Outbreak: Endless Nightmares

Outbreak: Endless Nightmares is the sixth game in the Outbreak series, and after Outbreak: The New Nightmare and Outbreak: The Nightmare Chronicles, this is the third of these games that we’ve covered here at Half-Glass Gaming in less than a year.

For me personally, Endless Nightmares is the second game on the series that I’ve played, and to be quite honest, I’ve been struggling to put my thoughts about it into words. I’m going to try, though.

This is a tank-controlled adventure shooter with what I’m tempted to say are dungeon-crawling elements. Kind of? It’s quite a bit different from the other Outbreak game that I played (Nightmare Chronicles), which was more of a Resident Evil-inspired venture.

Outbreak: Endless Nightmares

Endless Nightmares starts with a character select screen and too-small text options on the side. Once you select your desired game options, you’re dropped into a spooky graveyard with floating reapers. All of the lore in the game is contained within the Lore & Story option on the main menu, or in pages of books and journals found littered across the game as you make your way through the levels.

Your goal is (seemingly) to collect some item called a Conductor’s Coin, which will let you unlock additional rooms, dungeons, and scenarios — or “Anomalies” as the game calls them. Absolutely nothing is explained about how to play the game once you drop in. There is no tutorial; there’s no help coming. You are left to wander the graveyard and into the building to discover what to do on your own.

The controls are janky and slow, and some of the fixed camera angles are jarring — sometimes making it impossible to see what you’re doing. This will lead to deaths that feel unfair.

Outbreak: Endless Nightmares

But underneath the dirty covering — all its tiny garish text, clunky controls, and lower-than-low budget, I think Outbreak: Endless Nightmares is worth experiencing. Most people will probably disagree with me on this, but I like that this feels like one of those brutal old-school games that refused to hold your hand, back when games hadn’t yet realized they were supposed to. It’s like picking up the original Legend of Zelda for NES for the very first time, when you had absolutely no idea where to go once you found the sword (of course, Endless Nightmares is a lot uglier than The Legend of Zelda).

There is a lot to explore here, and series-creator-slash-solo-developer Evan Wolbach is doing a pretty fantastic job handling it all.

Outbreak: Endless Nightmares asks you to put aside everything you think you like about how modern games are supposed to play. If you’re willing to do so, and you’re ready to travel back in time about 25 years or so, then maybe give this one a chance.

Disclaimer: Half-Glass Gaming was given a complementary copy of the game for this review. I played it on Nintendo Switch.

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