Resident Evil: Outbreak. Capcom’s lost opportunity

The other day, I was taking a look at the games I used to play when the PlayStation 2 was on its apogee and then I found again this unnoticed gem. If you are a fan of the first RE games, you probably will agree with me that Capcom needs to make a remake of this game, sadly, it looks like we’ll never see it…

Outbreak was a game similar to the first Resident Evil games and was released in 2003 for the PlayStation 2. This is (in my opinion) one of the best games from the entire franchise, and since it doesn’t follow a particular story they could easily made a few more games based on it. So my question is: What the hell Capcom?

The main feature of this game is that it allowed cooperative gameplay with other players Online, but they also could play with AI partners in single player campaign. The game was surprisingly good (especially considering that the last games had been a disappointment, to say the least) and I really enjoyed playing it for hours.

I don’t really understand why it had such low scores from the media. Yes it has a few problems, but still It was surprisingly innovative (to the franchise) with the multiplayer feature, limited inventory, short but replayable scenarios a tons of hidden events and items.

First of all I will mention the problems I found while playing this game. I think the biggest one that may stop you from having fun while playing most of the time is the AI, at least for the single player campaign; sometimes they go any place they want, don’t listen to you, they don’t want to help you, they don’t want to give you stuff, etc. This happens every time with at least one of your partners.

Another issue that some people might find is the difficulty. Loyal to its origins, the game is really hard sometimes: you have a time limit before the virus kills you, you only have 4 inventory spaces per character, melee weapons break, there is a very limited amount of healing items, and enemies are really dangerous. Compared with the most recent RE games (where enemies are like piñatas full with items) this game is really hard.

Those are the only problems I could find so far. I’ve seen some people’s reviews complaining about the controls, but it plays just like the first ones! You know, aim and shoot, sluggish movement, slow enemies. And everyone used to love that, so what’s the problem?

Now, for all of you that didn’t play it, I will proceed to tell you why this game is so awesome, and why it’s a shame that Capcom decided to stop making this series. First of all: cooperative feature. No, it doesn’t matter how you see it, being able to play with other people on RE’s world (the original RE) is amazing. You and your friends scavenging for supplies, while trying to continue as fast as you can through the scenario, facing hordes of zombies, struggling to survive… I can’t imagine how awesome that could be with today’s technology.

The next thing is that the game has a huge replayability: each scenario have different cut scenes depending with who you are playing with. If you choose certain character you will be able to discover certain things, find new objects or see new cut scenes. Also, on each scenario you can find secret items that will allow you to unlock new skins for every character; this items are completely invisible and give you a reason to explore even further.

Also, you have a decent roster of characters to choose from, each one with different skills. Do you want to be able to combine weapons into something more useful? Or perhaps you want 4 extra inventory slots? Maybe you want to start with a weapon from the beginning? Each character is different, and even if the scenarios are short, every gameplay feels different.

Also, remember what I told you about de AI? Yes, it can be a pain in the ass, but it also allows another pretty cool feature in my opinion: you must earn your partner’s trust. How do you that? By giving them items, healing them, helping them when they are being attacked. After a while, they will do anything you ask them, stay with you and being helpful in general.

Even if it’s a game more than 10 years old, it still looks pretty amazing. The pre rendered scenarios look gorgeous and the soundtrack is one of the best of any RE game so far. Each character feels unique, each enemy feels threatening and each scenario fits perfectly into the RE’s universe.

I can’t stop thinking how I wish I could play this game on the PS3/Xbox 360/Xbox One/PS4/PC, with a better matchmaking system, better graphics, and perhaps improved gameplay, as long as they keep the original soul of the game. I look at this game and I can’t stop thinking about the wasted opportunity from Capcom, but let’s hope that sooner or later they will stop making games like the disaster that was RE6, but unfortunately, that won’t happen soon enough.


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