The Resident Evil shooter spin-off game Umbrella Corps has already been rejected by some gamers. Find out why one writer thinks fans are being too quick to judge.
Gamers want innovation with their games, but they also want familiar experiences that allow them to relive elements of their favorite titles. Because of this, developers often have to walk a fine line between catering to nostalgia and innovating with their established franchises. Whenever a game in a series goes far off the beaten path of its predecessors, many are quick to decry the game right off the bat, and so is the case with Capcom’s upcoming multiplayer shooter Umbrella Corps.
Umbrella Corps, a spin-off of Capcom’s survival horror Resident Evil franchise, is looking to be unlike anything else that fans of the series have seen before. It puts players in the shoes of mercenaries from the evil Umbrella Corporation, tasking them with battling the other team while also having to deal with the franchise’s signature gallery of monsters and zombies. It’s a unique take on the multiplayer shooter, yet many fans of the Resident Evil franchise are already labeling the game as a failure.
Perhaps their skepticism is due to the critically panned Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, which was a previous attempt by Capcom to create a multiplayer-centric Resident Evil game. Maybe fans just want Capcom to get Resident Evil back to its roots, and feel as though Umbrella Corps is a diversion from that goal.
I will be the first to admit that when I saw the Umbrella Corps announcement trailer, I had my reservations. However, subsequent glimpses at the game’s gameplay left me impressed, with its blend of PvP and PvE action, combined with interesting weapons and gadgets, like the Zombie Jammer.
Furthermore, Umbrella Corps looks like it is paying homage to the series in a big way, and seems as though it could be a great game to play to celebrate the franchise’s 20th anniversary. Not only does it feature classic enemies from the franchise’s past, such as slow-moving zombies, the dangerous Los Ganados, etc. but it also has maps that are based on memorable areas from previous Resident Evil games. Umbrella Corps will allow players to revisit iconic settings such as the village from Resident Evil 4, the Resident Evil 5 shanty town, and more.
So while Umbrella Corps is ditching the standard style of Resident Evil gameplay in favor of being a first and third-person shooter, its tone is still very much rooted in the spirit of Resident Evil. However, there are some that have criticized the game for its heavy focus on multiplayer, pointing to recent titles like Star Wars Battlefront and Evolve that have followed similar routes and didn’t live up to expectations.
Unlike those games, however, Umbrella Corps is releasing at a discounted price of $29.99. Not only that, but the game offers more than just its standard multiplayer modes, including a single player horde mode called “The Experiment.” How extensive that mode is remains to be seen, but it does demonstrate that Umbrella Corps is offering a decent value for its budget price.
Some fans may not be concerned with the game’s departure from typical Resident Evil gameplay, and they may not fear that it will lack content. They may, however, be worried that Capcom is sacrificing work on other, more traditional Resident Evil projects in order to work on Umbrella Corps. Luckily, that concern is largely unfounded, as Capcom appears to have numerous Resident Evil projects in the pipeline.
Besides Umbrella Corps and re-releasing older games in the series, Capcom is also working on fresh, core Resident Evil projects. In fact, the company is finally giving fans the Resident Evil 2 remake they’ve been asking for, and rumors indicate that Resident Evil 7 is also in development. So just because Capcom is making a spin-off game doesn’t mean that it is turning its back on those that are waiting for the next entry in the main Resident Evil series.
2016 marks the 20th anniversary of the Resident Evil franchise, and it behooves Capcom to take advantage of that in any manner possible. The company will be accomplishing this by re-releasing classic games in the series, like Resident Evil 4, 5, and 6 throughout the year, and possibly by showing glimpses of the Resident Evil 2 remake and Resident Evil 7 as well. With all of this in store for hardcore fans of the original style of Resident Evil, the Umbrella Corps spin-off certainly isn’t hurting anything. And who knows, maybe it will even turn out to be a genuinely good game.
Umbrella Corps will be available this coming May for PC and PlayStation 4.