Resident Evil: Outbreak - PlayStation 2
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- Race against the clock in this deadly survival-horror game as you search for traces of uninfected life
- Collect weapons and equipment for use against the zombies, and fight your way through them to stay alive
- Witness the chain of events that span from Resident Evil 1 to 3 -- your character choices will enable scenarios from each
- Cooperative and 4-player multiplayer gameplay for terrifying gaming -- you'll never know what's waiting for you in the darkness
- Advanced game mechanics and 3D graphics to emphasize the horror aspects and improve gameplay
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The horrifically deadly T-Virus plagues Raccoon City. Uncover the source and stop it before the entire population is eradicated! Resident Evil Outbreak takes players on a thrilling new ride with online play! Choose from up to 8 playable characters and watch your decisions sculpt the story before your very eyes. Join up to 4 others for chilling multiplayer horror, or crank up the sound and play solo for a guaranteed sleepless night!
The virus has spread online, and Resident Evil's gameplay has never been so infectious. Fighting for life with three human-controlled characters at your side definitely adds an element of unfamiliarity to the survival horror mix, but make no mistake, this is still Resident Evil. Whether you find yourself jumping out of your seat as a zombie crashes through a window, marveling at the action in the cutscenes, or complaining about the stiffness of control and awkwardly placed camera angles, this is just another trip to Raccoon City. Only this time, you're with friends.
I really have to hand it to Capcom for making teamwork the cornerstone of gameplay. In every room that you reach, this game hammers home the message that you have to stick together and work as a group. When jumping from one rooftop to another, you may misjudge the distance and fall short. Thankfully, a teammate can pull you up.
Even before the game commences, you'll find yourself coordinating tactics with your soon-to-be companions at the character selection screen. In a similar vein to an RPG, each of the eight playable characters that you can select brings completely different abilities to the table that you must factor in. Do you bring a lock-picker? Someone with extra inventory spots? Or rely on firepower with a weapons expert?
Unlike the other games in the series, zombies can pass from room to room and are often found in packs. Taking this newfound hunting prowess into account, Capcom has implemented a handful of new techniques that players can use to survive. You can slide under beds, hide in lockers, and even repel a zombie attack by forcing their head away from your neck with enough breathing room to raise your pistol and shoot them directly between the eyes. You'll even find strategy in the reloading of weapons. For instance, a box of shells takes more time to load than a clip. As annoying as it is to watch your character get munched because he couldn't load the rounds quick enough, I really like this aspect. It makes you keep an eye on every little detail.
Where Outbreak excels in engrossing multiplayer and creative gameplay, the overall design of the game is very odd. Rather than creating one lengthy quest that players can really sink their teeth into, Capcom opted to break up the game into five separate scenarios that are roughly 45 minutes each. If you die, you'll turn into a zombie for a brief extent (and yes, you can attack your teammates if you like), then will be dropped out of the game. Sadly, you can't re-spawn. You either have to wait for your friends to finish up, or find another game to enter. While scripted controller commands are offered, it doesn't support voice chat at all or keyboard functionality in-game. Someone's head should roll for this!
All told, this is a surprisingly enjoyable online venture that showcases some amazing gameplay concepts, yet a lack of foresight in the delivery of multiplayer.
A highly creative, yet slightly flawed approach to multiplayer survival horror
Not as lavish as the recent GameCube releases, yet impressive nonetheless
Great ambiance, but it sure would be nice to communicate with other players. Where's the voice chat?!
Familiar RE controls with innovative teammate techniques and newfound environment interaction
Entertaining, yet lacking all the elements that would keep you hooked
Rated: 7.5 out of 10
Editor: Andrew Reiner
Issue: May 2004
Why isn't there voice chat in Resident Evil: Outbreak? For the love of all that is holy, I want to give this game a good score for its thoughtful level design, nice graphics, intense gameplay, and smart mission structure – but that missing headset support throws the whole experience out of whack. These levels are fast-paced and frantic, almost like an FPS, and what you want is to make some sort of strategy. This just isn't possible with the canned commands available, as "You two check out the locker room and we're going to search the owner's office. Meet back here and we'll go up to the 3rd floor," weirdly isn't mapped to the right analog stick. So, this game gets the backhanded compliment of being "high concept" like Crystal Chronicles and Steel Battalion, for example. My ideal setup is playing this game with four friends, four TVs, and four PS2s all in the same room. Get this setup, and the game is a real gem.
Rated: 8 out of 10
Editor: Lisa Mason
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I never did play the online feature (lack of friends with PS2 HDDs and Ethernet adapters); but the single player mode with AI partners was still a breathtaking experience. You play as one of eight Raccoon City civilians caught in the initial outbreak (The first Scenario takes place two days prior to the events of RE3) and run and fight for your very survival. Each character has a unique playstyle, making each time you run through a scenario different. Yoko is a meek college student who's not terribly physically fit, but has a knapsack that allows her to hold twice the items and a Dodge action that lets you crawl away from an enemy. She is served better as a support member than offensive player, since her health and movement speed are the lowest, as well as her damage output being the worst. While Kevin is a physically fit, well-trained street patrol officer who has the fastest running speed, second highest health and has the highest damage output from firearms and second highest melee damage output. He also starts off with a Colt 1911A1 and can take potshots that doubles the damage of handguns(except ones with burst or fully-automatic fire). Kevin's much better served as a room clearer and boss fighter, since he lacks any defensive moves and is purely offense. The other survivors each have their own move sets, damage output and movement speeds and vitality depending on their career/background and physical fitness levels. The five scenarios don't favor any playstyle over an other (Though some are much better suited for some parts, such as Kevin with his 1911 being used in narrow hallways, where melee weapons will just hit the wall and not connect with the enemy. While others like Yoko shine in scenarios where there's a lot of backtracking and scenarios are longer(like the last one, hint hint).), so you can feel free to experiment with different characters and tactics each time you play, providing a different experience.
