Like Syphilis but worse – Scourge: Outbreak
Looking for a new game to play is much like fishing. Sometimes you’ll catch a tasty salmon with its high fidelity scales and stunning photorealistic movements. Other times you’ll catch a beautiful tiny fish that has so many colours and is such a quirky little thing you can’t help but mount it on the wall. Then there are the brown fish. A zoologist would tell you they are all different species but it’s hard to tell. The brown coated Gearow, the brown grey Cod and the splurge coated Scourge: Outbreak (Lat: Scourgious Shittius).
Third person cover based shooting has never, in our eyes, been a very exciting genre. Hiding behind cover like some cry baby tank just doesn’t sit well with us. It might be the way that every character in these genres seems to be covered neck to toe (Excluding arms which must be left exposed for reasons) in what is the equivalent of a Land Rover. Scourge: Outbreak even goes as far as to give you magical powers and still expects you to hide behind bits of fallen masonry!
Don’t be disheartened though, you can still rush blindly into the combat. But you will get shot “dead” before you’ve even had a chance to use your muscular arms for their god given purpose. You might be wondering why dead is in quotation marks. The reason for this is that when you are shot too much, you fall to your knees and wait for a re-assuring bubble bath from your friends. This makes it very, very difficult to actually die to human opponents as your squad will literally forgo their own safety and lives to come and bathe you. Such dedication deserves recognition.
Scourge: Outbreak can be summed up in four words: Like Gears Of War. Though, we’re not allowed to leave it at that, so; Scourge: Outbreak is a cover based shooter which means you press a button to stick to cover and either shoot blindly or aim and shoot at other bits of masonry soldiers. The usual menagerie of weapons makes an appearance, assault rifle, shotgun, pistol, sniper and Minigun. The only thing that sets Scourge apart from other crouch simulators is the inclusion of Ambrosia (Not the custard) and the various magical powers that Ambrosia gives (Again, not the custard). You can create force fields and shockwaves but everyone has similar powers and there is no variety in the group. Heck, at least in Clive Barkers: Jericho every character had their own powers and weaponry.
The story is the usual tripe of “E.V.I.L ltd researching alien matter to create plot point X that everyone uses.” Just for once it’d be nice to see the reclusive and secretive mega-corporation working on genetically modifying unicorns for little girls instead of sacrificing people to some terrible alien. The main characters are all mercenaries that have had some problem with E.V.I.L Ltd and have their own reasons for wanting this mission. You know the rest by now.
The characters are the usual action squad; tough by the book captain, heavy accented heavy weapons guy, the cool chick and the sneaky person that rarely speaks. It’s Borderlands without the personality, FUSE without the budget and it’s downright disappointing.
But it looks pretty. While you sit behind cover in what feels like a sci-fi re-imagining of trench warfare, you have plenty of time to look around and appreciate the actually well done textures, pretty lighting effects and even just the layout of the various labs and compounds. It may be brown but Scourge tries hard to hide it amongst foliage, alien bio-mass and destruction.
But the storyline isn’t what matters in games like these, its all about the competitive multiplayer! Unfortunately, it takes about 10 to 15 minutes to find even one other person. The servers are pretty much dead in the water, if you want to play online, get some friends to play with you.
Scourge: Outbreak is nothing special. It feels like any other third person cover shooter and if that’s your thing, it’s only £6. Although, you can get bricks for free from most unguarded construction sites. Crouch behind a pile of them for six hours and you’ll get pretty much the same experience.
Scourge: Outbreak is available on Steam.