One of the surprises of Tokyo Game Show 2015, Resident Evil: Umbrella Corps is a new entry into the long-running series, but unlike the mainline titles, it will be a third-person competitive online shooter.
Slated for release in 2016 on PlayStation 4 and PC without cross-play, Umbrella Corps was discussed by Producers Masachika Kawata and James Vance in an interview with GameSpot, where they revealed this different take on the series was done to capture the Western audience.
Asked if they’re doing anything to attract the Japanese audience, Kawata said:
Well, we think we’ve made a quite a unique proposition here. The close-quarters battle system that we’ve got with these quite cramped and claustrophobic environments combined with the unique elements like the Zombie Jammer (a backpack of sorts that keeps you safe from zombies when not directly attacking them) that you don’t find in many other titles will be enticing elements that will get Japanese users on board.
Umbrella Corps is not a hypothetical side scenario in the Resident Evil series. Instead, it’s set in the present day, after the events of Resident Evil 6. The title is ironic because Umbrella no longer exists at this time, though Kawata adds, “There’s definitely a kind of a background of the Resident Evil universe that forms the basis of the game’s premise.”
While “there’s no forward-facing story,” Vance says corporations have hired mercenaries to go into areas where a biological incident may have occurred to extract something of value. “In that regard, these areas will tie into the Resident Evil universe quite strongly, and there’s many things that you’ll see there, that we can’t reveal at this time, that have strong Resident Evil hooks.”
Allowing you to play a game with just five people, with victory or defeat “decided quickly,” Umbrella Corps doesn’t feature a standard progression system, and Capcom wants you to be the one who gets better with time:
There’s a points-based system in the game where as you do things, you earn points that can be used to get customizable options for your character and so forth. But we’re not locking it into a system where you’re getting a more powerful character just by playing for a longer time. You’re the one who has to become more powerful yourself as a player.
Weapons themselves will have their own strengths and weaknesses, “but there’s no ultimate weapon that if you get it you’ll be able to win.”
Always starting with your pistol and Zombie Brainer melee weapons, Umbrella Corps allows you to choose your main and sub-weapons through loadouts, “but there’s always the four main-weapon set: sub, main, brainer, and grenade. Of course, you have the shield as well.”
Talking about pricing details, Kawata confirmed Umbrella Corps won’t be a full-priced title, micro-transactions won’t be a focus, and there will be additional free DLC (maps, etc). He adds, “But it’s not something where we’re going to try and make the main source of revenue be constantly expanding extra content over a long period of time or anything like that.”
As for the future of Resident Evil, Capcom said, “If people are looking forward to games that are more back on the main track that we’ve released so far, we’ve got stuff in the pipeline in that direction too. We’ve got a nice selection of experiences that can suit most players.”