Capcom has today confirmed that the European version of Resident Evil Outbreak will be released in September, but it will not feature online support. The North American version of the game, which is scheduled for release next month, is designed to be played online by up to four players.
"There are far more technical difficulties bringing an online game to PAL territories than to Japan or the US, the most obvious of which are the different languages and service providers found in each territory," we were told by an anonymous European Capcom representative. "This said, Capcom is working hard to overcome these difficulties, and right now a number of engineers from our Japanese office are in Europe talking to various ISPs. We hope that it will only be a number of months before we have an online PS2 game up and running."
Rather than cooperating with other online gamers, the European version of Resident Evil Outbreak will see players accompanied by two CPU-controlled characters who are automatically selected from the eight available. These characters will not only assist with the dispatching of zombies, but they will also help out by sharing items such as health packs and ammunition. A further example given by Capcom today states that the CPU characters will be capable of helping the player up onto a rooftop if they fail to make a jump.
Today's news will certainly come as a disappointment to European Resident Evil fans, but it's worth noting that Capcom has made no secret of the fact that Outbreak might be offline in Europe ever since last year's ECTS. Capcom also believes that, even without the online play, Outbreak's five different scenarios offer great value for the money and provide at least as much gameplay as Resident Evil: Code Veronica did.