The Umbrella Chronicles has received above-average scores from critics. GamePro praised its unlockable secrets and satisfying gameplay. They added that "The only downside to The Umbrella Chronicles is that longevity will be an issue."
GameTrailers called it "fantastic overall" and a "superb entry in the genre". They praised the game for its surprising length and unlockable content, but stated that while the graphics "look good", they were sometimes "a step behind" Resident Evil 4. They added that having the game on rails actually makes it scarier, and that it's "basically a love letter" to fans of the series.
IGN praised the game for having "amazingly cool" design but complained about the lack of representation from Resident Evil 2 and 4 as well as the gameplay, which they felt was too slow. On the other hand, they called the presentation "pretty impressive" and stated that "there’s no denying the fun" they had with it.
Zero Punctuation claimed that the game was a step back in time with it being on-rails, but as such had a "charming retro feel".
GameSpot praised the easy controls and the look and feel of the game, but criticized the music, stating that "it undermines the atmosphere," and that the "on-rails shooter gameplay can still feel restrictive.
1up.com dubbed The Umbrella Chronicles "an accessible, mostly satisfying shooter". They praised the depth and strategy offered by the gameplay, but complained about difficult headshots and stated that "it never really amounts to more than its concept". They went on to call it "a surprisingly meaty experience" and praised its "welcome accessibility".
Despite high review scores, some fans of the Resident Evil franchise have criticized it for the heavy amount of ported graphics, character and enemy models and animations, as well as poor (and often glitchy) audio placement. The characters can often be found shouting out random, disconnected dialogue, disconnected from the story and characters. Perhaps the most heavily criticized sections are the areas involving Raccoon City, as all save for a sparse few elements are ripped from previous Resident Evil titles. The entirety of the Raccoon City map is pulled directly from "Resident Evil Outbreak" and Outbreak File #2, with little or no alterations. the only elements of the game that can be deemed new and original are the models for Carlos, NEMESIS and Vlademir Sergi, as well as the maps for the Resident Evil Zero,1 and "Umbrella's End" missions. Some models were modified (Ada, Chris and Jill in winter gear) but the game is for the most part recycled.
The game has sold 1.1 million copies around the world since its debut on November 2007.