Night has fallen, and your little group of survivors has managed to fight through to the uncertain sanctity of a small suburban house, an oasis in the midst of the hordes of living dead that surround it. There's a problem though: Dave's been shot, or worse yet, bitten. It's hard to tell. Kelly thinks she can save him, but Seth already has his gun out and doesn't want to take any chances, even if it means putting a bullet in the head of someone not even infected. You're the deciding vote. And so starts The Outbreak, SilkTricky's foray into the world of interactive live-action horror.
Attempts to add interactivity to scary movies range back to 1961's Mr. Sardonicus and its (likely rigged) "Punishment Poll." It's not hard to see why: of all genres of film, horror is the one where the viewer could probably give the characters the most helpful advice. Even if members of the audience aren't actually yelling out "Don't open that door!" or "The monster's not dead yet!", they're probably thinking it pretty hard. That said, while the techniques of horror games have advanced by leaps and bound, ones involving full-motion video with live actors pretty well stalled after the release of the infamous Night Trap and the slightly better Phantasmagoria, as the genre got a reputation for cheesy production values and limited gameplay.
It is true that many of the usual criticisms of the full-motion-video genre apply to The Outbreak. You basically watch the film until prompted to make a choice, the acting is questionable (or at least very loud and sweary), and it sometimes feels that your successful choices are frustratingly based on dumb luck rather than logic (as is, admittedly, the case with many "Choose Your Own Adventure" type stories). On the other hand, the fast-paced direction and well-done special effects are quite effective in creating a constant sense of menace, and the chapter select options allow you to easily return to an earlier decision, limiting frustration. There are 21 scenes in total, with 10 decision points. There are 6 options that lead to death, and 2 that lead to your survival, though the "death" endings are often just as entertaining as the "survival" ones. There's something to be said for the visceral emotion of live-action scares that's hard to capture in drawn form.
The Outbreak is a fast, dumb, violent, profane, zombie movie in interactive form. Some will find that sentence to be a compelling reason to check it out, and others a compelling reason to stay far away. But if you are a fan of George Romero or games like the Dead Frontier: Outbreak series, and are willing to overlook a few plot holes in pursuit of a good bloody time, this is a game worth watching and a movie worth playing.