Also available on Windows
Man, I wanted to like this game. I really did. I knew before I bought it that it was getting garbage reviews, but that didn't phase me. I usually have a thing for games that get trashed by critics. Remember Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City? That game got eaten alive by critics, but when I played it, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I expected Umbrella Corps to be the same. Alas, it wasn't meant to be. The real tragedy about this game, though? It was almost good. They were SO CLOSE to making an amazing game. Unfortunately, as they say, "close" only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
As the second of the "You're Umbrella" Resident Evil spin-offs, I had high hopes for Umbrella Corps. Operation Raccoon City essentially played like Left 4 Dead: Resident Evil Edition, and I was hoping for more of that with Umbrella Corps. This game plays more like Counter-Strike: Resident Evil Edition, and that could still work. I mean, Counter-Strike is awesome, right? Resident Evil is awesome, right? Give me Counter-Strike tier shooting mechanics with Resident Evil zombies, and bam, you've got a badass game. Right? Well, that's how it should have worked out. Unfortunately, if we're going by school grades, this game gets a 59 in every category - one point from passing. Let's start with some of the few positives, however, before I tear the game apart. It looks nice. I mean, visually, the game's pleasing to the eyes. The guns sound cool albeit rather generic. It's immensely satisfying when you a kill a zombie. That really rewarding "click" sound that Call of Duty gives you when you shoot another player? There's a similar sort of sensation when you kill an enemy here. Unfortunately, that's where the positives end.
I'd love to talk about the multiplayer as a potentially redeeming aspect, but I can't do that either, and there are two reasons for that. The main reason is that it's nigh impossible to find a multiplayer match because as far as I can tell, literally no one plays this anymore, at least not on PS4. I spent a solid hour Saturday trying to find a match. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Every game mode, both ranked and unranked, and I couldn't find a single other player, let alone enough players for a game. The other reason I can't list multiplayer as a positive is because when I could find a match - months ago back when the game first came out and we hadn't admitted to ourselves how much it sucked yet - it was total rubbish. Imagine a third person Counter-Strike plus zombies. What I mean by that is that the game is entirely PvP but with zombies running around trying to eat you as well. That would be all well and good if the maps weren't barely sized well for 1v1, let alone 4v4 (plus zombies). The matches felt crowded, and the spawn locations for players and zombies felt like Capcom couldn't decide if they wanted to make a PvE game or a PvP game so they decided to do both at the same time and fail at both.
Since multiplayer is a no-go, let's talk about single player. Unfortunately, single player isn't much better. The only thing that really makes it better is that it's actually functional. The story of the campaign - if you can really call it a story - is that you're some "elite" Umbrella soldier who's in training. For your training missions, Umbrella sends you on a series of assignments with limited ammo to test you. Or something. The story is as paper thin as a Mario platformer to be honest, so I stopped reading the prompts after like mission 8. Anyway, there are 24 missions, and I got through mission 14 before I said fuck it and quit. Half of what makes the single player so disappointing is the control. The aiming just incredibly jerky, and no amount of tinkering with the sensitivity settings can give any semblance of smoothness or fluidity to your weapons. At least the game gives you the option of some aim assist, but even though there's a pretty dramatic amount of aim assist, the aim is SO jerky that it can still be somewhat difficult to get a shot where you want it, and it often feels like it just goes wherever it wants. You can line up a shot on an enemy's head perfectly, and half the time, it'll still either miss or hit the chest. Then there's the melee hit detection. You've got a melee weapon that - for most foes - is a one hit kill. Unfortunately, the weapon seems to have a mind of its own. Sometimes it hits exactly as it should. Other times you can watch it go clean through an enemy and do no damage, giving the zombie a perfect opportunity to take a quick nibble on your face.
If you haven't been able to tell from the number of "You Are Dead" screenshots, this game is excruciatingly difficult. I know that I've been coddled by easy games for years now, but I can't help but feel as if Umbrella Corps goes a bit far. The whole game does feel a bit unpolished; maybe Capcom just forgot to add some difficulty settings and didn't bother patching them in because the game sucks and no one bought it? Either way, the word "Difficulty" is nowhere to be found in the options menu. What you see is what you get, and what you see is a two hit death if you're lucky. If you're unlucky and come across one of the especially mutated foes - such as our friend, Mr. Death-Star-Vagina-Face up above - you'll go from full health to meat paste with the flick of his zombie finger. To make matters worse, the mission design fucks you over, too. Remember how I said there are 24 missions? Each one is divided into a handful of rounds, each with its own objective. Sometimes you have to kill a certain number of enemies to collect DNA samples. Sometimes you have to find a certain number of briefcases. Sometimes you have to take and defend a certain number of checkpoints. The objective varies, but at no point do any of them ever feel like anything more than side quest fodder. Anyway, there are no checkpoints between these rounds. Let's say you get all 20 DNA samples in round one, find all five briefcases in round two, and are on your fourth of five control points in round three when a zombie dog spawns behind you - because the enemies spawn infinitely and at random locations - and hits you twice, killing you before you're even able to turn around and see what's eating you. You go all the way back to the beginning of round one. I understand challenging gameplay, but it seems like they could have at least given an option to add checkpoints to folks who are either trash as the game (like me) or don't enjoy it enough to put up with that type of bullshit kill (also like me).
Resident Evil: Umbrella Corps could have been so good. It was almost a good game. It really was. Unfortunately, it's like when you write a really brilliant essay for a class but turn it in without proofreading or editing, so your professor reads what otherwise might have been a good paper but can't get past using "there" instead of "their," "u" instead of "you," "to" instead of "too," and the lack of any punctuation or indention whatsoever throughout the entire paper. Like, the content of your paper might be great. Too bad the format and mechanics of your writing are too dumbass bullshit for anyone to make heads or tails of it. As a long-time and hardcore Resident Evil fan, this game legit hurt my feelings. You led me on, Capcom. I believed all the sweet talking and grandiose promises, and all you did was stand me up to sleep with my brother and give me herpes.
My Rating - 2 Neps
I'm a teacher.
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach high school history; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.