Resident Evil Outbreak, along with its sequel Outbreak File #2, are online entries in the Resident Evil series exclusively for the PlayStation 2.Both games take place during the Raccoon City viral outbreak covered in Resident Evil 2 and 3 centering on how an octet of normal citizens — Kevin Ryman, Mark Wilkins, Jim Chapman, David King, George Hamilton, Cindy Lennox, Alyssa Ashcroft, and Yoko Suzuki — react to the disaster, along with their efforts to escape the city safely.They really don't have a singular overarching story, per se, and instead are presented as a series of short scenarios which pit a group of characters in a location and task them with following its story to the conclusion and subsequent escape. These games' place in the canon is often the subject of dispute, due to the fact that they need to accommodate all eight characters, as well as contradictions present in these titles compared to the primary series.Notable in that Capcom made a conscious decision not to implement voice chat capability, to try and keep the game "in character" (they didn't want a man's voice coming out of Yoko, for example) and also to ramp up the tension. It's arguable whether they succeeded in this venture or not, and a rather moot point anyway now that it's restricted to offline play only, which itself is restricted to single player with AI-controlled partners.The first Outbreak sold very well, mostly due to popularity of the Resident Evil brand. By the time File #2 came out, word had gotten out about the game's many bizarre design decisions, in addition to Resident Evil 4 stealing most of the game's spotlight. Despite being a large improvement in both stage designs and controls, including the addition of auto-aim and strafing, File #2 sold very poorly and seems to have ended the series.In June 2011, the Outbreak brand was revived as a social network-based game known as Outbreak Survive. In it, players cooperate to solve puzzles and share items. It is also an Allegedly Free Game, free to play, but items can be purchased with real-life funds.See also Left 4 Dead.
And Then John Was a Zombie: In the Bad Ending, the player character can turn into a zombie while escaping by helicopter in the first Outbreak. Said characters also show up as zombies in certain scenarios in both installments.
And Your Reward Is Clothes: Handled differently from the mainline titles. The player has to collect various articles of clothing before they get the chance use a character's alternate outfit.
Artificial Stupidity: The partner AIs in the original seem to have a brain. For example, they will help you push objects if they see you struggling and they will often go to find key items for you in the last two scenarios. Unfortunately, the AIs in File #2 are dumber than Swiss cheese. They will refuse to help you push heavy objects. They often stand next to zombies and challenge them to a staring contest while said zombies try to feast on whatever nutrition there is in those tiny brains. In the last scenario, they think nothing of walking onto claymore mines or standing in an open area getting repeatedly sniped.
Ascended Extra: "Desperate Times", a chapter in File #2, revolves around Marvin Branagh, the wounded police officer from Resident Evil 2 who was supposed to be Leon's superior officer.
Badass Normal: Every human character. Not as extreme as the characters from the main games, but they were all badass enough to survive Raccoon City. Special mention goes to the blonde cop Raymond, an NPC who doesn't survive but dies yelling for you to "Burn these bastards!".
Bad Export for You: You think the games are bad now there's no online? In Europe and Australia, File #1 was always that way. Those regions never got multiplayer until File #2.
Yoko herself, too. When she dies, her corpse still has her extra item slots. One common cheat for beating "Desperate Times" on the hardest setting is to deliberately kill Yoko in the RPD courtyard, then use her body as an ammo dump. It's not absolutely necessary, but it makes things a lot easier for all but the most skilled players.
Bizarrchitecture: For some reason, J's Bar has its storeroom and loading dock on the third floor, and has no freight elevator to get those massive wine casks to the bar area.
There's a canal in the bottom floor of the Raccoon City Hospital.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: If you hide from a zombie in a locker before it sees you, it will stumble around and leave. If you open up the minimap while it is still there, however, it will "hear" it and attack.
Bribing Your Way to Victory: Late in the game's life cycle, players who had purchased backwards compatible PlayStation 3s were able to play online with PS2 users. Because the PS3 loaded rooms much faster, the PS3 users shattered all the PS2 users time and score records.
Broken Bridge: Literally. If you dawdle too long before crossing the rope bridge in "Flashback", it will crumble. This opens up a separate sidequest, however, which you could only play online. Oops.
