The PS4 and Windows exclusive Resident Evil spin off Umbrella Corps is set to release at an unspecified date in early 2016, and it's going to be a much more shooter-focused game than it's predecessors, a multi-player in the vein of the popular Call Of Duty series.
Set after the events of Resident Evil 6, the Umbrella corporation is gone, but their deadly research continues causing problems for the world. Zombies man, you can't keep the bastards down. When the Resident Evil series antagonistic corporation collapsed their viruses and bio-weaponry samples ended up trading hands on the black market, with various other corrupt and dangerous corporations crawling out of the woodwork to fill the wide gap left by Umbrella.
But whilst Umbrella are widely held as one of the most dangerous of all the cliche evil video game corporations, how do they measure up to some of the other big players out there?
Umbrella Corporation: Resident Evil
The public face of the Umbrella Corp dealt in everything from cosmetics to healthcare, whilst secretly working on military and bio-weaponary projects behind the scenes.
The t-Virus is their deadliest creation, the weaponised virus that turns normal folks into slobbering zombies and due to a series of events linked to corporate espionage and just plain incompetence they ended up infecting Racoon City, which was subsequently nuked by the government to quell the outbreak. Good job guys.
Whilst Umbrella certainly did seek profit it was initially born as the playground of Lord Oswell E. Spencer, a mad scientist who sought to recreate the world as he saw fit. So, wanting to take over the world then, that old chestnut.
There's a long list of these, but going back to the Umbrella Corp roots gives us a good one. George Trevor was the architect who designed the Spencer Mansion under which Umbrella's experiments with the t-Virus were taking place, and since they didn't want word getting out about what they were up to there they decided to bump him off.
After leaving him to die of dehydration and starvation inside the underground passages next to his own tombstone they used his wife and 14-year old daughter as test subjects for the Progenitor Virus (from which was created the t-Virus) just for good measure.
His wife Jessica died, but his daughter Lisa mutated into an immortal, psychotic killing machine who haunted the mansion's underground areas, killing anyone unlucky enough to stumble across her before tearing off and wearing their faces. Alrighty then.
4/5: Whilst their methods were certainly less than pleasant and they had a penchant for sticking viruses into folk, Umbrella as a whole usually didn't intend to cause the destruction that they brought upon the world, the damage often being done by rogue scientists and sabotage.
So they get points deducted for incompetence, step up your evil game Umbrella.
Vault-Tech Corporation: Fallout
Given that Fallout 4 is currently dominating the gaming sphere right now it would seem a shame not to mention the Vault-Tech Corporation. Vault-Tech were established by the US government prior to the nuclear apocalypse to build a system of bomb-proof underground shelters. They did this, but turned the vaults into grounds for human experimentation.
It was the perfect system, as no-one could leave due to the nuclear fallout lurking outside the sealed vault doors. Each vault had a different experimental purpose designed prior to their creation, some more evil than others.
The vaults were set up in order to carry out experiments with the aim of researching new technologies, such as the Forced Evolutionary Virus (FEV) which features heavily in the series. They also carried out psychological experimentation along with bioengineering and weaponry programmes.
The psychological experimentation was part of the Societal Preservation Program, the immoral experiments designed to allow the government to secretly study the behaviour and reaction of specific groups of the populace to elements of isolation and other environmental and social stresses.
Vault 87 - gave birth to the Super Mutant and Centaurs races through testing the FEV on unwitting inhabitants.
Vaults 68 & 69 - these vaults were populated by a 1000:1 male-female ratio and vice-versa, with Vault 68 having 1 woman with 1000 men and Vault 69 1000 women with just 1 man. Since it's unlikely that 999 folk out of the populace would be gay, I'll leave this one up to your imagination.
Vault 106 - Psychoactive drugs were gradually dispensed into the vault's population, driving the survivors insane and violent.
Vault 11 - a well-stocked facility, Vault 11 was a disturbing experiment in mortality. Each year the members had to nominate one dweller to be sacrified or else everyone would be killed. This resulted in groups forming to sway political favour, doing things such as threatening residents into performing sexual favours in exchange for them not being voted for. It ended badly, murder and suicide leaving only five alive who refused to vote for one person, accepting their deaths instead.
It was then they discovered that this was the aim all along, and that the threat of mass death had been a lie. Had they refused from the get go everyone would have been allowed to live and even leave the vault if they wished. Ouch.