The gameplay itself is standard RE fare, but much smoother, responsive and faster paced than previous Resident Evil titles. In past games, the average clear time was around 3-5 hours. While in this one, the average scenario clear time is closer to 30-45 minutes depending on how well you are at solving puzzles and not getting lost. While this may seem short, remember that you have 5 scenarios to go through; so you're still getting your money's worth (I did, when it was around 10-20 dollars used. I felt like I was underpaying for such a great game). The addition of AI teammates is a love and hate relationship. When you're in Danger and moving at a snail's pace, your AI teammates will come over and pick you up and defend you while you make your way to a healing item. If they happen to have a healing item, they'll often give it to you (some are jerks, though). They also can fetch key items for the scenario if you guys have to split up and search the area. (This is especially useful in Scenarios like Hellfire, where it can get very confusing right away since you can explore 3 floors worth of rooms and hallways, and each side is split up between east and west.) But, at times they can be quite... stupid. Some AI partners like David have no qualms about wasting rarer ammo such as 12 Gauge shotgun shells and .44 Magnum rounds on weaker enemies like zombies and crows. Leaving you underprepared for boss fights due to the AI partner being a dolt. It's recommended you take the best weapons for yourself and hold on to them while you use one of the AI partners to cover you with more common weapons such as handguns and pipes. All in all though, the AI is usually awesome.
While you may think you're going to get bored quickly, since there's only five scenarios. You're sadly mistaken, there is tons of replay value here. You can collect invisible special items if you hit X at a certain spot in the area, there are 260 of these spread out through the five scenarios; with some only appearing on certain difficulties and you are only allowed to take 8 in each scenario(Doing this unlocks special characters that are some of the most fun to play as. There are also character specific SP items, getting all of them unlocks an alternate costume and all of their spoken lines and even some cut lines.). There's also an event checklist, which you will never 100% in your first playthrough (100%ing each scenario checklist gives you infinite mode, so it's a worthwhile investment.). There is also a gallery mode, which lets you spend your hard-earned Reward Points(more on this later) on things such as Background music, concept and game art, new characters (which are really just skins for the eight characters, but with different stats and each one starts with an additional item, making them actually viable for more than just aesthetics.), cutscenes from the game, etc. Unlocking everything in the game will take you a while (I still haven't 100%'d the game, there is just so much to do.). The game also tracks your stats. Which characters you use the most, which status you're in most of the time, which weapons you use most of the time, what your fastest clear rate is for a certain scenario on a specific difficulty and what character. This game is a speedrunner's nightmare, since getting the fastest time possible for each scenario can be screwed up by one wrong move(accidentally running to the left and getting grabbed by a zombie, costing you a valuable 3 seconds) or by the game just deciding it wants to troll you(The Hunters in Below Freezing Point deciding to instant kill you, despite the fact your status is in Fine). But it's a fun challenge, since you also have special conditions such as using No Weapons or not taking any damage. You can always find a new challenge for yourself with this game.
While in past RE games, you got a rank at the end of the game based on how many times you saved, how fast you cleared the game and how many first aid spays you used. Outbreak has a thing called "Reward Points', along with the usual Rank (which is only affected by time it took to complete the game). Each time you activate something on the event checklist, you get a few points. Each enemy you kill, you get a few points, each file and map you collect also nets you point. Special Items can also give boost the amount of points you get by a good margin if you get as much as you can. The special conditions such as No Damage or No Weapons double(or triple depending on the difficulty you're playing) the amount of points you get at the end. So getting the highest score possible for each scenario will give you something to shoot for. Using First Aid Sprays doesn't affect the amount of Reward Points you get, but you do lose points each time you take damage and if you partners die. If your attacks miss, this also affects your Reward Points (despite the fact the game doesn't keep track of accuracy for your character stats). There are just so many variables, it makes each playthrough exciting or frustrating depending if you're speedrunning or not.
The story is similar to Dark Souls, as in that it's not really obvious and a lot of it can just fly over your head if you don't take the time to look at the files, listen to the dialogue carefully or look at the environment. RE fans will recognize all the shoutouts to previous RE games (namely 1, 2 and 3). The voiceacting for some characters is a bit 'ugh' worthy at times, but the actors make themselves somewhat believable and the characters are fairly likeable.
This game is definitely worth checking out if you're into Resident Evil, survival horror or are just looking to experience something new. Recommended you have an HDD to play this on, since loading times will be reduced dramatically. I give it a 4.5/5 or 9.5/10. It would be a 5/5 or 10/10 if the European and US servers were still up.
Really promisng survival horror classic. I recommend for people who enjoy classic RESIDENT EVIL titles who didn't try this REALLY NEED TO TRY IT. the only problem is it's online is outdated thats why i wish Capcom makes another or Remaster a Resident Evil outbreak game.
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Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on January 13, 2019
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on August 21, 2021