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In Memory
Sean Pettibone

The Outfit  (Xbox 360)


By Michael Palisano

Coming from THQ and Relic Studios, The Outfit for Xbox 360 is a super-charged arcade style WWII shooter that offers players the opportunity to engage in fierce, fast-paced action. The game offers single and multiplayer missions that offer a massive number of destructible environments, weapons and, combat types. The third person perspective gives you an excellent view of the action while you fight the Nazis on a variety of locations. One of the unique aspects of The Outfit is the ability to call in tanks, encamped guns, extra soldiers and more with the press of a button using the Destruction on Demand feature. Add in some exciting multiplayer action, multiple modes of play and you have a great title with instant appeal.

While most FPS titles set in the battlefields of World War II take a serious approach to the great battle, The Outfit brings a more humorous, arcade style feel to the action. As the game begins, you have a choice of one of three different squad leaders, each one of which brings their own abilities, weapons and, skills to the battlefield. One of the squad leaders uses a flame-thrower while others can throw punishing grenades into the field. The squad leaders can command a squad of four characters. Its later levels let you command a secondary brigade you can switch between them at any time during the game. You can command your soldiers to perform a number of tasks and use different approaches. Once your squad is engaged in battle, the team a number of tactics such as flanking the enemies from different directions, placing them in different areas of the map or combining both forces and going straight for the enemy’s positions. The Outfits’s sophisticated AI means that the other members of your squad will automatically implement you commands without hesitation. One of the cooler aspects of the game comes when you lose troops, who can fall from enemy fire or by your own hand. Instead of the game automatically ending, you can call in reinforcements instantly. These extra soldiers literally drop right onto the field, making them immediately available to use. You can order them to take down tanks, assault enemy positions and they can seek cover without your specific orders. During each mission, you’ll have to avoid the enemy Nazi forces who will attack you from all sides, but you’ll be able to fight back using your men and machines to take them out. Each mission presents the player with a number of different objectives and tasks including reconnaissance rescue plus search & destroy tasks. Each task requires a different strategy, which gives The Outfit’s gameplay plenty of variety.

Controlling the soldiers is simple with most actions, such as throwing grenades or shooting a relatively simple task. Commanding the soldiers to perform different tasks only requires a single push of the button. The Outfits most innovative feature is its Destruction on Demand, where you can call up extra forces or items. You call up the DOD menu and then select which item you want to use, then select where on the field you want the item dropped. You can change their position and angle before they’re dropped. The game’s onscreen HUD that allows you to see what your team status is, and where you are on the battlefield, which makes things much easier to command. In addition, players can use the camera controls to get a better view of the action. If a player dies, they can choose from multiple spawn points. This is a cool idea that makes the single player mode much more enjoyable. This intuitive approach to its interface and controls makes The Outfit an instantly accessible and playable game requiring little in the way of a learning curve. Its modular mission structure also means the game is quite enjoyable in short bursts, which adds to its replay value.

The Outfit’s fully destructible environments are quite impressive more impressive features from a technical standpoint and also helps keep the gameplay fun throughout. This system lets you eradicate, blow up virtually anything standing between you and the enemy. Using your machine guns, grenades or even air strikes you can destroy anything including buildings, bridges, encampments, barbed wire fences, enemy barracks. However, the path of destruction you create  can also extend to your own side’s items, so you need to be careful. The sheer amount of chaos you can create makes the gameplay even more enjoyable and intense. When you get stuck in certain areas or pinned down by enemy fire, you can call in your reinforcements, which are dropped from the air and offer Destruction on Demand. As outlined earlier, this feature is fun and lets you ratchet up the action almost instantly. It also gives you a great deal of flexibility in your attacks and lets you take an almost godlike control of the battlefield. The Outfit will also feature a number of cool weapons at their disposal including machine guns, mounted guns, bazookas and more. In addition, players can call in airstrikes to destroy enemy bases and soldiers without creating to much danger for yourself. You can also engage the enemy at close range with hand-to-hand combat techniques or can use their armor to break through enemy lines. From a gameplay perspective, The Outfit’s pacing is faster and less complex than traditional war sims. This arcade style approach gives the game an exaggerated feel that makes the violence seem almost comic at times.