3/5: Vault-Tech are pretty evil because they prey upon the primal fears of the apple pie American family, pretending to provide them with shelter in the face of the nuclear apocalypse but instead exploiting and experimenting upon them. But they're not quite as bad as some of the others on this list, so we'll give them a moderate pass.
Shinra Electric Power Company: Final Fantasy VII
Where to begin with Shinra? The primary antagonists of the much loved Final Fantasy 7, the evil Shinra Electric pretty much embodies every fear surrounding power companies and their affect on the environment. They're like British Petroleum but evil(er).
As if being an environment destroying power company wasn't bad enough they also branched out into genetic engineering, militarisation and space exploration. They employed their own personal military squad of genetically enhanced super-soldiers with superhuman strength and speed to do their dirty work, and woe betide anyone who got in their way. This group of super-soldiers were called SOLDIER (inventiveness was clearly not one of Shinra's strong points) and from this group came Cloud's nemesis and Aeris' murderer, Sephiroth.
Basically, to become as powerful and wealthy as they could.
Shinra's initial wealth and influence came from their discovery that they could create the Mako energy source from harvesting the literal life energy of the planet, called the Lifestream. With it's massive and rapid expansion Shinra leaked into every aspect of modern life, causing the inhabitants of Gaia to become dependant upon the company.
Apart from the fact that they were literally draining the life-force of the planet (which consists of the souls of every person who has lived and died) for profit, Shinra also waged wars for their own benefit, turning the once proud Wutai nation into a tourist attraction and destroying their land to build Mako Reactors. They torch entire towns just to flush out anti-Shinra terrorists, and destroyed an entire section of Midgar and countless lives just to kill six people. Take your pick.
4/5: The only reason they're not getting 5/5 is cause we haven't seen any concrete evidence of Shinra drowning puppies for fun... Yet.
Abstergo Industries: Assassin's Creed
Another multinational conglomerate, Abstergo Industries are the antagonists throughout the modern-day narrative of the [Assassin's Creed](tag:437814) series.
Don't be fooled by the shiny happy entertainment and technology divisions of the company, they're really a front for the atheistic Templar Order - the big bad of the entire franchise. Abstergo features in some way in each game in the main series, with the player character being either a captive, enemy or employee of the company as they search for the legendary Pieces of Eden which allow for the manipulation of man's will.
To create a "perfect world" via the subjugation of the human race, eliminating free thought and movement in favour of order and control.
Formerly known as the Order of the Knights Templar, they've manipulated history from the shows via politics and assassinations to achieve their aims - including arranging for the death of President John F. Kennedy and the fall of the communist regime. The Assassin Order stands against them as, though they both strive for a peaceful world, the Assassins believe in allowing the public to retain their free will.
Well, the Templars crucified Jesus in order to take possession of the Shroud, one of the pieces of Eden, that's pretty cold. They also arranged for the deaths of Ezio Auditore's assassin father Giovanni, as well as his brothers Federico and Petruccio. Ezio saw his father and brothers die before his eyes, a shocking and sobering opening to Assassin's Creed II.
As for Abstergo themselves, they've kidnapped various Assassins to use as test subjects for their Animus project (Desmond Miles being the 17th of these), leading to their mental degradation and eventual deaths.
2.5/5: They're pretty damned cruel, but at least they're doing what they think is morally correct... Most of the time. The series has forced us to be sympathetic towards them on more than one occasion and let's be honest, who didn't want to play as badass Templar Haytham Kenway instead of the whiny Connor in Assassin's Creed 3?
RuptureFarms: Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee
RuptureFarms is a meat processing company which exists in Oddworld, the setting of Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee. The CEO is a Glukkon (a powerful industrial race) called Molluck, who is the epitome of evilness with the face to go with it.
RuptureFarms drove edible species such as the Meeches to extinction through over farming in order to keep their profits up, whilst employing a slave labour crew of Mudokons, including the titular character Abe.
To make money, pure and simple. No big ideologies or grand schemes, just sheer profiteering off the backs of others. And given their actions it seems likely that they were also just evil dicks.
The CEO Glukkon was part of the Magog Cartel, the dominant industrial power on Oddworld who considered all other races and species inferior to themselves, so when they ran out of their best selling Meeches meat, he had a solution...
Their attempt to turn their slave labour force, the Mudokons, into meat to be sold in their factory. That's it, pure and simple genocide for profit and meaty goodness. Dear God.
5/5: Slave labour is one thing, but then turning your work force into processed meat? Nah, screw it, you're going straight to the top of the list buddy.