Capcom has announced that the next Resident Evil game will be, believe it or not, a third-person competitive shooter called Umbrella Corps. Set to come out in early 2016, the game will feature teams of special forces mercenaries fighting one another on behalf of nefarious corporations pursuing ever-more-ethically dubious advances into the field of bio-weaponry. The idea sounds a little like the decidedly less than excellent Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, but at this point we're in the benefit of the doubt period.
Umbrella Corps will be built around "quick-and-dirty matches in compact battle zones," with multiple modes of play. Players will have access to all sorts of conventional weapons and armor, as well as "less traditional gear," like the Brainer combat axe, the arm-worn Tactical Shield device that enables the use of zombies as cover (and yes, there will be zombies), and Terrain Spikes, which despite the name are apparently better for walking on the faces of your enemies than traversing tough ground.
The trailer doesn't look awful, although I can't say it's knocked my socks clean off. More than anything, I find it baffling. Even recognizing the evolution of Resident Evil from survival horror to a more action-oriented run-and-gun style of play, Umbrella Corps seems pretty far off the ranch—like if Bethesda announced that the new Doom was going to have a stealth level. It wouldn't necessary be bad, but why?
A Resident Evil-based shooter isn't completely unprecedented, and Umbrella Corps may have echos of Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, the four-player co-op shooter that came out in 2012. But given the rather unhappy reaction to that game, I'm a little surprised that Capcom is anxious to dip its toes back into that water. Perhaps the feeling is that, by stripping out the story, it can strip out most of what went wrong the last time around?
In any event, Umbrella Corps will set you back $30/£25, and as mentioned, is slated to come out early next year. Until then, enjoy some screens.