Brother Chuck: Part of the reason the Outbreak games are canonically disputed is that the characters have never been seen again (not that undisputedly canon characters haven't also dropped out of the plot). Not even Yoko, who got the most character development and has ties to Umbrella, and uses it to testify (with obviously damaging results) against Umbrella in the aftermath, helping its downfall. Reportedly, the only way Capcom was able to sidestep their Nintendo exclusivity contract was to make the non-Nintendo games non-canon.
Subverted in The Umbrella Chronicles, where in the scenario Death's Door, Ada Wong kills the T-0400TP-4, in which is the Tyrant encountered in End of the Line scenario.
Camera Screw: In Outbreak, there is one camera angle that gives almost every player fits. The first floor of the apartment building next to J's Bar is a low angle shot that ruins your perspective. Naturally there are three zombies and a hard time limit to get through it. Many players can navigate it by rote, but that only works if you're the first one through.
Camp Unsafe Isn't Safe Anymore / Captain Obvious: The level "The Hive" opens in Raccoon City Hospital. There are zombies bashing on the front doors, the doctors are gone, the halls are filled with bloodstains and corpses. The first thing the last surviving doctor says is "This hospital is not as safe as it may look or sound."
Cold Sniper: In "End of the Road," an Umbrella sniper brags about killing 100 zombies and shoots Linda and the player (who are clearly human) for no good reason.
Collection Sidequest: One that relies on the difficulty setting, your chosen character, and a completely random variable, and is needed for a 100% completion.
Continuity Snarl: With RE2 and RE3, generally regarding the condition of the Raccoon Police Department.
Raccoon City is also destroyed substantially earlier in both Outbreak games than it is in the ending of RE3.
Controllable Helplessness: If you're knocked down, you are denied access to any weapons until you were pulled back to your feet by another character. However, you can crawl around on the ground to try and evade danger.
Critical Existence Failure: If your connection were to drop during an online game, you'd keep playing, but all of the other players' characters would suddenly, simultaneously drop dead. Likewise, if you quit out of a game, the game treated it as though you'd suddenly died.
Deadly Gas: At random intervals in the "Desperate Times" scenario, gas will be pumped into the room that speeds up your infection rate until you leave or use an anti-gas canister. It's even a sickly yellow color.
Gaiden Game: The Outbreak series has kind of a shaky relationship with canon. It was originally stated to be a side story with no bearing on the main plot, but aside from a few minor issues, there was no reason why it couldn't have been set in the main continuity. A couple of scenarios and locations from the Outbreak games appeared as what were essentially Easter eggs in a couple of scenarios in The Umbrella Chronicles, and Ada's bonus chapter is essentially a very quick retelling of "End of the Road" from File #2. Fast forward to the modern day, and the "Daylight" vaccine from the first Outbreak apparently figures into the plot of the Resident Evil 6 manga.
Game-Breaking Bug: A player-controlled Alyssa using her ad-libs can cause File #1 to lock up.
I Can't Reach It: The entire first half of the level "Outbreak" requires players to escape to the roof, jump between buildings, and come down the the building next door into the street in front. Even if you kill all the zombies coming into the bar, the game does not let you walk right out the front door to reach the same spot.
Implacable Man: The games love using this one. Roughly half the levels have some monstrous bullet-sponge stalking you the entire time. Special points to the Final Boss, Thanatos, who never actually dies until the nuclear missile falls. The characters can only incapacitate him temporarily.
Inventory Management Puzzle: Oh so very much, especially offline. Yoko often alleviates this problem. In fact, some players have one player deliberately die as Yoko, so they can use the corpse as a storage device.
The Mr. and Mrs. series of secret characters. They're colored stick figures.
Both games had playable characters that you normally found dead, injured, or worse, such as Monica or the dead Daylight developer in the Raccoon University basement. They're often spawned with the gaping injury that caused their death or moderately infected, in dangerous condition, and have a high infection rate.
Just in Time: Averted. If you manage to outrun a countdown by a significant margin (not that hard to do on some of the File #1 levels), then you just have to stand around until it's done.
Lethal Joke Item: Jim's coin. Each flip which comes up heads gives him a stackable (to 3) 15% critical hit chance. If he has the time to flip three heads in a row (many levels have safe rooms where you could), he becomes an absolute badass.
Offline, you can tell AI that tend to follow you around (for example, Yoko) to split up. Some (like David) automatically go off on their own.
