SCOURGE: OUTBREAK

Set in the near future, Scourge: Outbreak throws you into the boots of Echo Squad, an elite group of mercenaries hired by The Tarn Initiative to deal a decisive blow against the power-hungry Nogari Corporation. Your mission: First, to locate and rescue Dr Reisbeck, Tarn’s double-agent inside Nogari; Second, to recover a piece of the meteorite fragment that Nogari has used to develop Ambrosia, the powerful new synthetic energy source with which they now control the world.

Stranded on Nogari Island shortly after being mysteriously attacked during your covert insertion, and surrounded on all sides by hostile forces, the only way out is to complete the mission. You’ll require all of your skill and firepower to stay alive as you fight your way through the chaos that has consumed the alien-infested Nogari facilities that lie before you…

Features

Scourge: Outbreak is a 3rd-Person Shooter created using Unreal Engine 3 for the XBox Live Arcade, PSN (PS3), STEAM PC/MAC and MAC platforms, and delivers the following exciting features:

  • Up to 4-Player Co-op Campaign with 6+ hours of gameplay
  • 4 Playable Characters, each with different weapon handling stats and a distinct combination of Special Abilities
  • Unique Flashbacks per playable character, showing you critical past events that shed a new light on your predicament…
  • XP system to track your experience and unlock powerful gameplay rewards in Campaign AND Multiplayer
  • Squad AI for groups with less than 4 Players
  • Quick-Order-System (QOS) for rapid deployment of Squad-members
  • 9 Weapons, plus multiple variants of each to suit your playing style
  • Up to 8 Players in Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch and Capture-The-Flag multiplayer Versus modes in 5 action-packed maps!
  • Leaderboards for competing with friends and other Players around the world!
  • Challenging Achievements and Trophies to unlock on all platforms


Minimum system requirements

  • Operating System Windows XP (SP3), Windows Vista (SP2), or Windows 7
  • Processor Intel Core 2 Duo, AMD Athlon X2, or equivalent, running at 1.6 GHz or greater
  • Memory (RAM) 2 GB
  • HDD Space 5 GB available
  • Video Card DirectX 9.0c compatible, 256 MB of VRAM; NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GS, ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro 256 MB, or greater
  • Soundcard DirectX 9.0c compatible, 16-bit
  • Network Internet (TCP/IP) connection

Recommended system requirements

  • Operating System Windows Vista (SP2), or Windows 7
  • Processor QuadCore 2.0 GHz
  • Memory (RAM) 2 GB
  • HDD Space 5 GB available
  • Video Card DirectX 9.0c compatible, 512MB of VRAM; NVIDIA GeForce GTX260, or ATI Radeon 4870
  • Soundcard DirectX 9.0c compatible, 16-bit
  • Network Broadband Internet (TCP/IP) connection

This summer, Tragnarion Studios will be very proud to release ''Scourge: Outbreak''; a co-op, squad-based third-person shooter built with Unreal Engine 3. Some people will already be curious about the similarities between screenshots from Outbreak and ''The Scourge Project: Episodes 1 & 2'' (TSP), which we released on PC in April 2010. ''Is this a new game? It looks quite similar to the last one...'' A lot has happened since the release of TSP, so we feel it's important to clearly explain what Scourge: Outbreak is...

We must be up-front and admit that TSP hit the (virtual) shelves in a state less polished than we would have liked. As gamers ourselves, we know what it's like to play something that feels like it would have benefited from more time in development. We were a small and, at the time, relatively inexperienced team trying to compete against some very, very heavy hitters in the shooter genre who have teams much larger than ours. There was a lot of pressure on us finish the game and get it out as quickly as possible, so the truth is that we struggled to meet the high expectations of shooter fans with the time and resources at our disposal. Nobody felt this disappointment as deeply as we did.

Once TSP was released, we turned our attention to two things. Firstly, we did our best to listen to the community and respond quickly with patches to address the most pressing issues, while making notes on improvements that we hoped to squeeze in for the console versions. Secondly, we began working on porting TSP to Xbox 360 and PS3.

However, we soon hit a serious problem. Xbox LIVE Arcade titles are restricted to 2 GB, and the PC version of TSP was over 6 GB. Making the game fit into 2 GB was going to be a gargantuan task; one which would inevitably have far-reaching consequences. Cutting out any major chunk of the campaign would break things like story, pacing, etc, not to mention result in a much smaller game for players to enjoy. Removing the PvP versus modes and maps would severely reduce our potential audience. No, we had to do this carefully. So, while part of our team focused on finding technical solutions for saving space, the rest of the team started analyzing the game to figure out which parts could be removed or modified without seriously screwing anything up. With a deep breath, we plunged in and spent the better part of two years fighting to save our game and make sure it didn't remain a PC-only title forever.

