Resident Evil: Outbreak
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this game is designed to be scary and bloody. In fact, it starts with a disclaimer advising that the game contains "explicit violence and gore." While there are some positive elements to the game, such as teamwork and puzzle-solving, this M-rated title is for adults only.
What's it about?
What do you get when you cross an out-of-control pharmaceutical company, some suspicious biochemical experiments and a small city of innocent civilians? Naturally, some sort of hideous mutating agent (in the case of RESIDENT EVIL: OUTBREAK, the T-Virus) that turns the average peaceful little town (Raccoon City) into a raging horde of bloodthirsty creatures (zombies, giant moths, etc.).
Zombies attack by biting the neck of their victims, causing blood to spurt out, and other creatures have a variety of other attacks. All lead to an increase of the T-Virus in the player's body, and if it reaches 100 percent the player turns into a zombie. Before long a \"You're Dead\" message appears with dripping blood. Players defend themselves from this cruel finish with a variety of weapons including pipes, handguns, Molotov cocktails, rocket launchers, etc.
Is it any good?
If your kid is asking to play or purchase this game, you need to know that this is not for them: It is rated "M" by the ESRB for good reason. Fortunately, the game is candid about the violence -- even before the game begins there's a disclaimer that the game contains "explicit violence and gore." Overall, the game environment is designed to create a sense of fear and foreboding and contains a lot of elements found typically in horror movies. In addition to the violence, there's a fairly consistent stream of profanity.
There are a few minor positive elements, including the need for problem-solving skills to figure out puzzles, most of which are simple scenarios. Although the game is violent and bloody, it doesn't always emphasize confrontation. Players get a significant point bonus for not using a weapon, and another bonus for not getting hurt at all. Finally, the game utilizes teamwork: Allied characters can be controlled by the computer or played by other human friends over a network.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the appeal of a game like this. Are the gross details disgusting, amusing, or both? Do you think this game would be as enjoyable -- or even more enjoyable -- if they toned it down a little?