Once each mission is completed, you earn what are called “FU’s”, which are points that you can use to call in airstrikes. These points can also be used to purchase weapons upgrades, extra vehicles, additional soldiers and other items. These points can also increase your arsenal, build machine guns nests or place anti-tank sections on the battlefield. This gives players plenty of flexibility when planning and executing their attacks, making for a varied set of tactical options. The solo campaigns consist of 12 unique missions ranging through a variety of environments ranging from deserts to beaches. Each mission offers plenty of challenge but the game truly shines when you play online against other players.  The Outfit’s multiplayer modes support both split screen and Xbox Live modes, which increases your options. Its split screen mode lets two players to battle through the campaign missions cooperatively or they can battle each other in versus mode.  The Outfit’s Live support is quite impressive and features several cool multiplayer modes such as co-op, team, and deathmatch modes. This gives the player plenty of options and you can change the rules such as timing and number of kills before each round. A straightforward lobby interface makes it easy to set up and play matches. The Outfit supports up to 8 players simultaneously and includes game-matching abilities. Players can also communicate with others using the console’s headset controller. In addition to these standard features, the developers are promising plenty of downloadable content including new maps, skins, vehicles, and other items available. With all this in place, The Outfit is one of the deeper Xbox 360 online titles in terms of depth and polish. Its simple play mechanics and fast-paced gameplay makes it ideal for online play, and it performed well with little in the way of lag or dropped games to slow down the action.

The Outfit’s graphics are decent from a technical standpoint, and it does an excellent job of exploiting the Xbox 360 hardware. There’s a lot going on in the title, and the battlefields come alive with an excellent level of quality evident throughout, with some light sourcing and bump mapping used to give certain areas of the game a modern appearance. While individual objects look a bit plain, the sheer amount of destruction more than compensates for this. The environments are large and impressive, giving you plenty of space to maneuver on the battlefield. With so much going on, the game’s straightforward presentation helps to keep things clear throughout. Each battlefield in the game is impressively detailed, and the fact that you can destroy virtually any object you see makes the game’s ‘sandbox’ approach more appealing. The game’s production values are decent, with impressive cinema scenes used to convey the action. Comically over-the-top voice-over acting is used to give The Outfit a more humorous appeal than most war games, adding to the fun. The battles themselves also seem rather exaggerated with all-out warfare where anything and everything seems to happen. While the finished product looks decent, it doesn’t have quite as production polish as games like Call of Duty 2. Attempts at realism seems to have been thrown out the side of the plane but the Outfit’s sheer entertainment value and fun more than makes up for this. From a technical aspect, the game supports many of the console’s HD features including. 16:9 widescreen support, 720p High Definition mode, and 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround for superb sound, which helps to give the game a smooth appearance throughout with little in the way of slowdown or draw-in. This definitely looks like a next-generation game, with slick visuals on par with other 360 arcade style games like Ridge Racer 6 and NFS: Most Wanted.

Even though The Outfit isn’t as intense or realistic as some other shooters, Relic wasn’t trying to create a truly realistic representation of World War II. Instead, the developers at have focused on making this an enjoyable, accessible combat experience. Everything from it’s impressive array of weapons and machinery to its drop and shoot approach lets gamers take most aspects of the battle into their hands. This makes for a fun game, that isn’t as taxing as traditional wargames. There are some intense battles, but the game is geared more towards itchy trigger fingers than cerebral thinkers. Calling in extra firepower at will adds chaos to the battlefield, yet is also strategic in nature, giving the game more depth than expected. The Outfit’s single player is entertaining, but the online and multiplayer modes is where things really get interesting. While the visuals aren’t quite as polished as some of the Xbox 360’s more elaborate releases, the game still delivers a satisfyingly slick appearance. A humorous storyline and over-the-top characters make this an enjoyable game as well. The ability to creating massive amounts of destruction at the push of a button makes for a fun game with instant accessibility and high replay value. This isn’t the deepest or most elaborate game on the market, but The Outfit is a pleasing diversion for gamers looking for a less intense wargaming experience.

Grade: B

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Call of Duty 2
(Xbox 360)

Quake 4 (Xbox 360)
Perfect Dark Zero (Xbox 360)

> External Link 

The Outfit Official Website (Xbox 360)

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