Welcome to EXPlay, (Explain & Play) the review series where we care not for scores but tell it how it is when it comes to every game we get our hands on, whilst also taking the time to include some lengthy gameplay, to give you the reader, the chance to shape your own impressions and views whilst watching and reading. In this installment, we’re covering Outbreak: Endless Nightmares by developer Dead Drop Studios.
Outbreak: Endless Nightmares: (The Explanation)
Outbreak: Endless Nightmares is the newest instalment in the Outbreak series. It is inspired by the survival horror games of the 90’s like Resident Evil and Silent Hill. You play as one of 6 characters who find themselves in a place between planes of existence known as the Nexus.
The Nexus takes the form of the Artz Memorial Hospital and serves as a hub world. Here the player can take a break between venturing through anomalies and gather supplies. Dotted around the area are wraith-like beings that you can talk to. Some offer advice, others only offer words of disparagement. It is up to the player of course, to heed their words, or not.
As a Survival Horror game, the player must arm their character with whatever weapons they can find, be it a damaged knife, a pistol, a shotgun, etc. They can also find herbs that can replenish health and cure infection should they find themselve lacking in the vitality department. Your character’s inventory is somewhat limited so you have to be resourceful in what to carry and what to leave behind.
In some areas, you can find chests that can store items you have in your inventory and you can also move stored items from the chest to your inventory as well. All the chests are connected so you will have access to everything you have found so far regardless of which chest you open.
When it comes to dungeon crawling and combat, this takes place in semi-procedural areas known as anomalies. Each anomaly consists of a series of rooms and environments that contain a number of enemies and traps. Due to the Roguelike elements of Outbreak: Endless Nightmares, no room is exactly the same and are generated at random.
You may find yourself in a similar room but the traps and enemy placements will have changed. Fortunately, you have three camera angles at your disposal and a Tactical camera that you can use to surveil your surroundings before you take a misstep and get pounced on by zombies hiding around a corner.
In order to make it through each room of the anomaly, you must kill all of the zombies in the room. Make sure you are well prepared and are packing plenty of ammo and at least a knife to defend yourself if enemies get to close. You can sometimes find ammo in rooms or at the very least, gunpowder that you can convert into bullets. You will need a reloading tool in order to make bullets so always try to have one in your inventory or make sure you have plenty of bullets. The zombies may be relatively slow moving but with small enclosed spaces and narrow corridors, they can be right on top of you in an instant.
When it comes to being prepared, it is also important to carry a repair kit or at least, stash any you find in a chest when possible. Your weapons can break if overused so you must be ready to switch out to another weapon or have the means to repair the one you are using. Repair kits, much like reloading tools, are single use items so when you use them, they will disappear from your inventory. As you progress through the game, you will be able to upgrade the weapons in your possession or find stronger, more durable ones.
When it comes to collectible items to pick up, there are quite a variety. There are weapons, ammo, plants, repair kits and reloading tools that will randomly spawn in each room. On top of that, you can find journal pages that will explain and expand upon the game’s lore. Another key item that can be found are conductor coins. These are found inside anomalies and can open up paths inside the Nexus of the Artz Memorial Hospital. The paths can lead to item caches, or other anomalies with tougher challenges.
Speaking of challenge, players can choose between 5 different game modes that each offer their own level of difficulty and challenge. You have your Easy and Standard Mode but for the video game masochists that really want to test their skills, the Ironman mode will punish players who fail by deleting their save file upon death! However, in most of the other modes, should you die in the anomaly you will be taken back to the Nexus. You can then prepare yourself better and take on the anomaly again but from the beginning, not where you died.
Outbreak: Endless Nightmares is certainly a game for those that enjoy the nostalgia of 90’s horror survival games. The roguelike elements will keep things from feeling too familiar as it will keep players guessing on what they will face next. So, I guess only one question remains. Do you have what it takes to discover what started the outbreak and make your escape from the Nexus?
Outbreak: Endless Nightmares: (The Gameplay)
Developer: Dead Drop Studios
Publisher: Dead Drop Studios
Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Category: Adventure, Action, Role-Playing
No. of Players: up to 2 players
Release Date: May 19, 2021 (EU & NA)
File Size: 7.1 MB