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SCOURGE OUTBREAK on the XBox 360

Scourge Outbreak is a futuristic full-on action cooperation game. You can cooperate with up to 3 other
players or you can cooperate with up to three other characters. You get the choice from four characters
at the beginning of the game - each with their own statistics and abilities, and their specific nickname.

Major Victor "Stonewall" Dantrix - dishonourably discharged from US Army, now a mercenary.
Tasya "Amp" Semivolkova - driven by a deep dark secret, only female in the selection.
James "Mass" Lang - Has a personal secret which becomes clear during the mission.
Ramiro "Shade" Cortez - On a suicide revenge mission and liable to lead the others astray.

     

Character Abilities:
Accuracy, Weapon Stability, Melee Damage, Melee resistance, Speed, Sprint Stamina and Weapon Handling
each of which has a numerical value assigned.

Difficulty Level:
Casual (easy-ish)    Normal (if you are good at combat games)   Nightmare (for freakin' brilliant combat gamers).

Friendly Fire:
You have the ability to turn friendly fire on or off before you start - seeing as it is easy to shoot your buddies it is
probably best to turn it off. Of course Nightmare players will ensure it is turned on!

Tutorial:
Select the Tutorial or dive straight into the Mission - it really is best to play through the Tutorial. The Tutorial will
not just teach you how to move and shoot etc like most other game Tutorials, it also teaches you how to use your
suit, how to give orders to your companions (unless you are playing with 3 other real people) using the Q O S, aka
Quick Order System.

Character's Suits:
The character's suits are powered by Ambrosia. To start with they are powered up with clean Ambrosia, refined
from Alien DNA, but once they are on the mission they have to top up using the unstable Ambrosia found randomly.
This Ambrosia may cause some random effects on the characters. Each character's suit uses the Ambrosia's power
in a different way. I have mainly played the game using "Amp" and her suit allows her to "shoot" power beams or
put up a protective shield which protects her for a short time but also prevents her from other combat actions while
it is in place.

On the Mission:
You are up against the Nogari Nation and during the mission you receive updates and assistance from Reisbeck, one
of your team who has infiltrated the Nogari. The mission is a fight fest from start to finish. You and your comrades
form Echo Squad, and you have been employed by the Tarn Initiative to end Nogari Corporation's grip on inefficient
governments. You begin with a selection of reasonably powerful weapons but as usual in the style of game you can
pick up weapons dropped by dead opponents and find ammunition for all manner of weapons stacked up in random
locations along your route.
Whilst employed on your mission you discover the real truth behind the Nogari's Ambrosia.

The Action:
If you take enough damage you drop to the ground and are inactive until one of your comrades can get to you and heal
you using the power of Ambrosia; you can also heal your friends in the same way. The weapons are fantastic and look
great but they are not particularly accurate or deadly unless you get a perfect hit, otherwise opponents can take a few
hits before they go down - when they do go down they drop their weapons but their bodies disappear (vaporised ?).

The game is played in the 3rd person so you can see yourself (your character) and your comrades in full 3D mode
throughout the mission. Graphics are clean and distinct, sounds are loud and realistic. The opposition have a good
artificial intelligence, not stopping in one place all the time just to be shot - they move about, come closer, dodge, and
do all (most) the things your characters can do.

Enjoyability:
There is a reasonable storyline, nothing special, in fact the base of it has been used time and again, but it is told well
and the action is thoughtful as well as fun. Are there better games on the XBox 360 market ? Yes, there probably are,
but it depends what you want from a game. Action, missions, things going wrong, lots of monsters, boss creatures and
alien technology etc can all be found here in abundance. AND FUN! I enjoy it and have had a good number of hours
on it, so I cannot have any complaints, not that I found anything to complain about.!

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015