[PS4] Outbreak: The New Nightmare Review
Outbreak: The New Nightmare is the second entry in the series from Dead Drop Studios. Do you have what it takes to survive the zombie apocalypse? Find out in our Outbreak: The New Nightmare review!
Outbreak: The New Nightmare is the second entry in the series from single-person indie Dead Drop Studios, out now on PlayStation 4. The game was previously released on Steam, and after its launch, the developer carried on working on the game to update the whole thing for its PlayStation 4 debut, adding a local split-screen co-op mode (vertical or horizontal), a boost to the game’s framerate, added real-time shadows and lighting, volumetric lighting, improved the animation, added new scenarios, new characters, rebalanced weapons and added a new weapon, and gave a boost to the enemy AI.
As for the setup for Outbreak: The New Nightmare, a viral epidemic swept through a small town in September 2016. While a group of people tried to stay alive during the Arzt Memorial hospital incident, another group was doing the same at a different location. No one knew what was about to happen, especially since they were all focusing on the start of the fall season, celebrating the change in weather. Unfortunately, their reality quickly changed. The emergency services were soon overwhelmed with all of the attacks and murders reported in. The police rushed to try and help with the smaller incidents, but as the number of infected grew, the survivors started to group together.
All of the survivors ended up gathering at the one building that might allow them to survive: Kraus Shipping Industries. It was a large office building that was still open, waiting for them. It turns out that as soon as they entered, they were surprised by the stench of death, with blood covering all of the walls. They had escaped from one nightmare, only to find themselves in even a worse scenario. Suddenly, they started to hear creepy sounds coming from the building’s rooms, echoing through the hallways. Will you be able to survive?
You’ll get to select from different characters, each one with their own attributes, pros, and cons, as well as the chance to earn XP based on their actions to level up. Leveling up will allow you to customize each character so that you can start to shape them to favor your playing style… as well as what is needed to survive! Take, for example, Harry. He’s a former pro-athlete turned firefighter who has more inventory slots than other characters. He also does more damage with weapons and melee attacks but has 10% less health, 30% less poison resistance, and can’t combine healing items. As you level up, you’ll receive skill points to allocate to select abilities to improve said character’s performance and skills. You could, for instance, unlock Defender, which increases damage resistance by 12% while increasing the odds of being poisoned by 5%.
The game can be played in one of four difficulty settings: Normal, Hard, Biohazard, and Nightmare. Normal is the standard setup that will give you a proper glimpse into the post-apocalyptic world of Outbreak: The New Nightmare. For Hard, enemies will be stronger, and there will be fewer supplies to find. Biohazard bumps up the challenge considerably with little to no supplies and vicious foes that are out for blood. Nightmare does its name justice since enemies can kill you with a single hit – at least your abilities get a boost to try and give you a chance to survive!
As for the controls for Outbreak: The New Nightmare, you can select between a Modern control scheme that has your character moving based on the direction you press the left analog stick in, or you can go old-school and take on the game with the Classic Tank control scheme, which is how games such as the classic Resident Evil handled things back on the original PlayStation. You can interact with the X button, running with the Square button – which is also used for close-range melee attacks when needed. To check your inventory, press the Circle button. The D-Pad can be used for quick equipping your handgun, shotgun, rifle, or melee weapons. You can also open up your map with the Triangle button, which, as you explore each scenario, will show you where weapons, ammo, healing items, key items, missions, and blocked paths are located.
You can aim with the L1 button or can use the L2 button for a very handy auto-aim feature that can help you take on this old-school infused survival horror action game. Once you’ve taken aim, fire away with the R2 button to kill the undead good. Since Outbreak: The New Nightmare uses a fixed camera style for its presentation – paying homage to the old-school Resident Evil series – the right analog stick will be used for your flashlight so that you can shine a light on things. To reload, you can press the R1 button.
Something I noticed was that it made more sense to pause the game to go into my inventory to combine ammo with my weapon. Why? Because that way, the action on the screen stopped, and the reloading was automatic. If I reloaded while playing with zombies making their way towards me, the – rather slow – reloading animation would leave me vulnerable to their attacks. This also reminded me to constantly check my inventory to make sure I was making good use of my healing items, as well as to keep in mind how many open slots I had for picking up more items.
Outbreak: The New Nightmare does not have a Platinum trophy waiting for you. It does feature a short list of eight trophies, split into two Gold, three Silver, and three Bronze trophies. The objectives to complete include healing yourself 25 times, clearing five waves in the Onslaught Mode, dying for the first time, killing 100 undead, landing 20 critical hits, clearing five non-tutorial campaign scenarios on Hard difficulty, clearing three non-tutorial campaign scenarios on Biohazard difficulty, and clearing a non-tutorial campaign scenario on Nightmare difficulty.
Outbreak: The New Nightmare sets out to pay homage to the 3D survival horror classics of the 64-bit era, and it definitely manages to hit some of the notes needed for this. There are some glitches here and there that don’t break the game, but that could hinder your progress, but since each run in the different scenarios won’t be extremely long, you won’t have trouble giving it another go, but the lack of a Platinum trophy might be a deal-breaker for some. Outbreak: The New Nightmare is out on PlayStation 4 with a $12.99 asking price.
This Outbreak: The New Nightmare review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Dead Drop Studios.