Outbreak: The New Nightmare – Review
Follow Genre: Action, Survival, Horror
Developer: Dead Drop Studios LLC
Publisher: Dead Drop Studios LLC
Platform: PC, Xbox One
Tested On: PC

Outbreak: The New Nightmare – Review

Site Score
7.5
Good: A really nice homage to the Outbreak series
Bad: Still has mainly empty servers.
User Score
8.2
(6 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.2/10 (6 votes cast)

In the year 2004 the Resident Evil franchise decided to release one of its most beloved titles: Outbreak. This game was praised for many great things and the new approach went viral with the fans because you now play as an everyday human and not a trained special operator. And even now, more than ten years have passed and the hardcore fans still play Outbreak File 1 and 2. They could only dream of a remake or a File 3 coming out, and this is where Dead Drop Studios LLC comes into play. With a game that pays ultimate homage to this series, we take our friends and grab our guns for another survival game, but not in Raccoon City.

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Story

September 2016 was a turning point for the sake of humanity, a serious drought in the summer had caused bad hygiene and rationing among the crowd. After this all settled down, the inhabitants of a sleepy town thought that the bad times were over and they started to celebrate fall. It was all cheerful and joyous until brutal incidents flooded the Arzt Memorial Hospital and the city started to fall under the outbreak of the living dead.

While many banded together and the police had the initial problems under control, the rapid growing number of infected caused the masses to get overwhelmed and the few remaining survivors were drawn to a building that was still open. Arriving at Kraus Shipping Industries our story commences, and the fight for survival begins. The story is told by screens of text, with a complimentary background. Each scenario is nicely stringed together and each character also comes with a detailed story. For this kind of game there is enough to go around, and players will be excited to learn how things went down step by step, so the story keeps us hooked.

Graphics

Outbreak: The New Nightmare has been created to please the many fans that loved the classic Resident Evil titles and the special feeling this whole concept gave us. Ever since the last title came out in 2004 we never saw this kind of game again. While the classical camera angles were also a design choice to create beautiful static scenery, it also means that placing these viewpoints is crucial and sometimes when these are badly placed it will cause frustration about finding or picking up some items or overcoming obstructions.

outbreak the new nightmare (1)

This nice title has smooth graphics on a lower setting and is really detailed on a higher setting but still needs some optimization because the frame rate drops even on a high-end PC. What we can remember from the Resident Evil games is that, even though these are already quite older, the animations were very detailed and well-animated. In The New Nightmare the characters are rather bland and all share the same models, what is even worse is that these animations just feel wrong and simplified in a short coding session.

As big as the levels are, the developers did their best creating unique and likeable scenarios. Each stage has its own grim atmosphere and feels like the stories you are told actually went down a short while ago. Every section is nicely detailed but it takes a little effort to pick out the usable documents since these can be hidden (while in most games these do stand out).

Sound

A game can become nostalgic just by having a great soundtrack, therefore when you hear a song that was played a lot in a game your mind goes back to those days. What takes the little drop on Outbreak is that there is no real music list in the game. The whole playthrough is pretty much mute with the exception of moaning zombies, your gunfire and fires crackling. This does give an eerie vibe but makes long sessions a bit more boring.

What did take us back is the well-known Outbreak intro, saying the games name out loud in the intro screen like with the older Resident Evil games, the developers made a nod to those titles and did the same to Outbreak: The New Nightmare.

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Gameplay

Outbreak: The New Nightmare is a survival horror game that takes the classic thrills of fighting the undead with limited resources. While thinking of classic you will surely remember the old-school tank controls that were used in the early Resident Evil titles. These controls make an appearance again as a harder option, or you can choose to have a modern approach with direct input. Well the developers have both sides covered to let you select how you want to play the game. The thing that went hand in hand with these controls is the select camera placement around the map. While this used to be done for the limited capabilities back in the days, the new open area maps provide a modern take on these older titles but it comes at a cost. Since these point of views are sometimes badly placed it hinders gameplay because some items are not easily recognizable.

Talking about the maps in Outbreak there is a very nice variation of locations in the city. This ranging from a more forest-like place to dense city streets filled with undead and big factories that used to be shelter for the living. A thing that might turn down the true hunters is that all the key items are already shown on the map. This might be done since each area is fully open and zombies keep on spawning endlessly while resources get depleted. It is very helpful and even with these tips the game isn’t still that easy. You can find a decent amount of weapons and items scattered around. While this is entirely random with some being scripted (like heavier tools for boss fights) there will be enough firepower for you on your own and when playing with friends you just have to share a bit and everything and you should be fine. Healing items are more day-to-day based objects that function like the herbs but do heal on their own (while the red one never did something solo).

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Another nod back to the Resident Evil Outbreak series is the normal citizen character list with their unique background and abilities. Outbreak wouldn’t be a true homage if they’d forget this feature, and yes we have a nice amount of unique personas that each has good and bad sides. One of our heroes is an ex-soldier that starts with a shotgun but has less resistance to status changes, or a fireman that starts with a great melee weapon and extra item space or a musician that can pick locks. A new and cool feature is that when you play with a character these will get XP and you are able to level up and unlock new perks to have better resistances or start out with better items. Probably the coolest feature of Outbreak: The New Nightmare is the ability to play online with others or with friends so you can survive the horror together, or be a lone wolf and survive on your own in the single player section.

In our review we compared this game to its inspiration point. While the developers did nod back at many cool things from the past there were a few things that felt missing. There is a basic attitude towards weapons where performance differences weren’t always that noticeable. And one thing that would have made it all too much cooler would be the return of the virus gauge.

Conclusion

Outbreak: The New Nightmare is the best thing we could have dreamed of: Classic controls in a new jacket and most gameplay mechanics remained like they used to. We missed a true survival game like this for many years. If you pick up this title, be sure to conserve your ammo because if you don’t, you won’t see daylight again. While the graphics are fine and the sound could have had some more work done to it, this ends up as a great title and even better if played with friends.

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Rating: 8.2/10 (6 votes cast)
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Outbreak: The New Nightmare – Review, 8.2 out of 10 based on 6 ratings
MC_JP
MC_JP


Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

1 Comment

  1. […] controls. In both ways the game controls fluidly but there still are some bugs or glitches present. In the review of the previous game a bug was mentioned, namely that using most close-ranged weapons bugged the enemies so they could […]

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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