Resident Evil: Outbreak File #2 is the sequel to the original Resident Evil: Outbreak game, which itself was the first in the series to provide online multi-player. The sequel once again allows for up to four players to co-operatively battle the T-Virus outbreak and the mayhem it has wrought. All eight characters from the original game have returned, mostly in the same forms they inhabited just a year earlier when the original was released. With only a year of development time for the game, there were not significant upgrades in terms of graphics, but a number of gameplay features (as well as the online play) were given robust makeovers.
Not much changed between the two Resident Evil: Outbreak games in terms of gameplay. One of the most requested features was the ability to strafe and shoot at the same time, something that had never been available in the series. Surprisingly, it was actually added in this instalment. The virus meter from the original returns without much change, but the overall gameplay scheme saw a number of welcome additions (such as a decrease in load times).
Unfortunately, there are no new characters, but every character from the original is present, and they all are given a secondary specialty item this time around. Kevin and Mark are given additional magazines for their starting weapons, while Alyssa is given a self-defence weapon in the Stun Gun. Yoko and Jim receive "luck" items in their Buddhist Charm and Lucky Coin, respectively. David is given a lighter to better suit his combinations, while George is given a capsule shooter for his field medic practices. Finally, Cindy is given a bandage to further heal teammates.
The five new scenarios in the game are all new and much more expansive than those found in the original. The environments are vast, with some familiar and some foreign to series veterans. There is a training scenario as well, which reuses assets from the first scenario in the original game. The environments are varied as well, taking place at Raccoon City Zoo, in the subway system, in the wilderness of the Arklay Forest, at the R.P.D. precinct, and an Umbrella research laboratory.
An ever higher difficulty was added as Nightmare Mode, which challenged even the most seasoned veterans to survive the outbreak.
The sequel was again comprised of five base scenarios, as well as an additional training area that was based on the original game's opening location.
A training area intended to teach those new to the game the tricks of the trade. Based on the first scenario of the original game. Notes laid about within the opening area of the bar served to communicate various techniques to novice players.
All is not well at the Raccoon City Zoo when the band of survivors arrive at its back gate. Access is gained to the zoo itself by breaking into it, but this doesn't seem like the greatest choice, as players begin to find terrifying transformations caused on the zoo's non-human inhabitants by way of the T-virus, including a horrific boss fight against an infected elephant.
The subway is where the survivors find themselves next as they attempt to escape through the underground tram station. New, more versatile enemies await in the darkness, and a player is even taken captive when the boss makes its appearance.
The lush wilderness of the Arklay Forest has our survivors confused, as they look for potential escape routes in the forest. As they ponder this in an old abandoned cabin, an old man appears and speaks of a path just beyond the woods that leads to a bordering town. The man soon disappears, but instead of going to the border town, the group finds their way to an isolated and seemingly abandoned hospital. Fear strikes soon enough, as players find they are not alone when a masked axeman begins stalking them throughout the establishment.
Familiar faces and areas are abound in this scenario, as players find themselves exploring the very police department found in the second and third games. Resident Evil 2 players especially will take notice of officer Marvin Branagh and journalist Ben Bertolucci. Occurring before Resident Evil 2, there are a number of incidents that serve as preludes to the game, including a subtle cameo by two now-legendary characters in the franchise.
The longest scenario in the game, End of the Road combines a number of elements from the previous scenarios into one epic conclusion. The team has found their way into a research laboratory run by none other than Umbrella, but their timing seems especially unfortunate when a lockdown goes into
The structure of the online play changed drastically in the sequel. New industry-sponsored events (from various gaming magazines) were present in the opening months of the game. The event system was overhauled, as was the old lobby system. The way players went about finding games changed as well, as there were now ten different areas to inhibit. The game remained broadband-only, like its predecessor, and had a far smaller user base.
The most criticized exclusion from the original returned in the sequel. There was, once more, no voice or in-game text chat, which forced players to communicate with only predetermined motions and ad-libs. This system was upgraded somewhat, but clearly not enough to appease those dismayed by the lack of real communication.
