3 Reviews

Scourge: Outbreak

The proof is in the Ambrosia pudding

Look, maybe you find yourself inexplicably attracted to the impotent budda-budda-budda of a badly-rendered machine gun. Perhaps you feel you can't go five minutes without hunkering down next to a waist-high wall.

It's entirely possible that you simply crave the strangely comforting repetition that only a six-hour stint of shooting identical clones can bring. We aren't judging. But such a helpless addiction to third-person shooters is the only reason to even consider buying Scourge: Outbreak, a blandly brown and beige XBLA remake of 2010's PC-only title, The Scourge Project.


Scourge's plot is uninspired, hodge-podge hokum siphoned directly from almost every other generic sci-fi shooter you can care to recall. Meathead Echo Squad mercenaries Amp, Shade, Mass and Stonewall (who are about as interesting as their monosyllabic names would suggest) are called in by their employers the Tarn Initiative to rescue scientist and double-agent Dr Reisbeck from the sinister Nogari Corporation, and to recover a piece of the meteorite that Nogari used to develop its advanced Ambrosia technology. Ambrosia grants users special powers, but has also, somehow, unleashed aggressive crab-like aliens and deadly plagues upon the planet. Devon knows how they make it so evil.

Shoot this, shoot that
Aaaand - you've forgotten the gist of that last paragraph already, haven't you? Understandable: Scourge's story is desperately lacking in originality. Unfortunately, its gameplay doesn't fare much better. Here, in near entirety, is a handy walkthrough that you can apply wholesale to the experience: gun down a squad of appallingly overpowered evil guys, hack a console, open a door, gun down some glitchy wall-crawling aliens. Repeat. After four chapters and approximately six hours, you'll be done. There are a few boss fights thrown in along the way, but these do very little to break up the monotony.

All that said, Scourge is cheap, and if you're looking for a no-frills co-op shooter to keep you and three friends mildly entertained, you could do worse. It's designed to be played with others, and with a relatively reasonable price-tag of 800MP apiece, four players can own a copy of the game for less than the cost of a full-price retail release, and that includes a six-hour campaign and three unimaginative but functional multiplayer modes: Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag. Approach if you've got cash to burn and an itch to scratch, then, but be aware that even then you may find yourself disappointed.

Can't help yourself? Fine, download it here.

The verdict

Nogari? No thank you

  • Cheap for the amount of content
  • Cheap-looking content
  • Unbearably repetitive campaign
  • Poor plot and dodgy dialogue
  • Guns and powers are often ineffectual
Live Arcade
Shoot 'em Up