Scourge Outbreak by Tragnarion Studios is the studio’s first foray into game development. Scourge Outbreak is a classic third-person shooter where the player takes control of one of four characters as you fight for objective and mow down countless bad guys. If you are looking for a big budget, completely polished experience this is probably not the game for you. However, if you are looking for a game that you and a few friends can tinker on when other games have lost their appeal, this may be a decent choice.
The game tasks the players in Echo Squad to stop the evil Nogari Corporation, rescue a double agent, fight off hordes of soldiers and mutants etc. If all that sounds familiar it’s because it is. Story wise, Scourge Outbreak does little to break the classic clichés of many video games. Most gamers will see through this almost paper thin plot and know what’s going to happen, and probably how it will happen as well.
Gameplay wise Scourge Outbreak runs on the Unreal engine and as such, plays and feels a lot like the Gears of War franchise. Above all else, Scourge is a third-person shooter and it actually does it fairly well in terms of gameplay mechanics. Sprinting to cover, ducking down, and leaning around corners – all the mechanics that you would expect in the shooter are here. However, there are times when the cover mechanic can cause some frustration. On more than one occasion while a co-op partner was in cover I tried to take position next to them only to find out that I couldn’t use the cover because of how they were situated, even though there was plenty of room. A few other times minor annoyances similar to that cropped up as well, certainly not enough to completely ruin the experience, but enough to provide some momentary frustration.
Where I think Scourge Outbreak really falters though is the amount and variety of weapons. There is no “Wow” factor in the weapons. Assault rifle, Shotgun, Sniper Rifle, Pistol – there is no variation from anything else that’s come before. You can find weapons with mods on them, such as a scope, red dot sight, grip for stability and such, but for the large part what you see is what you get. Top that off with enemies being bullet sponges where even a perfectly placed headshot doesn’t one shot one kill most enemies and the gun play suddenly feels a little lacking.
The appeal, for me, of Scourge Outbreak is twofold. For starters any game where I can play co-op with friends, in this case 4 of us, is definitely worth a second look. Running through levels with a group of friends and using real tactics to conquer them is a blast. Secondly, taking a nod from Borderlands, shooting enemies or doing certain tasks and seeing the experience points fly above your enemies head is an instant reward and something tangible to keep you pushing on. It’s a genuinely fun experience – especially with friends.
- Up to 4 player co-op
- Solid graphics
- Limited gun selection
- Controls can get in the way at times
Taken for what it is, an 800 Microsoft Point arcade game, Scourge Outbreak is a solid but by-the-numbers third person shooter. It isn’t ground breaking, and won’t win many points for its clichéd story, but what it does offer is a solid 4 player co-op experience that is a fun, if not slightly repetitive, shooter. Not every game needs a AAA budget, and not every game will be worked on by hundreds of developers. For a small, reasonably priced arcade title, Scourge Outbreaks offers enough gameplay and challenge to warrant at least a cursory look. If you decide to play it I strongly encourage you to play with a group of friends as the co-op play is very rewarding. If you’re looking for a diversion from other games you are playing, you could do much worse than giving this one a go. I’m actually glad I did.
Written by Andy Gray