The Resident Evil series (known as “Biohazard” in Japan) has undergone many iterations over the years, beginning as a survival horror title before eventually branching out to more action-oriented gameplay as sequels and spinoffs progressed. However, one consistency throughout the franchise has always been a focus on narrative driven, typically (but not exclusively) single-player campaigns — even when the series detoured into the co-op optional “rail-shooter” genre with Umbrella Chronicles and Darkside Chronicles on the Nintendo Wii. But that distinction will end later this year when the series makes its first foray into the online multiplayer-focused shooter genre with Resident Evil: Umbrella Corps.
Now, a new trailer has revealed more gameplay and scenarios from the anticipated third-person shooter, along with a release date: Umbrella Corps is now set to debut in May of 2016.
In a marked departure from the previous Resident Evil games, Umbrella Corps takes the form of a multiplayer third-person tactical shooter whose gameplay has been compared to Ghost Recon: Phantoms. Set several years after the conclusion of Resident Evil 6 and the dismantling of the sinister Umbrella Corporation, the story setup involves teams of mercenaries from rival corporations tasked with entering zombie and monster-infested areas to hunt for valuable technology and other assets left behind by the now-defunct organization. Players (who can also play from a first-person view) will control mercenaries from one of two rival outfits, fighting each other for control of so-called “compact battle-zones,” while avoiding taking damage that attracts the undead. Though there is no single-player campaign, a single-player “horde mode” called ‘The Experiment’ is available and also showcased in the new trailer.
Though Umbrella Corps was created by Capcom’s main studio in Osaka, Japan, its developers have openly endeavored to pattern the game after “Western-style” shooters, with an eye on making the title viable as part of the ever-growing (and increasingly popular worldwide) eSports pro-gaming scene. The game’s arenas will be culled from classic locations across the history of the Resident Evil series, with the trailer showing off the iconic village from fan-favorite Resident Evil 4.
Despite the callbacks to beloved moments, however, many longtime fans of the series have cried foul over the series taking this particular direction. Debuting all the way back in 1996 on the original Playstation, Resident Evil is now considered one of the all-time classic series of the gaming medium by at least two generations of dedicated gamers. The present-day ubiquity of the multiplayer-only shooter genre is often a bitter and contentious topic among those who believe the more robust traditional single-player experience continues to be devalued. As such, seeing this particular franchise follow suit has been met with some outrage and concern — especially considering a previous foray into the shooter genre, Operation Raccoon City, was poorly received in 2012.
2016 is Resident Evil‘s 20th anniversary, but thus far, despite the milestone, Capcom has not announced plans for the series apart from a remake of Resident Evil 2 that is currently without a release date. A sixth installment of the popular (though divisive among fans) Resident Evil feature film franchise is slated for release in fall, with reports indicating that it will be the last film in that particular series. Currently subtitled The Final Chapter, it will once again star Milla Jovovich and be written and directed by her husband, Paul W.S. Anderson.
Screen Rant will have more information for you on Resident Evil: Umbrella Corps as it is made available.
Source: Resident Evil