Outbreak: The Nightmare Chronicles – 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 Nightmare Chronicles – Review

Site Score
5.5
Good: it feels the same like its predecessor
Bad: but it’s actually worse
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0
(0 votes)
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The classical Resident Evil games, you either loved them or hated them (or loved the game but hated the controls). After CAPCOM decided to go in a different direction with their franchise some fans were left in the cold, missing the classic survival feel while the new titles opted for a more action-packed sensation. Pure online survival horrors are hard to come by and with the previous release of Outbreak: The New Nightmare came the revival of the old Resident Evil: Outbreak online game. The victory was short-lived though. The game itself was fun but needed some fine-tuning, but what lacked the most were crowd filled servers. Since the low success of that title the developers now wanted to go fully to the roots of survival horror, fully honoring the first Resident Evil game.

Story

After the events of the previous Outbreak game our surviving party went and found a mysterious facility. When they stumbled upon the cure for all this mayhem, their hopes got crushed once more seeing that this solution actually did not help. Who knew that blowing everything up was not the right answer? Fighting again to see another day, one major event ripped the party apart and left our surviving character Lydia stranded alone in a dark mansion, in search for her friends and a way out. Unfortunately you will not know how the story ends since this game is planned to be episodic and will leave you with a big cliffhanger at the end.

Graphics

Nothing much has changed since the previous title, with around the same amount of effort put into the surroundings or slightly less than before you won’t really notice a difference between both. The mansion seems dark and scary and sceneries give you that old manor vibe which will take you on a nostalgic trip into Resident Evil territory. The map layout is like you’d expect from a manor with rooms neatly placed next to each other.

The characters and mobs look like they have been made differently and pasted on the backgrounds, this was done in the old Resident Evil games because the scenery was hand drawn and the game was put on it. There is a slight difference in zombie models and the Bio Organic Weapons will surely induce fear when encountered. The same goes for the bland animations from its predecessor, the player still looks like this stiff action figure that barely shows any emotion and everything just feels like the same.

Each weapon is recycled from the old one, when other games also do this they try to add minor differences so it always feels new. The blood and gore are perfectly on point but sometimes it is also overdone looking like a B action movie.

Sound

One thing they did learn from their mistakes is to add a soundtrack to the mix. A dark and eerie track plays, not the piano one of the classics but a more melodic strong vibe that rings through the cold halls. Zombies sound very genuine and their moaning is both intimidating and fear inducing, with these having good quality it is kind of sad that they have skimped on the weapon sounds. The guns all sound the same like in the other game and effects feel cheap. In a day and age where surround sound is standard this will take you back to the old basic stereo sounds. Looks like going the extra mile wasn’t the option here.

Gameplay

Outbreak: The Nightmare Chronicles is a survival horror game that mixes completing puzzles, resource management and dangerous fights in order to escape the living nightmare. One of the first options you must choose is what kind of control scheme you’d prefer, either take a more dynamic and direct approach or go full 1996 with the tank 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 never hit you. To fix this the developers implemented two abilities. Firstly, the enemies will use their ranged attack, even when they’re in close combat. The other fix is to make the enemy being able to punch through your assault.

A survival title mostly consists of managing your inventory and being very sparingly with ammo and healing items. Here is a part that immediately gets blasted by the insane difficulty and this is a warning for everybody if they are prone to potential rage-quits. It is understandable that you take code and materials from a previous game, completely re-using everything is not that appreciated but it can work out like in Dead Island, but forgetting to implement a few features will leave you with a broken game. In the other Outbreak there was both an item and enemy respawn, this was done because the maps used open sectors and this kept combat exciting. Here is the chokepoint though, It is true that in some survival games enemies will respawn when you revisit old parts and it happens here as well, but the necessary ammo and weapons to compensate the added hostiles are totally absent. These errors add up to a frustrating gameplay even on the lowest difficulty setting.

The developers did want to provide some info how to play the game, so they made Lydia wake up in a room and this is where the tutorial commences. This will teach the basics about scavenging, inventory usage and solving puzzles as you are presented with the first riddle right in front of you. Like its predecessor these puzzles contain only locked doors that can be opened by either having the corresponding key or finding a key code. Since you play as Lydia there are no selectable characters from the beginning but this might be done because of the episodic nature and it would be easier to create one storyline instead of multiple.

Another thing that was removed is the online mode, as it wasn’t that popular despite many great efforts. A sudden change of plans would mean that the developers use all the available resources to create an amazing single player experience, but nothing more is true. While “The New Nightmare” was enjoyed as a new breeze in nostalgia and levels racked up hours of gameplay while moving through an interesting storyline, it’s sad to see that the new game is split up in episodes and feels more rushed. You’ll be through this chapter after approximately two hours, which might be over before you know it.

Conclusion

The New Nightmare was a great Outbreak title and we wished the online world would have been more interactive. Since this was a little downer it was good to hear that the team behind it has chosen to focus on single player. Seeing that the game is episodic now dampens the fun a bit and its unfair high difficulty makes running through the game a pain. Even experienced gamers will find troubles in the few bugs and sometimes you will just say no.

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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

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