If you’re looking for a really fun game that combines all the best elements of Gears of War and Mass Effect then you need to stop and turn right around, because you just wandered into Scourge: Outbreak, and this is not the place for you.
I came into this game really REALLY wanting to like it. It’s a 3rd person Sci-Fi shooter where you play as one of a band of mercenaries trying to stop an evil corporation and a race of super powerful mutant aliens. If it sounds familiar, it’s because it should, it’s a story that has been told a billion times over, and in order for it to resonate with an audience, the game would require something unique and fun to bring a new twist. Scourge: Outbreak, sadly, does neither of those.
Scourge: Outbreak, developed by Tragnarion Studios and Bitbox Games, powered by Unreal, plays like a lazy, poor-man’s crossover of Mass Effect and Gears of War, except stripped down to only the basics and programed, seemingly, by failing programming students. There are a few guns, pistols, shotguns, assault rifles, sniper, etc. but each one comes with its own set of problems, the assault rifle aims like it’s being wielded by a 6-year old epileptic, the shotgun will miss an enemy standing directly in front of you, the pistol has the damage of a mosquito bite.
So now that your weapons are deemed awful, moving on to your ambrosia powers. Your “super suits” are powered by this crazy substance called ambrosia and yada yada you can make a shield or blast a bunch of people around you. The shield generally lasts long enough to get out into the open before it runs out and you’re gunned down and the “blast” usually takes out any enemy within arms reach of your character. Other characters have different powers, but the game was so annoyingly awful that I didn’t really get into every character, so maybe one of them makes it the greatest game on the planet, but I kind of doubt it.
Speaking of the other characters, your little band of gear… er, mercenaries, are some of the most pathetically useless NPC allies that I’ve ever encountered in a game. Seems like a bold statement, but trust me, you don’t want to find out for yourself. In their defense, I will say this, they always revive you. But that’s it. Literally. That is all they do. You’ll tell somebody to attack an enemy and they will sit behind cover looking at you. Just watching you, no movement for a solid 3 minutes. How do I know? Because I issued orders to my entire team, to attack an enemy while I was locked down, and they did NOTHING. Just sat there and looked at me. It’s completely mind-boggling.
Continuing on, your enemies, dear god, your enemies are idiots. They will charge head first into you, no care, no strategy, just to get mowed down by your shotgun, assuming it hits its target. They will stand still behind cover shooting a wall while you pop their heads off, they will run in circles. Throw a grenade and watch them go see what this strange apple you just threw was. They have the intelligence of a lemming that was dropped on its head a few times and is currently tripping on acid. It’s some of the worst A.I. you will ever encounter.
It hurts me to even call this a story, very little is explained to the player and what is is convoluted with names of places and things we know nothing about. Corporations and planets are mentioned like we should know, or give a f^&(, about that and key “plot” points are simply brushed over. You need to stop the bad guys, because they’re bad, and doing bad things. That’s the basic gist of the story, and it’s is presented with equal bluntness and zeal.
The script and voice acting, again, is some of the worst I’ve EVER seen, and this is a guy who really enjoyed that awful Bruce Lee Game on the Xbox. It sounds like they had somebody read the lines for the first time, and they used those recordings for the story in game. Lines are delivered with the excitement and enthusiasm of watching paint dry and the lines themselves are pretty awful. I remember laughing out loud at one point when I was told to wait for an elevator coming up “from the lowest level” only to be told that, after riding said elevator, that I needed to find another elevator to take me down to the basement. So that first elevator wasn’t from the lowest level? I’m confused, as were the writers and, seemingly, the voice actors, involved in Scourge: Outbreak.
This is probably the most inexcusible part of this game. It looks like a late era Xbox game, and it was made with the Unreal Engine. That’s right, the same engine that brought us amazing beauty in games like Bioshock: Infinite made this game. I don’t even know what to say about it, the textures are all choppy, water comes from unknown places, it’s glitchy, enemies will get stopped by invisible walls, the camera gets stuck, it’s just a mess. This whole game is a mess. It’s like they had a challenge to make a Gears of War clone with some Mass Effect sprinkled in, but the catch was it had to be done in 2 weeks on a budget of 5,000 dollars.
The only reason I have this section is so I can say : “In conclusion,” beacause that’s about how much effort it feels like they put into this game. Its annoying to play, not even difficult, just kind of a pain in the ass. Your teammates suck, nobody is ever online to play multi-player with, so I couldn’t really test that, and I wasn’t about to try and get any of my friends to buy this abortion. The music is stupid, the graphics make you wonder if you’re back in 2002, and the story feels like it was written by Uwe Boll when he was 15. On the plus side, the game is only about 10$ so, you know, theres that. Though I’d rather spend that on something less painful, like a cheeseburger or something.
So, IN CONCLUSION, don’t buy this game, unless you’re a masochist, if you are, then this game is right up your alley.
Scourge: Outbreak is available on Xbox 360, PS 3, PC, and Mac for about 10$