previews\ Mar 12, 2006 at 7:00 pm

The Outfit - 360 - Preview

OK, according to what I’ve seen and read there is yet another WWII game getting ready to hit store shelves extremely soon on the Xbox 360 called “The Outfit”. I know, I know … you’re probably saying to yourself  “Oh great! Another game based on World War II. Never played that one before”.  Well, you’d be right on the money with that statement, but all subject matter aside … if the final playable version is anything like the downloadable multiplayer demo, fans of wartime shooters and action games could be in for a big treat.

Basically, the downloadable preview allows the player to go online (or split screen) for multiplayer battles in third person perspective on a map which reminded me of a little farming village around the mid 1940s either head to head, two on two, or three on three team battle style. Each side (the Germans and the U.S.) had three different characters to choose from and the individual ones come equipped with their own unique look and weaponry ranging from bazookas and grease guns to flame throwers and rifles, and then off you go to capture waypoints and different key areas (BF1942 or Battlefront style) until all command points from one side or the other have been depleted. Along the way, you can also call in air strikes, order up tanks, vehicles, and artillery to be air dropped on the spot (provided you have the money to do so which is earned by killing the opposing team and capturing certain areas), or just head off on foot either on your own with four AI controlled squad members or with a teammate to reap death and destruction along the countryside while trying to obtain victory.

What makes The Outfit different in my opinion is the sheer level of opportunity and potential strategy that can be used based on what your teammates and you (depending on cooperation level of course) decide to do to win the battle. For example, the repair depot needs to be captured which allows your team to call in tanks and vehicles, but you have to capture waypoint towers to help keep your score up and take points away from the opposing side. Seeing this scenario, you could possibly … (A) Try to take over the depot and hope someone on your team takes the cue to get the waypoint, (B) Drop a .50 caliber machine gun in front of the waypoint for a teammate while you take over the depot, (C) air strike the waypoint when the opposition approaches it and head to the depot while they are distracted, or (D) sit and drink a cold one while laughing at everyone else running around trying to figure out what to do. Either way, there is no wrong answer, or as you can see there are many good ways to design some good game plans to take out the opposition.

At this time, the game is looking really good with some decent albeit a bit repetitive voiceovers, good sound effects and music, some great looking graphics including a fully destructible and interactive environment (yes, I pushed a teammate around in a wheelbarrow while dodging artillery fire … what would you have done?), and while there were some hopefully “fixable issues” by launch time that were found (soldiers taking direct bazooka hits without dying, splash damage not “splash damaging”, and a pretty rough and annoying driving control on smaller vehicles), hopefully The Outfit can hit the shelves and provide a fun and entertaining action title for 360 owners everywhere.

*** The single player demo was not available at the time of this preview, but the finished version will include a campaign mode ***

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