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    The Outfit for Microsoft Xbox 360

    The Outfit is one of those games that I very much wanted to hate. I'm a history buff, and any game that pretty much throws historical fact to the curb in favor of cheap gameplay is normally a game I hate. However, and I don't want to admit it, The Outfit was a pretty good game. There, I said it. It was no Call of Duty of Medal of Honor, but it really was fun. So I'm going to take a closer look at this very affordable game (dropped to close to $19.99).

    The story of The Outfit settles on World War II, just after the Normandy invasion. Most of the story focuses a lot on taking out a different series of Nazi-controlled targets in search of a German officer responsible for unspeakable atrocities. The story isn't very compelling until you reach the first main objective, a church packed with the charred remains of innocent women and children. Yeah, the Nazis were pretty evil, and it is something that probably happened all over the place, but the series of events leading up to it have no real relevance to history. Still, hunting after that kind of individual is a lot of fun. If you look at the game for what it is- just a game, then the story is actually rather compelling. It is pretty much a run and shoot'em up game. When you die, you respawn and get to have another shot at the Nazis that got you. While fun, the little voice in the back of my head won't let me rate it too high, so I'll let it slide with an average 6.

    The control system bothered me a little bit in The Outfit. To change weapons, sometimes you have to switch to a different character. While that shouldn't be a huge problem, it would be a lot easier to just run up to a supply cache or something and choose what weapon you want. Speaking of choosing whatever you want, one very cool control option is the ability to use the Y button to summon reinforcements, as well as tanks, anti-aircraft guns, jeeps, and even machine gun nests to take out invading enemies. I will admit that there is little else more satisfying than dropping a tank down in the middle of an enemy camp and blasting it to kingdom come. Other than that, the game is a pretty standard third person shooter, with the right trigger firing the selected weapon and the left trigger throwing a grenade (or whatever your chosen character throws). So the game makes up for its lack of weapon diversity within a character, and still scores a strong 7 for control.

    Graphics for The Outfit aren't quite what you would expect for an Xbox360 game. While the game didn't look terrible, it certainly didn't keep pace with the rest of the games on the system. It looks more animated than many of the other titles for the 360, and the levels are nowhere near as detailed as other war games. Sandbags and barbed wire are the main scenery, with very little in the way of sprawling cities or shelled-out villages you get to experience in games like Call of Duty. It's hard to explain, but there is something not quite right about the way the game looks. Even so, there are very nice fire effects with the flamethrower that one character carries, and big booms when an enemy panzer is shelled. So the game still gets a respectable 6.5 on graphics.

    Sound is something that I didn't pay very close attention to on this game. However, the sound effects I did listen closely to, and they were very good. The sound of a machine gun nest pouring fire into charging enemies, there just isn't much better. The explosions were very well done, and enemy cries and reactions sounds convincing. The voiceovers were done very well, and I think that the game definitely performs well in this category, especially with the realistic metallic sound of the tank track and anti-aircraft fire. All told, the sound rates a pretty good 7 out of 10.

    Now for the official verdict. Contrary to the ratings in each category, the game actually rates pretty well, around a 7. The truth is that this game is pretty fun for the money. It's a value rating; a cheap game that is pretty fun is worth the money.

    Written by MT

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