Outbreak: The New Nightmare (PlayStation 4) Review

By Albert Lichi 12.09.2020

Review for Outbreak: The New Nightmare on PlayStation 4

It is suffering to be a survival-horror fan. Every time a major horror game developer comes forward to market its big new horror creation, it comes at the expense of being made for the lowest common denominator. Every such title ends up as either a soulless, third-person shooter, a hide-and-seek sim, or worse; a walking sim. Every once in a while, some mad lad will actually try to make a throw-back style, classic survival-horror. The fixed camera angles, the inventory management, obtuse puzzles and tank-controls are hallmarks of this style of gameplay that is rarely seen today. After all, some of the greatest horror games of all time that are still loved today, play with these mechanics. Classics like Silent Hill 2 or Resident Evil HD Remaster are still regarded as some of the best examples, and some aspiring indie developers still try to recapture that magic. Outbreak: The New Nightmare is such an attempt, but the reality is that nightmares can come true.

When Outbreak: The New Nightmare begins, there is an awesome wave of dread and regret that washes over the screen. The Unity Engine logo pops up, and then there are extremely muddy looking stock images of rock formations with long paragraphs that explain the story. There are no interesting visuals to handle the narration, or any animations, and the writing that glows off the screen is the least interesting combination of words imaginable. Skipping this desperately in order to hopefully get to the gameplay, will only lead to a sorry menu screen, with an extremely confusing layout.

Selecting 'Story' would logically begin the main game. Unfortunately, this is not what the designer was going for, and all this does is present the same rock formations with the same text to read again. To play the game proper, users have to select 'Missions,' and then it is realized that this is not going to be a completed game, but rather one developer's attempt to assemble a bunch of ideas into a single package, where none of them are properly connected. Imagine playing Resident Evil HD Remaster, but instead of one long seamless experience of playing through the story, each area was sectioned off into a menu. No items or equipment carries over, and there is no sense of progression other than the pointless RPG mechanics for each of the stock characters.

Screenshot for Outbreak: The New Nightmare on PlayStation 4

Quality survival-horror relies on atmosphere. To build it, artists rely on light, shadow, sound design and design. Outbreak: The New Nightmare does not use any of this at all. Most of the assets are seemingly stock models bought off the Unity store, and placement of objects is haphazard. Even the monsters are sloppily implemented, and will clip through each other, often with their animations almost synchronized. It gets really ugly when just walking around since screen tearing is constant as the frame rate sputters along.

Gameplay consists of very brief survival-horror scenarios of solving a puzzle, or getting a thing to put into the thing while blasting, or casually jogging past diseased boys. The level ends by just standing on the exit marker, but make sure all the threats in the area are dead, or else the mission won't end. It is not just impressively broken and unfinished, but it is hilariously easy. The main selling point of Outbreak: The New Nightmare is that it meshes classic survival-horror gameplay with Zombies Ate My Neighbours-style couch co-op. This is something that is rarely attempted and the developer should be commended for having some guts to actually put it off. Unfortunately, the core game is an unmitigated disaster that it is only recommended to bring to an enemy instead of a friend.

There is no drive to keep going in Outbreak: The New Nightmare. The only progression is a grind for abilities and junk that do not make the game more enjoyable. It is extremely rough and buggy beyond what should be legal in a product. At the very least, the developer did put the effort to include actual tank-controls, and offered a lot of accessibility options.

Screenshot for Outbreak: The New Nightmare on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

2/10
Rated 2 out of 10

Very Bad

There are some games out there that are "so-bad-its-good," like most of Swery's games. Outbreak: The New Nightmare is one of those "so-bad-it-gave-me-depression" ones. The developer likely is inexperienced, and working with almost no budget, but not everyone should make a game. The saying "anyone can make a game", means that a good game designer can come from anywhere. All survival-horror fans must stay away from this one.

Developer

Dead Drop Studios LLC

Publisher

Dead Drop Studios LLC

Genre

Horror

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  2/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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