Since the mid-90s the Survival Horror giant, Resident Evil, has taken some innovative turns in its formula. Changing gameplay, setting, and a myriad of other components each iteration. As such, it has a rich and varied tableau of titles, with proponents and detractors from each game. In 2016, this tome added a chapter of cooperative and competitive zombie-based arena combat in the intriguingly named Umbrella Corp.
In the year 2012, you play as one of humankind’s last hopes against the t-virus, as the newly named Umbrella Corp, a task group formed to clean up the collapse of the similarly named Umbrella Corporation. This involves the player being sent into infested laboratories, to test new weapons, collect samples, and to slaughter the hostile undead, all while asking them if have the guts and willpower to survive?
As a member of a crack commando team, you’re tasked with turning the T-Virus riddled undead into a pile of goo. Sometimes your tasks are a little more granular like Collect 20 samples of Zombie D.N.A. for example. The controls scheme is simple enough to pick up, master and utilise, it’s simple, yet surprisingly varied, you get your two weapons, and a horrifically powerful Zombie axe. Yet you can crouch jump, kick, even hold the undead like Human shields, it’s not entirely one-sided as one or two swipes from those ghouls and you’re dead, so you’ve got to being both tactical and nimble to survive this gauntlet.
Much like the Mercenaries spin-off series of Resident Evil, it is style that you’re awarded for, with repeatable, ‘arenas’ that can be optimised and awarded for how quickly you complete the task. With awards and bragging rights on offer for the fastest times. Umbrella Corps focus is clearly on its multiplayer, but for those looking to go one on many with zombies, the single-player focused “The Experiment” will offer you tactical thrills as well. The single-player also uses a lot of the same ‘arenas’ that the multiplayer maps use, allowing you to further hone your craft.
Resident Evil has had a varied history, of reboots, concepts and innovations, yet Umbrella Corp gives its players a little bit of a fighting chance against the famous mutants. The focus on multiplayer is also praiseworthy, allowing quick-but concise packages of gladiatorial zombie carnage, allowing a sense of cooperative enjoyment to be extracted from the vibrant mythology of the decade-spanning Resident Evil Franchise. Umbrella Corp is easy to pick up, fun to master, and if you’ve got a couple of friends, it’s the best way to kill T-Virus carrying corpses until the real apocalypse happens.
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