Typically, on scenarios with multiple pathways, each of your AI companions will automatically take a path each, meaning you'll be separated from one of your companions for a good portion of that scenario.
Lost Forever: The online functionality, now that Capcom has shut all of their servers down. When questioned about the prospect of a PS2 Classics release, they confirmed that online play would remain disabled.
Luck Based Event: In the "Outbreak" scenario, certain events have a 1/16 chance of triggering such as seeing a wine bottle fall and break. In File #2, there is also a chance of you hearing an unseen person's scream in "Wild Things". Playing as Jim increases your chances of experiencing both, which are added to your Event List.
Mad Libs Dialogue: The canned "contextual" ad-libs made by pressing the Square button. One might argue that these were part of the reason for said spinoff's lack of success. Word of God at the time was this was deliberate in order to ratchet up tension between the players.
Menu Time Lockout: Averted when you're checking your inventory or map (Start); played straight when you are in the system/options menu (Select).
Nintendo Hard: The original RE games attracted a small but notable culture of hardcore players who specialized in beating the games as quickly as possible, or with as much of a handicap as they could give themselves. The Outbreak games are specifically designed to cater to that audience. While just about anyone with a pulse could probably beat a scenario on Very Easy, the Very Hard modes more than live up to their name. Beating "Wild Things" on Very Hard mode is quite the feather in an RE fan's cap.
No Celebrities Were Harmed: Every playable character in the central cast of Outbreak is seemingly deliberately designed to look like a celebrity. For example, Kevin Ryman looks a lot like Tom Cruise, Mark Wilkins is pretty much Ving Rhames, and David King resembles Dylan McDermott. Even Yoko is a dead ringer for the Japanese actress Erika Oda. In two cases, Jim and Cindy, they have alternate outfits that accentuate this: Jim gets a basketball outfit that makes him look even more like Dennis Rodman, and Cindy has a leather catsuit that's seemingly patterned after the one Uma Thurman wears in The Avengers.
The only cop to survive setting up the demolition charges at the climax of the first scenario looks astonishingly like WayneKnight.
"Below Freezing Point" is set in the underground Umbrella lab from RE2
"Desperate Times" in File #2 takes place in the Raccoon police station.
"End of the Road" in File #2 ends, yet again, in the area outside Apple Inn. This time though, you find out just what's behind that mysterious door off to your right. It's a shortcut to the bridge where you blew up the zombies in "Outbreak".
"The Hive" features the hospital from RE3 and the sewers from RE2.
Old Save Bonus: Characters and costumes purchased in one game can be exported into the other in File #2's menu.
One-Man Army: "Lone Wolf" mode, which removes the AI partners. Have fun having to do all the puzzles yourself. For File #1, this is actually needed to complete the European map puzzle in "Hellfire."
One Steve Limit: In File #1 the game would only allow one of each character type in the game, meaning you can't play as a USS member if someone was using a fireman, both of which use Kevin's voice, animations, and loadout. This restriction was lifted for #2.
Open Says Me: With enough firepower or persistence, most doors can be forced open. These are the same doors that zombies can force themselves through, though.
Plot Coupon That Does Something: "Daylight", the cure for the T-Virus, not only permanently cures you of any infection but can also be used to one-shot the True Final Boss of File #1. For that matter, what endings you get depend upon if you took the pill or not, and if you saved any pills of Daylight to be used to reproduce it to cure others.
Poor Communication Kills: The series didn't include voice communication, only a small number of prerecorded lines. Unless the players knew what to do in the level, this could very easily get someone killed. The developers believed it would heighten tension.
Raising the Steaks: "Wild Things". Zombie jackals are a common enemy, you must cross a pool with an angry zombie alligator in it, and depending on what you did to the mutant elephant chasing you, you either fight that, or a zombie lion - after you kill the zombie lion's wife.
Revive Kills Zombie: A near-perfect example. The medicinal pills George makes can be launched at enemies in File #2 to kill them. Shooting the final Tyrant with the Daylight cure is the easiest way to beat him in "Decisions, Decisions".
Say My Name: Character names are mapped to the right analog stick for a quick means of getting someone's attention.
Schmuck Bait: Hitting the second floor elevator button in "The Hive" dumped you into the Doctor's Office, an extremely cramped room with two zombies and no useful items. It was very easy to get yourself severely wounded before you could get back into the elevator and if Leech Man joined the fray...
