It seems that the notorious T-virus infected Capcom programers too!

User Rating: 6.5 | BioHazard Outbreak (PlayStation 2 the Best) PS2
Amongst the long list of survival horror games, "Outbreak" stands more like a game-play experimentation, and most certainly a failed one. Primary designed as an on-line game, it never arrived as such in Europe, and so I can only judge it in its off-line mode.

What clearly differentiates "Outbreak" from the previous "Resident Evil" installations is its co-operative mode of playing. Although it may seems as an interesting variation from what we have been used to so far in the series, in reality it proves to be game's Waterloo. In contrast with the classic (and well tested) recipe of the "one man army", here the player is a part of a three characters team, where the CPU controls the other two. With only 4 slots available in your inventory, you must constantly interact with the NPCs in order to manage your findings (weapons, curative items and keys). The game ends up to be a long time desperate struggle to bridle two extremely unresponsive, stubborn NPCs. Although it wasn't meant to be this way, it gives you such a relief when one of them occasionally gets killed! The whole co-operation mode feels like being the one head of a Cerberus, where the other two heads act at will, and most of the time, for the team's bad.

Another feature of this title that gave me a very bad impression is the game's overall difficulty. As if co-operating with the NPCs wasn't tough enough, the last three levels (out of five in total) were extremely difficult and tiresome as well. Especially the final level lasts longer than all the previous four altogether. Given that this level must be completed within the same time limit as in previous levels, I found it impossible to finish it without the help of a walk-through. I would say that I detected some kind of cunning and sadistic intention by the programmers towards the player.
That doesn't make the game challenging at all, but unfair and frustrating.

What saves the game from the ultimate failure, are its very good animations and graphics, sounds and music, and a ton of unlockable features that can keep you busy for another couple of days. But above all, the game's strongest point is its famous brand: RESIDENT EVIL.