Review: Resident Evil Outbreak (File 2)

“The fear spreads further. The terror goes deeper. Even your friends can’t save you…”

File #2 seems to be a bit like marmite. You either love it or hate it. As a European gamer, file #2 has added something new to the outbreak series for me: online play. The first instalment unfortunately did not include this, but now PAL gamers can enjoy running around Raccoon City again. But how much can they enjoy it?

Online Play:
For me, it was a new thing. To be honest, I enjoy it very much so. Basically, you connect to a server and join “rooms” which then allow the game to begin. This is the only stage where you can communicate effectively with your partners, so I thoroughly recommend a USB keyboard to save time when chatting in the room. When the scenario begins, you and your team mates have to work together to get through the level. This is where outbreak’s main flaw is- voice communication (and the lack of it). Capcom claims that it would ruin the mood, but it would have been nice to have had the option because the pre-determined sound bites that you say by moving the analogue stick, just aren’t good enough. It was really a struggle to work out how to do the puzzles when all you can say is yes and no. The “ad-lib” that’s meant to give you context phrases, just says things like “hmmm” and “are you alright?”. However, if you can get over this then you can have a lot of fun online with your friends, especially on modes such as “Showdown” (fighting a series of bosses) and “Elimination” (shooting lots of T-virus infected creatures).

Online: 7/10

Graphics:

They don’t really matter in this game. They’re neither drop-dead gorgeous, nor poor. I’d consider them really good for the PS2 and it’s great to see the RPD made fully 3D and other such areas as they’ve been moved onto the PS2. It’s nice to see an end to the pre-rendered background.

Graphics: 8/10

Gameplay and Story:

Very fun if you have the patience to wade through the puzzles and such online, but single player really isn’t worth it. There’s also an RE first where you can move and shoot at the same time! There is huge replay value (Just ask forum user, Kowalski). New modes, difficulties, costumes and hundreds of goodies to unlock via accumulated points. With 8 different characters and 5 different scenarios, there are lots of combinations to replay the game. You can even port your old saved stuff from file #1. In terms of what it adds to the story, the scenarios are generally considered “What if?” situations, though many of us try to justify their position in the overall plot.

Gameplay and Story: 7/10

Other notes:

In my personal opinion, it’s bitterly disappointing that online Resident Evil was scenario based in a situation that didn’t make sense within the story line. I personally would have preferred something like RE1 except everybody computer controlled and maybe a couple of NPCs. A huge Raccoon City to try and escape in teams of 5 or something like that would have been good too. However, Outbreak falls far short of these dreams. I’d recommend a purchase to people to experience the online play, because it can be fun. It’s also brilliant for fans of the series who want to know more about the RE world.

Overall rating: 7/10

Capcom can do better and, hopefully, someday will.

               
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