Resident Evil Online Shooter Impressions: Well, There Are Zombies

Resident Evil Online Shooter Impressions: Well, there Are Zombies

Multiplayer shooters. You know them, you love them (maybe!), and you play them (ditto). Resident Evil adds its own spin to the genre. Today at the Tokyo Game Show, I checked out Umbrella Corps.

Announced this week, Resident Evil: Umbrella Corps. is a PS4 and PC close-quarters multiplayer shooter with zombies that stumble about. This is the franchise's 20th anniversary title. It's an odd choice. A very odd one. Because when you think of Resident Evil, you don't think of multiplayer shooters. At least, I don't.

The demo was a three-on-three battle with each player given one life. That made matches short. Capcom hasn't announced other gameplay modes yet, but yes, I'd imagine there will be a whole host of modes that are found on other multiplayer shooters. That's the problem, though. There are already a bunch of other online shooters. There's only one Resident Evil. So fans are left scratching their heads.

The game is set in the Resident Evil universe, and the cramped map did work well to build tension and feel especially claustrophobic.

Each player is equipped wiht a "zombie jammer" strapped to their backs, which enables them to slip past the walking dead undetected. You can also use zombies as shields. The zombies, as they sumble around, turn into obstacles and offer cover and create diversions.

But! If opponents shoot or melee you, they can damage the zombie jammer, which means zombies can not only detect you, but will try to attack you. This adds an interesting twist to what would be a rather typical shooter. It didn't feel gimmicky (though, it seems gimmicky as hell) and brings another layer of strategy and gameplay.

In one instance, I waited on an upper level for opponents to either shoot them, throw grenades at them, or both. I took some damage while getting a kill, which wasn't lethal, but it was enough to knock out my zombie jammer. The seemingly innocuous zombies that had been milling around upstairs with me saw me as something else: lunch. So, suddenly, I found myself fighting a horde of zombies, and bam, I felt like I was in a Resident Evil game — albeit, not that scary of one. But is this enough to convince players? Capcom probably hopes so.

I liked the zombie element, and wished it leaned more on that instead of the online shooter element. Because, the iffier parts for me were the basic shooter stuff. Umbrella Corps. ran smoothly, and I didn't notice any framerate issues, but the controllers just didn't feel as solid as they should. They're serviceable, but for this genre, serviceable isn't enough. The compeition is too fierce. The game has to feel good. Perhaps, my impression is due to the way the game was shown: With only one life, when you die, you're out of the game and left waiting for the match to finish. In the demo sessions I played, it's harder to get a really good feel of the basic mechanics without the luxury of being able to respawn, try a bunch of things out, die, respawn again, and so on.

Resident Evil: Umbrella Corps. is competing with a laundry list of multiplayer shooters, and the game really needs to convince players it does the basic shooter element at a high level. But the game won't be out until early 2016, so there's still time to fine tune.


Comments

    The problem with this game is that it seems so generic.

    That zombie jammer sounds interesting, but question: Why would I bother taking the time to shoot your jammer when I can just shoot you in the head?

      Why would I bother taking the time to shoot your jammer when I can just shoot you in the head?

      Trolls :)

    Most of the internet seems to hate the announcement of Umbrella Corps(myself included). I'm not even kidding... do a quick Google and see for yourself if you don't believe me. They expected better for the 20th anniversary. I think that the level of disappointment is akin to if you bought a toaster for your wife for your 20th wedding anniversary.

    It's because fans love the survival horror aspect of RE... and in terms of good RE games, they are considered to be 0, 1/Remake, 2, 3, CV, RE4, Revelations(and I think Rev2, but I haven't played it and haven't seen reviews so as to avoid spoilers so can't comment). RE5 had a lot of great concepts such as being temporarily blinded when going from bright sunlight into a darkened area to simulate your eyes adjusting irl, and I think it was Capcom's best selling RE game, but RE5&6 are both considered to kind of suck compared to the other ones mentioned. RE Darkside&Umbrella Chronicles were shooters on rails and not that popular, Outbreak1&2 was apparently decent, and ORC was a sub-licensed FPS which was widely panned as a bad game.

    Umbrella Corps is basically Operation Raccoon City 2. They had the same ideas... fight others with zombie scenery, and maybe the zombies would attack you if you dropped a pheromone bomb on them(or took out their zombie blocker). I hate the implied safety of using a zombie as a shield by spooning him/her... whereas in RE1 if you got too close to a zombie you'd have to grapple for dear life. In "The Walking Dead" you can mingle with zombies if you smell/look/move like them... and the zombie blocker just makes me imagine that you could run around them and teabag them so long as it's intact. I'd be more impressed if you could only use them as shields if they were between you and your opponent(they're coming for whoever is closest).

    As a "sequel" to ORC, it doesn't even look very good. One of the first soldiers running looks like he's slowly gliding along a rail, and there isn't any iconic RE BOW's or characters. The hype for this is like if they announced a sequel to Colonial Marines by the same development team, or the trolly first FFVII port announcement, or a sequel to the new Fantastic Four movie. The RE fans were praising Capcom for starting to turn things around by making Revelations after the action oriented RE5/6, and now it just seems like they're back to their old tricks of wanting those CoD dollars. Capcom are a great company, but they haven't made a successful FPS game. Their competition are companies that produce more quality titles like CoD/Destiny, or even have the money to compete like Blizzard's Overwatch. Really zero confidence on this one.

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