Scourge: Outbreak (PlayStation 3) Review

By Ofisil 24.01.2015

Review for Scourge: Outbreak on PlayStation 3

Imitation is the best form of flattery, but only when done right, and Scourge: Outbreak fails at doing so. It tries so hard to look similar to triple-A series giants like Gears of War, Crysis, and Mass Effect, but the resemblance is superficial at best. There's not a single aspect left unflawed, yet the worst thing about this game is how extremely average it is. Furthermore, this is actually supposed to be a vastly superior, upgraded version of The Scourge Project, a statement that raises the inevitable question of just how much worse was the original, and is this PS3 version any better than the terrible PC iteration?

A third-person shooter that borrows elements from other, popular sci-fi shooters and that uses the Unreal Engine 3 ought to play, as well as look, good. Unfortunately, Scourge: Outbreak disappoints from the very beginning with a crude use of an otherwise great graphic engine and a plot that reeks of overly-used clichés. No matter how generic or dull-looking a videogame is, though, in the end all that matters is the gameplay… which, regrettably, is also below average.

Before delving deeper into the "fun" part, though, what's going on here? The storyline follows a Machiavellian corporation's experiments with an extra-terrestrial energy source and the rebels who want to bring it down. Unfortunately, those expecting a Metal Gear Solid-esque narrative will be disappointed since everything, from the crew of cookie-cutter tough guys - and one gal - and their uninteresting background stories, to the few predictable "plot twists" and lifeless cut-scenes, is stereotypical as hell.

Luckily this is not a plot-driven title, so gamers can simply forget about that part and just focus on the action. How can anyone ignore such problematic gameplay, though? The controls are simply a mess making everything feel like a poor-man's version of the cover-based battle mechanics of the Gears of War titles, since hiding behind objects either doesn't work or does when not wanting to, for example when dodging, and, sadly, the rest of the movements feel equally awkward.

Screenshot for Scourge: Outbreak on PlayStation 3

Aiming is thankfully a lot better, and not so klutzy, with the player having no trouble shooting from the hip, through an iron sight, or ducked behind something. The available arsenal is the standard genre-fare, though, with little differences between weapons and no innovations at all. The level-up system is a tad more interesting, with offensive, defensive and even co-op-based perks being divided between four categories and XP depended on the way someone chooses to play.

At its core, this is actually a four-player co-operative mission, and while playing with friends is undoubtedly better, the bot AI is surprisingly good, with all team members doing their thing in the right way and time - unlike the brain-dead enemies who occasionally behave like fools. To spice things up, each of the four characters has a different variation of two special abilities - a defensive energy barrier and an offensive shockwave, yet these soon turn out to be nothing special.

Disappointingly, Scourge: Outbreak's biggest problem is that it would be bad even without its many flaws, since the whole quest is very monotonous, with levels being generic A-to-B sequences and with all battles requiring the same Hide-Shoot-Rinse-Repeat tactic. Furthermore, the enemies need way too many hits to go down, something that doesn't raise the challenge but increases the length of each of the already unexciting gunfights. In conclusion, avoid this game and instead play the ones that influenced it.

Screenshot for Scourge: Outbreak on PlayStation 3

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

There's really nothing good about Scourge: Outbreak. The plot is just another example of action-squad vs. E.V.I.L. corporation, the graphics are a perfect example of a great graphic engine used wrong, and the controls are so bad that the most important moves are also the most broken ones. The thing that takes the biscuit, though, is the extremely boring gameplay, which would remain so even if this product wasn't so dysfunctional. In the end, and while the family of cover-based shooters is quite a small one, fans of the genre can surely do without this game.

Developer

Tragnarion

Publisher

Bitbox Games

Genre

Action

Players

8

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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