Outbreak: The Nightmare Chronicles is an episodic singleplayer survival horror game, most akin to the Resident Evil Series of old - and I like it. Outbreak has some interesting pieces to it, so let's explore them together.
On your first look, you might see a young lady trapped in a mansion trying not to be eaten by zombies while she desperately searches for a way out, and you might think that you’ve seen this before, and you have - however Outbreak's story seems to be worth digging into. It’s not Shakespearean, but it’s crafted well enough that I’m interested in digging into the second chapter upon its eventual release. Gameplay is what you’d expect it to be. It doesn’t re-invent the wheel, but it’s responsive enough that I was often surprised at how not frustrated I was. I expected much more janky controls, and I am pleasantly surprised that it plays as easy as it does. However, there are a couple hitches in the games system itself. Inventory management is the name of the game, and the decision to inhibit a player from dropping an item without making a stop at a safehouse chest is upsetting. I understand why that system is in place, and even though I find it frustrating, not being able to drop an item does place more weight on your decisions on what to carry. Touching more on this, as with most survival horror games such as this, I always enjoy a small inventory cache. There are limited slots for your items, and it’s up to you to decide what you think you’ll need most. Some of this is trial and error, such as when I left a shotgun in my trunk, opting instead for a floppy disk in its spot. Unfortunately, this was a mistake, as a group of mutant toad/frog/somethings attacked me, and my pistol did me no justice.
Speaking of the mutant’s, there are various different enemy types, each with their own patterns and tendencies. Among them (one of my favorites) are fat poison zombies. Not only do I find the humor in an overweight zombie, but I like the added stipulation that some of the zombies will poison you upon contact. Thankfully, you’ll know if a zombie has an effect based on whatever glowing hue surrounds it. Green, for instance, is outbreak dance party poison.
In between running for your life, you’ll have some puzzles to complete. While most are easy enough to figure, there are a couple that I enjoyed not only because of their difficulty, but the clever ways to solve them. As with games of old, you’ll want to keep a pen and pad handy in order to write down and decode all of the numbers the game throws at you. Again, most of this you’ve seen before, but that doesn’t mean that it’s bad. Is it well traveled? Yes. Is it polished because of this? I would say yes. I ran into a couple hitches, but overall I think the puzzles are put together well.
Overall, I enjoyed my time with the first chapter of Outbreak. If you like these games I think it’s worth paying a few bucks just to check out the story. I will tell you that I’ll probably be picking up chapter 2 whenever it’s released if that helps you lean one way or another. Check this out. I liked it. You might too.
*Note: A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of the review.
Final Score: 7.5/10
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