Monday, Dec 12
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Resident Evil: Outbreak File # 2 - PlayStation 2
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About this item
- Five terrifying new scenarios and locales including a zoo, the subway and police station
- expansive environments
- online mode up to 4 players
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Continuing the dramatic story of an epidemic caused by a secret biological weapon infecting the people of Raccoon City, Resident Evil Outbreak File #2 brings longtime survival horror fans back into the world of online terror. Citizens are turning into flesh-eating zombies and swarming the streets, while only a few desperate survivors remain. Totaling eight characters in all, each survivor has different and unique abilities that they must use to escape the city before the government annihilates it with a deadly hydrogen bomb. Brand new scenarios, improved computer AI, additional character powers, and faster load times are but a few of the game's new additions since the previous version. Developed exclusively for the PlayStation 2.
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For "alternative" RE titles, i.e., ones that take place outside the official RE cannon, Outbreak Files 1 and 2 are actually quite good. The graphics are very satisfying (even compared to today's standards), the control is great, the character animations are good, and the environments are well designed. Overall the games have a nice degree of polish, like they were actually finished before being released (unlike many of today's games).
The only real complaint I have to levy against Files 1 and 2 is the insanity-provoking, extremely obscure nature of the puzzles. In these two games, each level or mission is basically a giant maze that runs vertically and horizontally (basically, a three-dimensional maze). It is never easy to get from point A to point B in this game; you have to do certain things to "open the maze up", so to speak--as is expected in any video game. The problem arises when you realize how difficult it is to figure out what you have to do to proceed. The "clues" the game gives you are so unclear that they are basically useless: in fact, they often lead you in the wrong direction. You'll have many moments where you're sure you've finally figured something out, only to find out that you were wrong yet again. I tell you it is maddening. It is so maddening that I resorted to watching walkthroughs of each level on Youtube just to be able to finish them. One thing that makes figuring the puzzles out so difficult is that items and clues in the environment are very easy to miss. They don't stand out with a permanent glow or glistening outline. Instead, items and clues are indicated with a meager flash that occurs once about every two or three seconds. Combine this with camera angles that you cannot control and it becomes very easy to miss an important item or clue that is required to proceed in the level. I've spent lots of time just running around levels, trying to locate that obscure corner or piece of furniture that didn't happen to flash when I was looking at it before. It really does make the game frustrating.
Another very odd thing about these games is the save system. The save system is useless because if you die after you save, your save is deleted. Also, if you do save, you have to quit the game. So there's no point in saving.
The levels in this game are most purely enjoyed once you've already played them a couple of times and know what you need to do to proceed. Once the spatial layout of each level finally gets straightened out in your head you can focus more on having fun than running around and trying to figure out what to do next. Also, I would recommend playing Files 1 and 2 on an older, CRT television if you can, because they look much better that way.
If you're a RE fan and would like to take a shot at completing all the RE games, I suggest picking up these two titles. Just be aware that you can't play them online anymore.
Here are some things I love about this game:
-There are different kinds of enemies you encounter and different places to explore. There's an entire zoo level available from the start, where you'll fight many different zombie animals. There's also a subway, an abandoned hospital in the middle of a the Arklay mountains, and you also get to revisit the RPD police station from RE2 and RE3. All of these are separate scenarios; there is no clear connection between one scenario and the others.
-You can play as 8 different characters, all with different levels of vitality, speed, and very different personalities. If you want to power through the stages, then chose Kevin, the RPD rookie or Mark, the security guard. Both starts a stage with weapons in their inventory. If you're looking to run away from most enemies, you can select Cindy, who has an herb case to store and mix herbs for extra capacity, or Yoko, who can hold up to eight items at once and has an handy dodge action. Not only do the different characters have different endings, they also make every run through of a scenario different from the last. It's fun trying to figure out how to use a character best, and also to see which one is more suitable for a scenario.
-There's plenty of unlockable characters, pictures, soundtracks, and playing modes unlockable to keep you coming back for more. There's 4 difficulty settings that allow you to get used to the control scheme and to give yourself a challenge.
-Another thing I like about this game is the ability to tackle enemies, which gives you a chance to run past them. This makes it easier to conserve your ammo for the final bosses, and makes it so that you can survive an entire stage without having to use a single bullet. I also like the ability to dodge (only some characters have this). The tackle itself, which all characters can do, can also work as a dodge, which is great.
Now for the bad parts.
-The loading times can get irritating if you are impatient. It can take about 7 seconds going from one door to the next.
-Your AI partners tend to just run around getting themselves in danger often. They won't always listen to you, and they rarely help you attack enemies. There is no more online for this game, so you can either play solo or try to deal with your partners.
-The control scheme can be a bit difficult to master.
I can honestly say this is one of my favorite Resident Evil to date despite these flaws. It is one of the more realistic ones, as you get to play as everyday people living in Raccoon City, and it is challenging. The characters and locations are charming, and its got a lot of replay value if you can get past these flaws.
I bought this game not too long ago for 17 dollars off amazon. Now it can be found for as cheap as 10 dollars! If you like Resident Evil but haven't played the Outbreak series, you should definitely give this one a try, or even try the first one since it is even cheaper.