Now that I’ve touched upon the games modes etc., it’s time to talk about the controls. Oh the controls… Many people have complained that playing on a PC feels absolutely horrible compared to using a joypad. I don’t feel the keyboard controls are that bad, but the way it feels when playing certainly seems rather clunky.
Not only do the controls feel a bit clunky, but some of the staple mechanics seen in previous RE games are missing. Take for example, the quick turn. In RE games of the past, you could hold backwards and then press another button/key to instantly spin around and face the opposite direction. Umbrella Corps doesn’t have that functionality, and with the way the point of view is laid out, it would certainly feel welcome.
The point of view used in Umbrella Corps is an over the shoulder view. However, your character takes up a good quarter of the screen, meaning you can’t see anything beyond where you’re standing. On PC, the space-bar lets you switch views from shoulder to shoulder, but when you’re already keeping an eye out for zombies (and humans if you play online), having to press yet another button to further your field of view feels very cumbersome. I don’t see what was wrong with the point of view used in RE4, RE5 and even RE6.
Another issue I have with Umbrella Corps is when you’re running around trying to keep an eye on the zombies by swinging around the camera to see behind and beside you, if you get got by two zombies, or twice from one zombie, you’re dead. Two hits? Really? Not only that but the scariness once associated with zombies is completely gone. No longer will extra long, flailing tentacles of death spawn from headshots; zombie dogs are now slow and incredibly easy to kill unlike the swift buggers in previous RE games that dodge your shots; and the challenge against zombies has gone by being able to one shot them with a well-timed melee attack.
Umbrella Corps has some relatively decent graphics, but the environments you get to play in during The Experiment seem out of place, uninspired and repetitive.
I was happy with the music and sound effects, but some of the voices when collecting DNA for example, don’t sound like they’re saying what they should be saying.
As mentioned above, the character customisation options are poor at best. You can choose to look like one of the characters from previous RE games like Wesker, Leon or Chris among others, but if someone else chooses to look that way when playing online, you’re going to feel a little silly.
I can see why Umbrella Corps has received such negative criticism, and I wish it was a game to be enjoyed, I really do. But when the player-base is so low, and you can’t even play the game that’s meant to be played when you want to, a game like this becomes a very poor investment.
Perhaps with future work by CAPCOM, Umbrella Corps can become the game everyone wished it was. First I suggest getting rid of the price tag altogether in order to get more people playing, and secondly add some in-game purchases like cosmetic enhancements, XP boosts etc. to keep revenue coming in. There should also be some work done to address the concerns people have with the controls and over the shoulder point of view.
Overall, Umbrella Corps in it’s current state is not something you should buy. Not even if you see it on offer somewhere. I do see potential in it and would hate to see it go the way Nosgoth has gone, but if nothing is done to address the overall negative views people have of it, Umbrella Corps looks like it won’t last long.
2 stars – empty player base, pointless PvE mode and horrible point of view, at least it has nice-ish graphics