Capcom is one of the more reliable companies when it comes to showing off upcoming games at conventions, and WonderCon 2016 was no different. This year, among their offerings was Umbrella Corps, the upcoming multiplayer spin-off from the Resident Evil franchise.
Umbrella Corps‘ demo featured the game’s Umbrella Labs map, the setting for several of the game modes offered: Respawn Match, Target, Domination, DNA Hunter, and SP DNA Hunter. It plays out very much like any other multiplayer playlist — each round lasts no more than a handful of minutes if the team doesn’t reach the winning requirements. Jumping right in, I got an odd sense of the gameplay.
Character movements felt very clunky, almost as though you’re trapped within some sort of medical brace. Actually, have you ever heard the jokes that Batman can’t move his neck due to the suit? It’s kind of like that. That will lead to some slow moving moments, yet it still managed to flow smoothly with the Umbrella Corps’ close quarters combat and analog cover. The latter will highlight a majority of the map to let you know you can take cover behind walls, crates, and other obstacles to varying degrees. It will allow you to not completely dedicate to cover in the event you want to keep up shooting. As my personal preference for shooting rather than heavy cover, the feature seems like it will be a nice touch for a wide audience.
The former is benefited from tight maps that should avoid feeling claustrophobic, at least as far as Umbrella Labs is concerned. Littering the map for all game modes will be a variety of zombies that may or may not come into play. They’ll be generally milling around due to an anti-zombie beacon on your back, but will come hunting for you should the opposing team shoot it off. It’s not quite a strategy element like we’ve seen with some game modes in, say, The Division, but effective enough to not be a waste of time so far. That said, SP DNA Hunter mode has each squad specifically hunting a special mutated zombie that will attack you no matter what, so there’s that.
So while the demo was healthy enough, it’s not entirely showing off what can separate itself from the likes of what may be the most obvious zombie-laden shooter out there that calls you to duty. It plays okay if bordering more on the clunky side, so it won’t necessarily match the smoothness of other games. But come May 2016, we’ll see how the final product shapes up.