I've been a Resident Evil fan for as long as I can remember, ever since it graced my CRT television via my original grey Playstation I have been firmly entrenched within the survival horror genre and anything to do with the Resident Evil universe. I am quite the loyal fan, who over the years has tackled everything from Resident Evil 1-6 and the underrated Nemesis to the lesser received titles such as Resident Evil Survivor, Outbreak and Operation Racoon City. Hell I've even watched the two semi decent animated films as well as all 6 of those live action dumpster fires starring Milla Jovovich.
Being such a fan boy I wanted to go into UMBRELLA CORPS with an open mind, an online competitive based shooter set within the Resident Evil universe? Booting the game up and seeing a character creator sent some excitable vibes through my body, being able to design a character the way you want to is always fun, even better when you can put Barry Burton's head on HULK's body. Once the aesthetics are taken care of you can then put together your weapon loadout, choosing from various weapon types (sub machine gun, rifle, shotgun etc) you select a primary, secondary, grenade and a hand to hand weapon. You also have the luxury of adding scopes, suppressors and custom paint jobs to your kit to further enhance that custom experience.
Once you're done making your character you are greeted with 3 ways to play, Ranked, Public or The Experiment. Ranked and Public are 3v3 team based battles where you can choose to play with a singular life per round, or timed based variant with infinite lives. The Experiment is a single player horde mode with 20 levels of constant enemy waves. There is also a Tutorial option but they are for pussies.
Diving into a Public match I sadly never made it past the matchmaking menu, constant disconnects from the lobby and excessive wait times got me nowhere for close to 20 minutes. Luckily I had immediate success getting into a Ranked match, cuing for less than 2 minutes until I was ported into a 3v3 battle.
First impressions once the match started weren't great, the over the shoulder view had the camera positioned too close to your character, obscuring sections of your field of view, which in fire fights is the last thing you want. The user interface creates further problems, ammo count, enemies indicators and the map are dwarfed by random nothings, it makes zero sense to me. I did like how the game mixes up the player view from third to first person when aiming down sights, but apart from that small detail there isn't a tonne of things UMBRELLA CORPS has going for it.
The graphics are middling with constant texture issues, clipping and a lack of polish consistent with the overall game. The various maps are all suffocatingly small and the cover system is a nightmare to manage, pressing "X" to engage with cover almost glues you in place, fodder for stray bullets or NPCs. On the topic of NPCs the idea of having to also battle random zombies of both the human or dog variety as well as an enemy team sounds like a great concept. It isn't. 5% of the time they serve as a meat shield against incoming enemy fire, the other 95% of they are strictly there just for the sake of it, countless times I ran past a zombie almost hoping for it to lunge at me and try eat my neck, instead it simply shuffled in place thinking about the good old days of Resident Evil 1 and 2.
When you are engaged in firefights nothing seems to work the way it should, combat is laggy as hell which saw me dying several times even after reaching cover. The assortment of firearms lack flavour and more importantly impact, bullet sponged enemy players force you to take up arms and battle melee style. The aptly named "Brainer" is a giaint pick axe that one shots anything that moves, the majority of matches I participated in came down to players welding Brainers running around like they are trying to re-enact scenes from Lord of the Flies. Several times I found myself almost taking a number and joining a cue as someone brains an enemy, I brain them, I get brained and well you get the picture. Lets just call it Brainer Inception.
The single player "Experiment" mode is equally as bad, the same maps from the 3v3 mode are used repeatedly as you are tasked with mowing down hordes of zombies, I quickly learnt shooting said creatures is a total waste of time, instead going the cheese route and pistol whipping enemies lead to instant one hit kills. This isn't to be confused with the Brainer, which when used in Experiment mode leads you open to zombie attacks, I'm talking the butt of your pistol, which now apparently possesses the power of Thor's Hammer.
Overall UMBRELLA CORPS is anything but a AAA title, it feels like nothing more than a cash grab by Capcom, using loose tie ins from one of their biggest franchises to pull through sales of an extremely under done video game that has the appeal of a moldy sandwich and the intelligence of a brain dead zombie.
1.5 out of 5
Here's hoping Resident Evil 7: Biohazard somehow manages to erase the constant pain I felt playing UMBRELLA CORPS
UMBRELLA CROPS WAS REVIEWED USING A "RETAIL" PLAYSTATION 4 DOWNLOAD KEY PROVIDED BY REBOOT PR.