Codename Outbreak
Written by Daniel Westerstal   
Wednesday, 28 September 2005

Is Codename Outbreak just another first person shooter, or is it something else to it. Read our review to find out.

Meteors threatening earth seems to be what Hollywood and storywriters are most worried about. We have been bombarded with movies like Armageddon, and now it’s time for a PC game where a meteor from space strikes.

In Codename Outbreak the meteor strikes a remote area in the north western United States. The meteor destroys some villages and creates a couple of holes, but that’s about it. However it carries a strange virus.

Two police patrols are sent out the area after communications is lost with a weather station nearby. The police patrols disappear and the government decides to bring in the Marine Corps. They disappear too and now an elite commando team is sent in, you are part of it.

I actually love the story in the beginning of the game, the developers really managed to create a sort of scary feeling since you didn’t know what to expect. However after half of the first mission has passed the scariness is gone. Sort of like a bad horror movie where you are on the edge until you are confronted with the threat. The problem is that the threat you are up against isn’t very scary. The story is not as well executed as in the System Shock series or Alien vs. Predator, in those games you are on the edge during the whole production.

Graphically Codename Outbreak won’t win any prizes. The game looks very much like Unreal or Quake 2, maybe a bit better but not much. You have to give some credit for the sky modelling though, it really looks nice.

The levels are mainly large outdoor environments with a couple of bases or houses in them. It means that you run around a lot, however the running doesn’t result in boredom. This is because the enemies are quite intelligent.

You can’t run around in the game like this is the regular Doom type of game. The enemies are well camouflaged, they are constantly scouting the area for you, and if they see you they start shooting. It’s not uncommon for you to be trapped under enemy fire without knowing where the enemy are.

So when playing Codename Outbreak you have to run and stop to scout the area. Then run some more and scout some more. It’s very realistic and well done.

When you confront the enemy they respond quite well too. They don’t just run straight at you instead some of the enemies cover their buddies while they run for cover. They also try to go around you and attack from the rear. All this creates great infantry combat which you won’t forget.

Apart from the AI the game is pretty much any first person shooter out there. But I like that the developers continue the story through the game with maps and briefings between each mission. Some first person shooters do not do that and I always thought that it’s kind of lame.

I would recommend Codename Outbreak to gamers who have already tried most first person shooters and wants some challenging combat. But keep your expectations at a reasonable level; the game is not always that convincing.

Related: Spec Ops Rangers Lead The Way, SWAT 3, Doom, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault
Developer: GSC Game World
Website for Game: N/A
Avalon Interactive (Part of Virgin Interactive)
O/S: Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP
Cost of Full Game: N/A
Year of Release: 2001

Pentium II 266 MHz, 128 MB RAM, 8 MB VRAM
Tested on:
AMD Athlon 64 2.2 GHz, 2x512 MB RAM, Geforce 4 64 MB

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