Resident Evil has had a long history, with successful games, and less successful movies. Outbreak is the latest offering from the horror masters so we put it through its paces - more of the same, or a new kind of horror?
The first thing that strikes you about Outbreak are the graphics - they are quite honestly something else. So much so, that the normal movie style introduction, with credits and so on (of which I am an ardent hater) is actually worth watching. You can see that someone has put in the hard yards to do this right, and the result is very satisfying. In the game itself, the graphics are good, but the slower pace of the game means there is often time to see much more of what is going on. The sound is also very good - turn it up loud.
The normal Resident Evil formula involves you adventuring (normally) on your own against the hordes of undead. Outbreak takes a slightly different twist, encouraging cooperative action. In fact, without teamwork you’ll suffer. As we understand it, the original premise for the game was for it to be an online multiplayer, but the online capability is lacking from the UK version - and the fans are livid as the US version supports online play.
So you start the game choosing one of eight players, all with different skills. Interestingly there is only one cop, so straight out shooting is not the answer - stealth is now on the menu. You start the game in a bar, where all the characters are hanging out. As this is a cooperative game its best to work with the others. You may find yourself separated from them, but if you listen out, you’ll hear the screaming and you can meet up again, which adds an interesting dimension to the game.
As to the gameplay itself, I found it was a little slow and chaotic. The controls felt slow and cumbersome. That seems to be a common feature of the horror genre, of which I’m not a great fan. The other characters, whilst being helpful in some aspects, had a habit of getting in the way and flapping around a bit, which got irritating. It falls into the normal Resident Evil gaming style and if you are a fan, you’ll certainly be itching to get your hands on this. However, if you’ve not ventured into Resident Evil, then I’m not convinced that this is the best game in the series.
There is also the additional option of buying extra things as you gain credits - anything to keep the hordes of fans happy - especially if they have been stripped of their multiplayer versions! However, the US version does have the online feature, so you may consider purchasing abroad if you are equipped to do so. Overall, it’s a much anticipated addition to the Resident Evil world, but feels as though it has been rushed out before Christmas - graphics are great, but the game feels a little short and not the best out there.