Schrödinger's Player Character: Obviously, given that you have eight choices. In certain stages, not playing as a chosen character will have them as an NPC who cannot be interacted with, and will later show up dead or zombified. Later games never even made it clear if any variation happened.
Secret Character: Every NPC you encounter can be unlocked and controlled. But...
Send in the Clones: Functionally, they mimic the eight primary characters, even being described in-game with terms like "KEVIN Type".
Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Not of the entire series, but only happens with certain conditions. For example, if no one is Yoko during "The Hive", she never gets to find out why Monica (an Umbrella scientist and Yoko's co-worker) recognizes and hates her, on account of being a zombie. "Decisions, Decisions" may end in this if you fail to take or replicate enough Daylight to get out.
The Six Stats: Two of them — Dexterity and Constitution — are represented in-game, with each character running at different speeds and taking different amounts of damage. Furthermore, the "resist disease" function of Constitution is its own stat; each character's virus gauge climbs at a different rate.
Socialization Bonus: Some of the sidequests and special endings required you to be online because of the triggered events (see Broken Bridge). Also, online allowed players to tackle the highest difficulty levels with 4 characters instead of three. The finale of "Desperate Times" is almost impossible on the hardest setting with some characters, because you physically cannot bring enough ammo into the finale without having Yoko to use as a bag of holding, and some PCs don't start with her on the team.
Special Attack: Each character has one exclusive defensive move, some passive skills and personal items. More to the trope, Ryman and Alyssa can re-aim their shots for much more damage and a usual One-Hit Kill.
The computer-controlled partners like to hog firearms and ammo, will never take keys or important story items, and generally like to separate from the player. The second part could be considered a boon, given the alternative. Depending on the AI type, some will hand over weapons easily (such as Yoko) and others won't (such as David).
Another thing that should be brought up is based on which characters are grouped together. For instance, David and Kevin don't get along, while Yoko and David do.
Standard Status Effects: The usual Resident Evil poisoning that requires blue herbs to cure, but characters can also bleed out which slows them down along with diminishing their health until fixed with a hemostat or Cindy's bandage.
Status Buff: Herbs or pills to replenish your health, and pills to slow down the virus gauge.
Story Branching: The game had several scenarios where the plotlines would branch and you could take a different path of escape.
Team Spirit/The Power of Friendship: You can hoist downed partners to safety, and cooperation in general is key. Naturally, this was made interesting by the aforementioned lack of voice chat.
Timed Mission: The virus gauge is effectively a time limit, as it's impossible to cure your infection until you use some Daylight at the end of "Decisions, Decisions".
Token Minority: Mark and Jim are the token blacks; Cindy, Alyssa and Yoko are the token females, and Yoko is also the token Asian. At least one theory speculates that David is Native American, but it's unconfirmed.
The UBCS team in "Decisions, Decisions" is massacred literally right in front of you, but you can't pick up their guns.
Averted at the finale of "End of the Road" when another team is killed, but this time you can take the guns.
Vaporware: File #3 was cancelled due to poor sales of the second installment compared to the first.
Video Game Cruelty Potential: Zombies normally ignore Bob entirely during "Outbreak", but if the player stands behind him when they attack, he'll get struck instead, and it doesn't take him long to die given his condition. He can also, with some careful positioning, be hauled out the window by the zombies up the first flight of stairs from the bar.
With This Herring: Justified most of the time, as none of the citizens were expecting to get attacked, and Kevin and Mark both start with their standard-issue firearms.
Workplace-Acquired Abilities/You Have Researched Breathing: Some of the survivors have skills which logically follow from their clothing or training. For example, combat boot-wearing Kevin can boot zombies. Others have skills that are just plain obvious, like Cindy's amazing ability to duck. Or Yoko thinking to wear a backpack.
You All Meet in J's Bar: "Outbreak". With the wonky canon, this could also happen in an actual inn, an infested zoo, a safehouse, etc.
All of the characters. The virus was represented by a gauge in the corner that constantly ticked up and went faster if you were wounded.
Mark's friend Bob from the first scenario was an NPC example. He needed to be carried to the roof and defended the whole time. If you got there on low difficulties he would commit suicide, but on the highest he would turn and attack you.