|Resident Evil Outbreak File #2|
|Developer:||Capcom Production Studio 1|
|Genre:||Survival horror |
|Engine:||Id Tech 3 (Modified)|
|Modes:||Single player, multiplayer|
|Release date(s):||September 9, 2004 (JP) |
April 26, 2005 (NA)
August 26, 2005 (EU)
|Ratings:||ESRB: Mature (M)|
Resident Evil Outbreak File #2 (Biohazard Outbreak File #2 in Japan) is an online game for the PlayStation 2 which was first released in September 2004 in Japan. It is a sequel and expansion on Resident Evil Outbreak, which was originally envisioned as a much larger game before being cut into multiple releases, containing levels which failed to be completed in time for the original game's release. The same eight characters from the first title return with similar abilities, and the game takes place once again in a zombie-run Raccoon City.
While the first title was a reasonable success worldwide, File #2 failed to satisfy the Japanese market even with its offer of a pre-order promotional demo of Devil May Cry 3. Consequently, it was decided that the remaining unfinished levels for the original game were to be shelved.
File #2 includes several improvements from the first Outbreak. Loading times are now much shorter, with the average DVD loading screen counting in at seven seconds. HDD loading is now about 1–3 seconds. There is no longer a brief "pause" when the inventory or map is opened (although there may be a pause whenever a character equips a weapon), players can now walk and shoot at the same time, a new item was given to each of the original characters, including magazines for their weapons (Kevin and Mark), a new defensive weapon (Alyssa), a team-aid item (George, Cindy), a lighter that has "J's Bar" engraved on it (David), and stat-boosting items (Jim, Yoko).
Communication is roughly the same, which has turned many players away from File #2. Instead of creating a new system from scratch, the old communication system from the first game has been improved upon. These new additions included the ad-lib phrase "Sorry", and the ability to say comments based on what players were looking at on the Map and File screens.
The game also boasts a new difficulty feature and some changes to the game's balance. These include a new Nightmare Mode and several alternations to previous damage charts. For example, the zombie's grab attack did around 300 damage in the original Outbreak. It now does well over 600. These changes, combined with a new zombie speed and increased attack range, make the game a challenge to even veteran Resident Evil players.
In the American version of the game, the "ad-libs" from the first game have been removed. Now, only when a character uses the analog stick or makes a request do they make a noise. If context ad-libbing is attempted, no sounds are made, affecting gameplay. If a player attempts to tell someone they were poisoned, the chances of that player getting the message was low if he or she is in the middle of combat. The Japanese release, however, features full voices, with the European featuring only voices and no text.
The American version also features various cases of mistranslation. For example, one shelf on the "End of the Road" scenario tells the player that an item of importance is on top of the final row. When as a matter of fact, there is nothing on the top of this shelf.
Outbreak File 2 features several gameplay improvements over the first game, for further information look here.
Network Play features a major overhaul from the previous Outbreak game. The game featured a new lobby system, new event system, and an increase of options and modes to play.
Capcom ran events from the month of April to late May that were sponsored by various gaming magazines. This included events from PSM and EGM, amongst others. Clearing these events rewarded the players with characters and costumes (the same ones you can get offline). Some events took place in standard levels on set difficulties, while others placed the player in selected levels with Infinite and Nightmare options activated (this was before the two mentioned options were available for free use). As of writing, Capcom now runs a pattern of events. They will feature a point event one week, then an SP Item hunt the next week.
The lobby system has been revamped, now including ten areas with different options in each one (75% healing, double enemy damage, infinite ammo, difficulty levels, etc.). However, this change makes it harder to join games with friends. In order to join your friend in their hosted or current game, the player will need to enter a menu to search for their name, then exit that menu. Choose the area they're in, and find the game. The menu doesn't mention the amount of players in the current game when you search it, meaning the game could be full before you even reach it.
In early July, Capcom closed an alternate server, leaving only one choice for the player when they connected as far as server selections go. Months after, Nightmare Mode, Infinite Mode, and changes to the Area system were made. HDD Support was dropped from the Area Screen, but players could still host games with HDD mode turned on by activating it offline.
From within the game, or by a link on the official Capcom sales page of their U.S. site, players can look and see where they stacked on the ranking boards. Various players have cheated the rankings. Capcom has deleted most of them, but act most of the time after various player reports are sent to them via e-mail or by telephone calls. The rankings were recently reset (July '06) due to a power outage within Capcom USA.
Online Play is available once more, due to a dedicated team of fans bringing them back online via a reconstructed fan server based on the internet packet captures that were captured before the game was shut down on the Japanese servers, play is supported by original PS2 Hardware and emulators for the original Japanese copies of both games (fan-made translation patches are also available). Access requires an account on the forums.
Data Convert Ex. CharactersEdit
File #2 introduced a feature that allowed players to transfer data between the original game and File #2. When first released, it was useful for transferring over playable NPCs already unlocked in the original Outbreak. However, the feature can also be used in reverse, allowing players to unlock NPCs and content not available otherwise in the original Outbreak as well as being able to obtain playable NPCs from the original outbreak at a much lower price and transfer them over to the original game. In addition, transferring over to the original game from File #2 also has the side effect of unlocking all content in the original's collection. (it still has to be purchased for points though, unless it's an NPC or costume that was unlocked in File #2.) Some player NPCs unlocked from File #2 have slight differences in the original game. (such as stats, names, or obvious visual differences)
In addition to above, there are also many different playable NPC's that are not unlockable by any means. They have stats which indicates they were intended to be unlockable at some point. Many of them seem to be key characters related to missions that didn't make the final cut. (such as Mickey or HUNK) Others are NPC's that appear in the game as both humans and zombies. (such as Chuck and Laura). The only way to obtain these characters is to use a gameshark or other third party game enhancing device.