It has been over three years since indie developer Tragnarion released The Scourge Project. Fast forward to present day and we have Scourge: Outbreak, and it isn’t going to cure those summer doldrums. Stay outside kids because this is one of the most generic third person shooters to grace a television. Plagued by technical issues and shoddy AI, Scourge: Outbreak struggles to compete in the saturated third person shooter space and does little to set itself apart from the competition.
Scourge: Outbreak puts you in the boots of Echo Squad, mercenaries hired to take down the power-hungry Nogari Corporation. In the year 2026 (that’s 13 years away) energy is produced by a source called ‘Ambrosia’, and for the sake of time, Ambrosia causes bad things to go down. It’s up to your squad to locate a piece of the meteorite fragment that is the source of Ambrosia, a task that can be completed by walking through hallways and shooting everything in your path. The story is straight out of a 90’s sci fi action flick and just loads on the macho from the opening CGI sequence. The cliched characters that you will be controlling for the next sixhours look different, but they all deliver their lines with the emotion of a rock.
One interesting feature gives each character their own unique story, told through flashbacks. Depending on what character you select, you will be given a different cutscene that will tell different parts of the story. It is definitely something that sets Scourge: Outbreak apart from other co-op titles but it happens so infrequently that my team hardly noticed any differences in our experience. That being said, I doubt anyone will have the stomach to play through multiple times to get the full story of Echo Squad.
Before going further, if you happen to play Scourge: Outbreak you are going to need some friends that really like you. Don’t play this alone as your teammate AI is going to get you killed. They are really good at healing you, but do little to help shoot the ever flowing line of baddies sent to stop you. To add to the matter, the guns in this future are inaccurate resulting in frustrating combat throughout the game. The selection of guns is very limited, as you are presented with a rifle, shotgun, sniper rifle, and smg, none of which are fun to use. They feel drastically underpowered and even at point blank range you will be having trouble hitting the enemy. Since the game is comprised of a series of kill rooms, the combat becomes very tedious. Thankfully Echo Squad is equipped with Ambrosia suits, complete with powers that have little impact on the battles. You can toss up a shield, or emit a shockwave pulse, both of which offer a small advantage to just sitting behind cover and unloading clip after clip until all the enemies die.