• Publisher: Capcom
  • Release Date: Mar 31, 2004

Mixed or average reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 40
  2. Negative: 3 out of 40
  1. 76
    Though shifting its focus to that of a collection game may have been a great way to extend its overall shelf life, it still should have been supported by a stronger storyline, better A.I. for NPCs in the offline mode, additional scenarios to participate in, and more streamlined load times without the need for a hard drive.
  2. Outbreak doesn't really live up to its potential, but it's a pretty good game for members of its already-established audience.
  3. It's the biggest leap in the series so far.
  4. While Outbreak's gameplay is innovative - online, team co-op play and the ability to turn into a zombie - there is absolutely nothing that stands out here at all thanks to one big fat missed opportunity: Communication.
  5. A surprisingly enjoyable online venture that showcases some amazing gameplay concepts, yet a lack of foresight in the delivery of multiplayer. [May 2004, p.96]
  6. 75
    Outbreak would have been a much, much better game had it had online voice communication. There's simply no excuse for omitting this feature in a game hinges on being able to communicate rapidly between party members.
  7. For the PAL consumer, it's one for the absolute die-hards we're afraid, and even they might have issues trying to live with the lack of online play.
  8. 90
    Despite its shortcomings, Outbreak’s hefty replay, intense action, and clever scenario designs make for an engaging play—on- and offline, and a must for any Resident fan. Here, success ultimately depends on how helpful everyone’s willing to be.
  9. The games' poor communication system and load times keep it from being a more workable online experience. But its unnerving combination of comradery and isolation is sociable, scary fun.
  10. A zombie could have a hundred flailing tentacles and a cool set of giant spider legs, but without a mouth, it just hasn’t got any bite.
  11. 75
    Not letting people in the same room communicate with each other while facing imminent death is neither scary nor internally consistent -- the scare would have come in if there had been some kind of communication system (either voice or keyboard) when it made sense to do so, and leave the player isolated when it didn't.
  12. 40
    It still plays too much like one of the old games to feel like a real online title, but the one thing that could have been done to make it better -- namely, a workable communication system for players -- was skimped on.
  13. I for one found the game rather intriguing even with its faults. Perhaps in the next product iteration Capcom will add a little more inter-player communication to the game and really push it over the top.
  14. Aptly, Outbreak is an experiment gone wrong; it indicates the possibilities of an online horror title, but also that Resident Evil's traditional structure can't achieve them. [June 2004, p.102]
  15. Outbreak maintains the lavish horror atmosphere that we've all come to expect and is definitely worth a look, if nothing else, just so see what could be shambling towards us in the near future.
  16. A lot of what you can do in this game - help the injured, trade items, interact more with the environment, use weapons in more unique ways, like boarding up doors with a nail gun - is more fantastic idea than really effective execution. [May 2004, p.50]
  17. The stiff difficulty, branching levels, and especially your severely limited inventory make cooperation among players essential, but the inexplicable lack of voice (or even keyboard) chat completely destroys all hope of real teamwork. [June 2004, p.100]
  18. Yes, better communication, more content, and deeper story would all be welcome, but that's the default critic's list for almost every game. How many titles offer the chance to become a zombie and munch on former allies?
  19. Beyond the online component, Outbreak essentially plays like any other Resident Evil, only with a lesser story, better (though still imperfect) controls, and improved voice acting.
  20. There is no good way to communicate with other players, making cooperative play that much more difficult. [July 2004, p.6]
  21. In both single and online modes, it definitely has its problems, but as an attempt to expand the scope of the RE universe, it isn't all bad. [June 2004, p.22]
  22. It’s got quite a few bugs that should have never made it past the testing cycle, including several glitches that cause the game to freeze up completely, forcing a hard reset to resume play.
  23. Another major gripe is that there’s a lot of loading. Without a HDD, every door you walk through will require a pretty substantial loading time.
  24. Being the gore-hound that I am, I was happy with the final outcome of Resident Evil: Outbreak. I do miss the fact that this game does not have a deep story line. but hell, the payoff of going balls out and kicking some zombie ass is worth it.
  25. It’s not as good as any of the “proper” stand alone Resident Evils, so unless you’re a hardcore zombie fan this can be quite quickly crossed off your shopping list.
  26. Assessed solely on the single-player mode this game is a sizey, different and diverse lump of still-classic Resi gaming. Add online and add 5% to that score. [JPN Import; PSM2]
  27. A steep learning curve, buggy online mode, and lack of communication options between you and your allies make this title fall short in just about everything it set out to achieve.
  28. It does get one thing right: The controls are actually functional and somewhat intuitive. [June 2004, p.89]
  29. The graphics and score are outstanding, but ultimately, the gameplay falls flat with heavy-handed mechanics and tedious goals.
  30. The lack of communication options seriously hurts the overall experience and only five scenarios, with no hope for any downloadable content or levels in the future, is certainly not a cause for celebration. Outbreak is still a solid survival horror experience.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 79 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 39
  2. Negative: 3 out of 39
  1. Apr 4, 2011
    ive been wanting a resident evil game in co op since i played the very first RE game . i was so pained to have to play this game . the onlineive been wanting a resident evil game in co op since i played the very first RE game . i was so pained to have to play this game . the online was just ruined with the fact there is NO VOICE CHATT OR EVEN TYPING!!!... WTF!!! its a co op game for christ sake . you kind of need to talk to help solve puzzles , work together , share ammo, decide where to go among many other things a damn mic would help with. i mean if this game supported Voice chatt i could have probubly given it a 8. the offline mode is ok but to short and your AI team mates are morons . they just run off and do there own thing and maybe you will run into them again some where down the road. the puzzles are pretty tricky which you may like or hate . i didnt mind them . the load times are alittle to long you would think with the HDD add on it would help alot but it maybe cuts it down by 25% . since this game is ment for online and with no voice chatt its not a game i can recomend for any one but the hardest RE fan .if you where looking for a cool co op game to play online this sure as hell isnt it. Full Review »
  2. EmilyC.
    Feb 20, 2005
    It is because the game has so many good graphics that makes it interesting.
  3. Sep 27, 2013
    A novel idea that just feel a bit flat in execution. I love the multiple character angle, but I also feel that each weren't really givenA novel idea that just feel a bit flat in execution. I love the multiple character angle, but I also feel that each weren't really given enough depth and individual development to make you really care.

    None the less, it does a decent job as a resident evil game, but at the time of release, the gameplay style was getting very tired and over used.

    Visuals are good, atmosphere does the job, voice acting a little weak at times, and narrative a little flimsy.

    A good idea that just came too late for anyone to really care. The game is decent, but nothing to get excited about. Good for a weekend if you've got nothing better to do.
    Full Review »