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Preview: The Outfit  (Xbox 360)

By Michael Palisano

With so many World War II combat titles on the market, developers need to create something special to stand out from the pack. The Outfit looks to do just that with 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, Jeeps and combat vehicles at the drop of a hat using the Destruction on Demand feature and should ratchet the game's intensity even further. This action-packed title looks to be one the spring's most-anticipated Xbox 360 titles, so read on for a closer look at The Outfit.

Set in the battlefields of World War II, The Outfit from THQ and developers Relic Entertainment is an action-packed combat shooter that brings a number of unique elements to the table. You are given the choice of one of three different squad leaders, each one of which brings their own abilities and skills to the battle. The squad leaders are responsive for two squads, and can switch between them at any time during the game. This allows you to use 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 throat. The Outfits's sophisticated AI means that the other members of your squad will automatically implement you commands. You can order them to take down tanks, assault enemy positions and they can also 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 as well. During the game, you'll encounter a number of different objectives and tasks including reconnaissance, rescue plus search and destroy missions, each of which presents a different set of problems.

One of the Outfit's more impressive features are the fully destructable environments, which allow you to blow up and destroy any object that gets in your way. Anything in your path, including buildings, bridges, encampments, barbed wire fences, enemy barracks and more can be destroyed if you want, which should make the gameplay even more enjoyable. If you get stuck in certain areas, you can call in a number of reinforcements, which are dropped from the air and offer "Destruction on Demand", allowing you to almost instantly take 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. Players will also be able to engage the enemy at close range with hand to hand combat techniques or engage gun battles and can use their armor to break through enemy lines. From an gameplay perspective, The Outfit's pacing is set to much faster than traditional war sims, giving it an arcade style feel that should make it much more accessible for mainstream gamers.

As you complete each mission, you'll earn what are called "FU's", which are points that you can use to call in airstrikes. You can also also use these points to purchase a variety of items including weapons upgrades, extra vehicles, additional soldiers and other items. You can also use these to increase your arsenal, build machine guns nests or place anti-tank sections on the battlefield. This is a really cool idea, that should give players plenty of flexibility when planning and executing their attacks. The solo campaigns will consist of 12 unique missions and should offer plenty of explosive fun. However, multiplayer is where the game is truly set to shine, with both split screen and Xbox Live Support. The split screen mode allows two players to battle through the campaign missions or go against each other in versus mode on the same machine. This sounds really cool, but Xbox Live should be the game's real proving ground. It should work fairly similarly to the single player game, but the Outfit will also include a number of cool multiplayer modes including co-op, team, and deathmatch modes. The game will support up to 8 players simultaneously along with support for game-matching and the console's headset controller. In addition, the developers are promising plenty of downloadable content including new maps, skins, vehicles, and other items available as well. These features alone should make The Outfit one of the more impressive 360 online titles to date, and if the finished game is as fun and accessible as it sounds, it should also quickly become one of the most popular with gamers as well.

From a visual standpoint, the Outfit looks to make good use of the Xbox 360 hardware, with huge explosions, massively destructible environments, realistic character modeling and a consistent frame rate throughout. This should add to the carnage and realism of The Outfit, making for a gritty, yet glossy action title. Each battlefield in the game is impressively detailed, and the fact that you can destroy virtually any object you see makes its advanced graphics engine's power all the more evident. The game's production values are also looking slick, with impressive cinema scenes and voice-overs used to give The Outfit an epic feel that should make it one of the best looking 360 titles to date. The battles seem like they'll be almost unhinged, and very much exaggerated with all-out warfare throughout each level that should make for an intense experience. From a technical aspect, the game is looking impressive and will support 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, all of which should make for a truly next-generation experience.

While the level of realism in the game isn't as high as some of its competitors, The Outfit isn't aiming to create a truly realistic representation of World War II. Instead, the developers at Relic have focused on making an enjoyable, accessible combat experience. An impressive array of weapons and machinery awaits gamers looking to take the battle into their hands, with some intense battles in the single-player mode. The ability to call in extra firepower, almost at will, should add to the enjoyment, while the points system should add a strategic element to the battles. The Outfit's solo modes sound fun, but the online and multiplayer modes should be the real showcases, allowing massive amounts of destruction and carnage amongst players that should take the genre in a new direction. Add in a solid graphics engine and sleek visuals throughout and The Outfit's presentation is looking spectacular at this early stage. Even at this early stage, this is looking to be one of the most-promising Xbox 360 titles this spring. The Outfit should be a solid entry that has the potential to please both action and war-gaming players.

> Related Reviews

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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