Hands on with Umbrella Corps

Umbrella-Corps_LogoThe Resident Evil franchise has been consistent over the last year with content and news. From the release of the HD Remaster of Resident Evil on current gen consoles, to announcing a complete remake of the fan favorite Resident Evil 2, I would say Capcom is on the right track to winning fans over again after the debacle that is Resident Evil 6.  It’s still a long road to recovery, but with Resident Zero on the way in January, I have faith.

Then there was an announcement of a new title in the series, which began to give me bad vibes all over again. The game is Umbrella Corps. The game doesn’t share the Resident Evil name, however it will take place in the same universe. UC is a fast-paced, third person squad based shooter. Sound familiar? That’s because Capcom released a similar style game in 2012 called Operation Raccoon City. If you haven’t heard of it, Bravo, you dodged a bullet and for me was a cause for concern with UC.

I wasn’t feeling too hopeful for this new entry in the franchise, but Capcom sent Gaming Age an invite for a couple of us to give it a try at New York Comic Con. The game is slated for an early 2016 release so being able to play it already could go either way. Three of us decided to take Capcom up on the invite and give it a go. We were also able to check out Resident Evil Zero HD, and Street Fighter V, both of which I’m highly looking forward to. When we got to the booth, we waited for the current match to end, which was set up as a 3 VS 3 One life mode.

As we waited, I saw the game in motion and had a better idea of what to expect. My biggest gripe right away was the close over the shoulder camera reminiscent of the Black Sheep of the franchise, RE6. Outside of this, it looked to run smooth and didn’t look as mechanical as ORC. Now, it was our turn to give it a try. Paul (Editor) and Anthony (Photographer) were paired with me against three Joker cosplayers. Before the match starts, you choose your weapon load out.

Once the match started, I felt the smooth responsiveness of the controls, which is a great first impression and was relieved to not see a carbon copy of ORC. The goal was simple, eliminate the opposing team. The only obstacle in your way? Zombies. The good thing is your Umbrella Agent is equipped with a “Zombie Jammer” that sends a signal to keep the zombies from hoarding you. The other team has the ability to damage it, which will cause the zombies to attack you.

In One life mode, the matches are best 3 out of 5 and in each round, there are no respawns. This helps keep you on your toes because you have one shot each round to take out the other team. You have a melee weapon along your gun load out and it’s called the “Brainer”, for obvious reasons. The Brainer is a combat axe that you can use against both the zombies and deflect attacks from the competitors.

The map we played was in an industrial factory where cover fire is heavily dependent. There weren’t many opportunities to run and gun, which gives you the chance to strategize with your team. In the first match, I was the last one standing and a big reason for this is because once my teammates died, they entered Spectator mode which revealed the enemy location and they were able to assist me verbally. I think with the right team, this will be a lot of fun.

In the end, we lost but had a surprisingly good time with the demo. Despite it being an offshoot title in the series, I think people will have some fun with it. When it launches in early 2016, it will be a digital release for only $29.99  exclusively on the PS4 and PC.