Still, despite a lot of blood, sweat and tears (all literal!), we worked hard and used this time to make the game better. Much, much better. Here's just a small selection of what we were able to do:

  • Added a totally new Tutorial level at the start of the game to better explain gameplay mechanics and establish key plot points which were fuzzy before, as well as created new cut-scenes and added new dialogue for a much improved plot narrative throughout.
  • Checkpoints which weren't fun were cut, and others which were under-used had action added to them to squeeze in a lot more gameplay than they offered before. The gameplay in almost every checkpoint has been revised and re-balanced to make it more challenging while at the same time more fair.
  • Re-vamped Friendly and enemy AI, improving combat behavior, path-finding, and fixing a lot of bugs.
  • Overhauled the weapons handling, added new weapon variants and made gunplay far more responsive and gratifying with better hit feedback, stumble/death animations, etc.
  • Made cover much easier and faster to use and added a 'Cover Slip' action.
  • Adjusted Player movement speeds and added a (much needed) Roll action.
  • Vastly improved gameplay fluidity, making all actions faster, smoother and far more responsive.
  • Added unlockable Perks to the XP system, so gaining XP Ranks is now much more meaningful.
  • Using new functionality in Unreal Engine 3, we totally re-did the lighting in the entire game, resulting in far more vibrant and varied environments.
  • Created a lot more landmarks and cool background vistas to aid navigation and add more depth to the world.
  • Revised the look of several playable characters and added a bunch of brand new enemies.
  • Completely changed our approach our PvP modes, replacing all the original maps with new ones to emphasize a smaller, more intimate and intense 4v4 squad combat experience. Now 4 friends who have played the campaign in co-op can also be a full team in PvP modes, without having to rely on strangers to win.

We did all of this and a ton more (see the complete list in the downloadable PDF version below), all the while chipping away at ''what could have been'' and re-shaping it into ''what should have been'' in 2010. Some would argue that in this time we could have made a new game, but that would have felt like giving up on a fallen comrade. We simply were not willing to do that.

With such a massive drop from 6 GB to 2 GB, many of you will be wondering if the visual quality of the game has suffered. Rest assured that, due to all the experience we've gained with Unreal Engine 3 since TSP and all the hard work during these years, we're confident that the overall end result is actually much better. Compared to the rich diversity that Outbreak now offers, playing through TSP felt like a never-ending trudge through a bland, flatly-lit pea-soup fog. This radical and positive transformation is largely due to much improved lighting, post processing, more interesting and varied (not to mention less claustrophobic) environments, revised (and new) characters, and cooler particle FX and tracers, just to name a few. But anyway, we'll let the comparative screenshots (see below) speak for themselves. Note that for each pair of images, the upper image is from TSP on PC at the highest graphics settings (ie. before), and the lower image is from Outbreak on Xbox 360 (ie. now).

After so much improvement, simply releasing a patch but keeping the name felt like an injustice to what was now far more rich and polished gaming experience. So, we felt that it deserved as clean a slate as we could provide it, and re-named it from ''The Scourge Project: Episodes 1 & 2'' to ''Scourge: Outbreak''. TSP had always been planned as the first two installments of a four part story arc, hence the 'episodes' in the former title. This was the main reason for there being so many unanswered questions by the end of Episode 2. In Outbreak, we provide answers for a lot of these questions. Only time will tell if we get the opportunity to continue the saga (we would love to!), but for now Scourge: Outbreak does a much better job of standing up on it's own as a complete game.

All in all, the differences go far beyond what would be considered a patch. Scourge: Outbreak looks better, plays better and is more fun than TSP ever was. It's a game that our small, humble team is immensely proud of. If you already own TSP, please take the time to check out Scourge: Outbreak; you'll be amazed at the difference!

For everyone else who is new to the Scourge world, please take a moment to try our game. As a downloadable title on Xbox LIVE Arcade, PSN Store and Steam (PC & Mac), Scourge: Outbreak offers tremendous value for money and is perfect for friends who want a full four player co-op campaign and PvP modes where you don't need to depend on strangers because you four guys and gals are the whole team.

So slap in a fresh clip and charge up your Ambrosia suit, because Nogari Corporation just made fun of your mother. It's time for some payback! Scourge: Outbreak awaits you...


Click on a flag below to download a PDF version (includes a more detailed list of improvements)





To find out more about this game, visit the official website: Scourge Outbreak

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