NYCC 2015: Umbrella Corps Impressions

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I met with Capcom Senior PR Manager James Andersen at New York Comic Con for a hands-on look at a couple of games just over the horizon for 2016.

Umbrella Corps is a third-person online shooter set in the Resident Evil universe where three battle three in various modes of play. The mode on offer for this demo was One Life Match. The players get one life, no respawns. After you die, and you will die, you can watch the rest of the match via a top-down live map reminiscent of Killzone 2’s spawn map.

The play is fast and frenetic but focussed. As long as you can keep the zombies, which spawn from piles of goop, at bay.

"Hop, skip and jump! Hop, skip, and JUMP!"

“Hop, skip and jump! Hop, skip, and JUMP!”

While the goal may be to defeat your enemies by shooting and throwing grenades, doing so awakens the undead and brings them looking for you. This element presents various undead barriers at times while at other times they run right for you.

In a novel way one could almost think of this as an abstract platformer. Go with me here, if you think, again in the abstract, of the zombies as platforms which are always there unless you disturb them. They then blow-up under your feet, making it necessary to hop, skip, and jump your way around the level. This should give you more of an understanding of the emergent nature of the gameplay. And that’s not even your objective! Your objective is to massacre the other team. Think you might be able to sic the slew of undead upon them? It’s a thought!

My teammates and I won only one of the five matches we played but we had a blast. There seems to be a lot of nuance and depth in Umbrella Corps that I wasn’t expecting.

"well...it's certainly a look!"

“well…it’s certainly a look!”

The dreaded internet has been making much of Umbrella Corps by lamenting it as yet another Resident Evil game which moves the franchise further from its roots. My response is, “So what?” The demo was really fun and looks to be a fresh perspective on gameplay in the RE IP.

No game made by any developer precludes any other game which may come in the future. Matterfall, anyone?

The demo felt brief but I think that may be a function of how fast-paced the matches were. I could have played a lot more!

As for sound and video, what we were shown looked and sounded great but in a vertical slice demo like this that isn’t necessarily indicative of a final product which still has months before release.

Umbrella Corps will, at least initially, be a digital download game at the attractive price of $29.99, €29.99, and £24.99.

Screenshots provided by Capcom.

Written by Keith Dunn-Fernández

Keith Dunn-Fernández

An actor/director and more lucratively an Administrative Assistant at a small paper company in NYC, Keith loves his games. And he loves to write. And he is a bit of a sarcasmo.

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