Outbreak Epidemic (Switch) – Review
Follow Genre: Survival Horror
Developer: Drop Dead Studios LLC
Publisher: Drop Dead Studios LLC
Platform: Switch, PC, PS4, Xbox One
Tested on: Switch

Outbreak Epidemic (Switch) – Review

Site Score
3.0
Good: Environmental sounds capture creepy atmosphere
Bad: Performance issues despite basic graphics
User Score
5.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Resident Evil fans are undoubtedly aware of the Outbreak games, as Drop Dead Studios’ survival horror games are very much inspired by Capcom’s mainstays in the genre. As October traditionally sees an influx of horror-themed games, with Halloween around the corner, it should be no surprise that Outbreak Epidemic arrives on the Switch. The game originally launched in the summer of 2019, and we took a look at the PC version a few months ago, but how does the Switch port size up?

Story

Although Outbreak Epidemic offers a story-based campaign, there isn’t a whole lot to the story presented here. Unless you’re deliberately looking for story clues, which are scattered throughout the levels, you’ll find the on-screen events difficult to follow if you are trying to make sense of them. The premise is basic, with the survivor characters stranded on a highway and fighting for their survival against a horde of zombies. It’s difficult to piece the rest of the events together into a coherent storyline, but you’re not missing out on much if you decide to skip the story. 

Graphics

We’d forgive you for assuming that Outbreak Epidemic is a game from the mid-2000’s based on its appearance. The character models look like they stepped straight out of a PS2 game. Movement animations are awkward and unnatural. This would be acceptable if it applied to just the zombies, but survivor characters’ animations look off as well. Environments are filled with the basics, with no effort done to make them feel alive. Adding insult to injury, the game suffers from poor anti-aliasing, with jagged edges everywhere. You’d think that with graphics as lazy as these, that you’d at least get a smooth performance out of the game, but alas. 

Unfortunately, there are several issues with Outbreak Epidemic’s graphical performance. The game is set in dark environments but fails to properly make use of shadows to hide its zombies. Pop-ins are a common occurrence, something that shouldn’t be the case when you have the possibility to mask them with darkness. The game’s framerate also comes to a grinding halt whenever there is too much action going on on-screen. We’d forgive Dead Drop Studios for these if the graphics looked good, but as we mentioned, they don’t. 

Sound

The environmental sound design is one of the few highlights here as it manages to capture a very creepy atmosphere. Although the piano music is repetitive, as the game seemingly only has a single music track to offer, the rest of the audio accidentally turns a weakness into a strength. As the soundscape is very basic, it means there are no excess sounds here, and everything you hear in the environment is very much the result of a threat being present. Any sounds the player is responsible for, on the other hand, are a letdown as well. Gun sounds are unimpressive and the limited voice acting fails to make an impact. 

Gameplay

Outbreak Epidemic offers survival horror gameplay, both alone or in local co-op. The game offers three modes: a story campaign, a series of additional missions and Onslaught, in which the aim is to survive as long as possible while waves of enemies descend upon you. The prospect of a story campaign is probably the biggest draw for most people. Unfortunately, the campaign is very short and linear, however, and if your main reason to look into this game is that you want to play a Resident Evil-style horror experience, we recommend you don’t bother with this game. Campaign missions require you to travel from point a to point b, occasionally solving a small puzzle, such as figuring out the combination to a lock or using items you collected to get past obstacles. The aforementioned additional missions, gathered under the Experiment Mode, feel like padding to justify the game’s price point and the Onslaught mode feels repetitive rather than exciting. 

There are four different characters that you can choose to play as at the beginning of a new run, with inspiring names like Gwen the Survivor or Tom the Adventurer. There is a small degree of variety in play style depending on which character you choose at the start. Each character brings their own unique element to the table. Characters will also unlock new buffs as they level up during a playthrough. As is typical for the genre, weapons, ammunition and healing items are spread out throughout the levels and need to be picked up. We had some issues with the interface when it came to equipping any weapons we had gathered as the game’s inventory system is awkward and sluggish. 

Conclusion

We can’t quite say for sure whether the performance issues we ran into with Outbreak Epidemic are the result of a sloppy port job to the Switch or whether these are present in the game’s releases on other platforms. Either way, there are plenty of other zombie-themed survival horror games on the Switch. If you’ve already played through every Resident Evil title and you’re absolutely itching for something new to play, you might want to give Outbreak Epidemic a go, but be aware that you’d be scraping the bottom of the barrel. 

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Rating: 5.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Outbreak Epidemic (Switch) - Review, 5.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
SebastiaanRaats


1 Comment

  1. […] the million-dollar production budget that CAPCOM’s franchise has. Last month we reviewed the Epidemic port that wasn’t greatly received due to performance issues. Luckily, The Nightmare Chronicles runs […]

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