One of the most original WWII shooters available on the Xbox 360 console to date The Outfit delivers a new blend of game play and action. Sadly this game is easily outshined by graphic monuments and more recent titles such as Lost Planet and Gears of War. Do not confuse this game for your typical 3rd person shooter though. The Outfit although played in third person relates a lot more to a real time strategy. In a group of hot headed red-blooded Americans, you will take on the role of various protagonists, depending on which weapon kit you would like to use. The farm-boy ladies man “Mac”, New Yorker tracker and hunter “J.D. Tyler”, rough, tough, “Cpt. Deuce”, and the sympathetic “Hans Von Beck”; trek through the desperate German forces, going up against impossible odds to reach General Viktor Morder, drawing on the final steps to end the war. The presentation is really basic and an easy concept to understand. The player selects a character at the start of each mission. Each character will have exclusive weapon kits, so who you choose should be outfitted best for the environment you are going into. In the game (campaign or multiplayer), the click of one button opens up a mini-menu.; from this menu you select vehicles, emplacements, men, or air strikes you’d like to “call” in. From clicking one of those you then select the exact emplacement/vehicle you want. Each kill, vehicle, or emplacement you remove rewards you points which you then use to call in items of your own. The presentation is the same in both campaign and multiplayer making the two zones a flawless transaction between play. Overall achieving a basic presentation with many possibilities.
The graphics are now below par. Well comparing best with Oblivion and Perfect Dark Zero, The Outfit shares the same “glossy polish” on objects, environments and people. Overall the environments are large polished, and although some aspects could say “lightly cartoonish”, it still realistic in presentation. I would have to pull on the design concept of Crackdown to truly stress the definition of lightly cartoonish. The water and mountains are very well designed; and appear most realistic in the game. While the environments do vary, basic terrain is often repeated and over used through out the campaign and multiplayer levels, making most scenarios familiar and underdeveloped. Characters are much more details. The main protagonists and villains are deeply designed, and some to reflect the actors which portray them. Such as Robert Patrick who plays the voice of Deuce Williams, appearing nearly exactly as he does in the film Terminator 2 as the “T-1000”, those mirrored lenses are really becoming his trade mark. On to videos. The cinematics use the same graphics engine as the in game play allows. So cinemtaics are not made in high-definition pre-rendered quality, they are still developed with much more attention to detail while maintaining the games simplistic design scheme. Nothing breath-taking or over amazing but still well done for what it was trying to accomplish. The game was not created to be “serious” or “inspirational as most WWII games aim to reflect the exact events of WWII; which then stresses the game play to be as realistic as is possible. The graphics over all really reflect the light hearted and battle frenzy nature of the games presentation.
Sound is about average. If you have at least 5.1 surround sound, you’ll really feel as though you’re in the heat of battle. Even without SS the sound is still realistically applied. Each gun, each vehicle, each weapon has a distinct and familiar sound to it. As you are playing through the game you are likely calling in a lot of emplacements. Soon the sound of a Panzerfaust, is smothered by the blazing barrels of half a dozen 40 mm gun nest. As it rightly should be, the heat of battle is a nest of angry wasps, and this game delivers the accurate sounds effects to relate to this. Halfway across a map you can prepare yourself to take on a huge tank from the distinct sounds of the Calliopes rapid firing rocket rack, and the daunting signal of death this sound will instill if you only have 4 squad mates, and a sniper rifle. Mediocre actors deliver an equally average voice over for the games characters. With Robert Patrick, and Ron Perlman presenting the strongest and most accurate vocals to their characters.Online game play is rather limited. It’s much harder to find matches now than when the game released. However thank the people at THQ for taking this to thought. Originally you could only obtain achievements from playing ranked quick match. However quick match wasn’t played a lot, and 3v3 matches could take 15 minutes to start. THQ later released a patch, now you may obtain achievements in ranked custom matches. While Quick match is still shy of activity, you can easily make friends and get some fast parties going in ranked custom. Game play will be familiar to CoD3, Halo 2, and Battlefield 2 gamers. Like “War mode”, “Territories”, and “Conquest”, there are strategic objective and compounds which you must capture in the battlefield while each team loses points from a main total. Points are lost from controlling the least strategic objectives, and dying. So you must maintain control, and fight for your life. Compounds would be Motor Pools, Radio Towers, and Armories. These later 3 do not affect points. However controlling them will allow you to call in more powerful emplacements, vehicles, or artillery strikes. The system is very balanced, but team strategies will make each match new and exciting, presenting new levels of challenges by where each player decides to drop an AT gun, or how many people mow the field down in Panthers. The scenarios are endless. The achievements online also really help add to the games replay value, as multiplayer usually does.
Now that’s the best half of the game. The campaign mode, is fun and really preps you for the online experience. However I would not suggest purchasing this game just for its single player, if you are not a LIVE gamer. Yes, it’d be worth a rent, but the story is amazingly short, and fast paced. Getting the achievements only takes a minute or two more through the course of the level to unlock. You’ll find they aren’t really “out of the way” as most campaign achievements tend to be in modern shooters. The story itself is good. Again short, and direct, but if you enjoy the game play, the story leaves you awaiting a sequel (no it’s not a cliff hanger ending), and looking forward to more games which focus on WWII’s airborne divisions, over the common ground troops.
Overall a fun and original game. The graphics are rather poor in today’s selections, but game play is one of the most original and innovative of shooters on the 360 yet. THQ release two map packs and both are now free making the online mode more fresh and interesting. Relic has shown a new love for the WWII style genre, experimenting more with the RTS style, most so in their recent PC hit Company of Heroes. Relic has mentioned a new strategy game for the next gen console, but what that will be is unannounced at this time. Hopefully they decide to peruse console game development further."