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April 4, 2005
Resident Evil Outbreak File #2 - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
October 2005CapcomCapcom Production Studio 11, 4 $99.95

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That's one messed up elephant!
We go screwed big time with Resident Evil Outbreak. The lack of online modes is akin to fish without the chips, or a Tarantino movie without the violence. Sure it was still a game but the online modes were the key to the title when released in Japan and America. Fortunately for PAL gamers Resident Evil Outbreak File #2 looks set to make amends with online gameplay confirmed for PAL territories. This game is shaping up as a wonderful title for gamers the world over and although there's a lengthy wait for the title this should be a must have game for fans of the series.

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These early graphics look superb.
Resident Evil Outbreak File #2 continues the dramatic story of an outbreak caused by a secret biological weapon infecting the people of Raccoon City. Citizens are turning into flesh-eating zombies that swarm the streets. In the shadow of this nightmare are a few desperate survivors. They must find a way to get out of the city before they fall victim to the hordes of undead creatures and before the government has a chance to wipe out the entire area to prevent the disaster from spreading. To be honest there isn't a lot of imagination in the storyline, however the locations, including a zoo, should provide some wonderful moments.

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Menu screens are well presented.
Now the first thing to remember about this game is that unlike Resident Evil 4 which is by all likelihood going to be a 2006 release in PAL territories on PS2, this game is designed to be played online for up to 4-players. If you're not online, or don't like playing with other humans there is a single player mode to keep you occupied. In this mode you will be joined by two computer controlled characters in your travels. No matter which way you play the key is to work with your teammates to solve puzzles and overcome obstacles.

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I think you're in trouble there.
In terms of gameplay Resident Evil Outbreak File #2 includes a cast of eight playable characters, each with different abilities. The game allows multiple paths through the levels with enemies now randomly placed through the levels. This should boost the longevity of the title considerably. The game now includes two different control schemes. The old style D-Pad remains however players can now use an analogue control scheme not dissimilar to the control scheme in Capcom's Devil May Cry titles. The game also includes a wide range of unlockable items such as characters, artwork and more. Finally the game includes player stat tracking for things such as play time, types of weapons used and even the distance walked among other things.

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Creeping down the corridor.
If you look at the surrounding graphics, and then consider that the game is running with 3 other people online, it really makes you acknowledge what strides are still being made on the PS2. The character models are superb while the backgrounds are extremely detailed. Once again the sound is what should really make the atmosphere of the game.

With both Resident Evil Outbreak File #2 due in September and Resident Evil 4 due some time later it looks like the next 12 months are going to be the best ever for Resident Evil fans. Capcom's long running series has waned a little in recent years with several competing games now rivaling for supremacy this one-two punch should put the company back on top. Get your network adapters ready for some zombie blasting in October.