results in a lot of the aforementioned death.
Umbrella Corps functions under par. One bad connection can bring the entire game down, and often I was playing in a lagged out mess where you could empty 4 clips into a zombie before it reacted in any way. There’s issues with connecting to games, it takes forever to get a game going, and it has that problem GTAV’s heists had where impatient players consistently drop out of games taking too long and you get caught in an infinite loop of waiting. I know that complaint is levied more towards the community, but it wouldn’t exist if the game weren’t so pathetic. Splatoon doesn’t have this problem.
That’s really all there is to it. It’s vanilla as online shooters go, wearing the skin of Resident Evil. If Umbrella Corps were a little $15 dollar digital game, it would be inoffensive. The fact that it has the gall to charge $35 is actually kind of insulting.
Capcom, why would you do this? You come out of E3 with a shocking demo that made us all believe that you were back on the ball. Why did you decide to release this despite it being a pile of fresh garbage? I’m still fairly hopeful for Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, but this wasn’t cool.