The North American online servers for the game ceased operation on March 31st, 2007. This was actually several months prior to the shutdown of the original game.
Once again, the game has an original group of survivors travelling throughout Raccoon City after the T-virus outbreak that eventually led to the destruction of the city. The five new scenarios are interspersed throughout areas in Raccoon City, and range from a T-virus-afflicted zoo to the Raccoon Police Department Headquarters building from Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, as well as a number of new areas.
The game features the eight characters from the original game, who each had diverse capabilities and uses. Every character has a unique item at the start of the game in their inventory, as well as an additional bonus item. Aside from this, the characters remain mostly identical to how they were in the original title.
: 182 cm
: 96 kg
Occupation: Raccoon City Police Officer
Personal Items: Special .45 Automatic Pistol, .45 Auto Magazine
Special Abilities: Kick, Take Pot-Shots
Overview: The most well-rounded of the lot, Kevin begins with a powerful handgun and has more speed and agility than his companions. He is able to take a more-than-average amount of physical damage, making him the most flexible character.
: 185 cm
: 101 kg
: Security Guard
: Mark's Custom Handgun, Handgun Magazine
: Guard, Full Swing
: A fifty-two year old Vietnam War veteran with an enduring spirit, Mark is the slowest character of the eight but is able to take more physical damage and deal it out more effectively than the others. As the most powerful character, Mark often finds himself fending off enemies as others regroup and assess the situation from supporting roles.
: 175 cm
: 64 kg
: Herb Case, Bandage
: Cindy is a waitress at J's Bar, which is where the first scenario--Outbreak--is set. The most actively evasive of the characters, Cindy is able to dodge attacks with her Duck ability as well as outrun them with her higher than average running speed. Her Herb Case and Bandage (only in the sequel) allows her to act as a field medic to injured players, and support them in combat.
: 185 cm
: 92 kg
: Tool Box, Lighter
: Lug Wrench Throw, Continuous Knife Attack
: A mysterious visage shrouds David King's presumably violent past. His skill with a knife is no coincidence, surely, and his ability to improvise item combinations via his tool box shows he is quite industrious. The lighter he begins with in only this second game allows him to do more diverse combinations than ever before.
: 79 kg
s: Medical Set, Capsule Shooter
: The top surgeon at Raccoon City Hospital, Dr. Hamilton is a kind person who is able to easily gain the trust of all he comes across. The Medical Set he keeps in tow allows him to easily mix different herbs for healing items that can be distributed to partner characters, making him essential for survival. His Capsule Shooter found only in the second game allows him to deliver medical assistance from afar.
: 176 cm
: 62 kg
: Raccoon Times Journalist
: Lock Picking Kit, Stun Gun
: Back Step, Take Pot-Shots
: Always resourceful when it comes to collecting stories, Alyssa employs her journalistic traits with her in-game tactics. With her Lock Picking Kit, she is able to grant quick access to previous inaccessible areas in order to bypass certain passages and uncover supply depots. She has an offensive side as well, with her sharing the "Take Pot-Shots" ability with Kevin, as well as a Stun Gun in this sequel.
: 176 cm
: 70 kg
: Subway Attendant
: Coin, Lucky Coin
: Playing Dead, Item Search, Continuous Swing
: The overwhelming nature of an outbreak of the infected is too much for some to handle, and Jim is no exception. He is friendly enough but eager to express his fear through cursing the rising dead. Through his Playing Dead ability, he is able to cower in fear from enemies, even though it's at the cost of his infection meter.
: 160 cm
: 58 kg
: Raccoon University Student
: Backpack, Buddhist Charm
: Yoko is adept with computers and puts this trait to use in due time. Her most enduring feature, though, is her ability to carry four extra items via her backpack. Should she find herself in a swarm of enemies, she can escape by quickly stepping away.Read Less