Really wild, Wild
LucasArts has taken
the first person shoot 'em up game out of its normal sci-fi setting and
put it back in history - to the days of the American Old West. And they've
done it spectacularly!
Okay, Outlaws may
not have the most technologically-advanced game engine; it uses the same
one as in "Dark Forces," but that's definitely no slouch, either.
And it serves this game more than adequately - it's simply the best of
the 3D, first person action games we've played.
Outlaws casts you
as ex-Marshall James Anderson, whose wife is killed and daughter kidnapped
by the requisite bad guys. Your quest is to find and rescue your little
girl, and of course you have to blast all the bad guys who stand in your
game is beautifully done, with animated cutscenes worthy of a Hollywood
feature. The scenes are detailed and atmospheric; LucasArts has done a
terrific job. The opening scene, where Anderson/you go into town to buy
supplies, only to return home to find your wife dead and daughter missing,
tugs at the ol' heartstrings and properly motivates you to hunt down those
hombres and show 'em it ain't wise to mess with ex-Marshall Anderson.
The game itself is
pretty straightforward as such first person adventures go, though the
graphics are excellent and a particular compliment must be given to the
soundtrack. Not only are the effects and voices (including incessant taunting
from the bad guys as you hunt them down) extremely well done, but the
original music soundtrack is first rate. Composed by Clint Bajakian, it
sets the mood perfectly and the digital recording is first rate. We found
it a touch loud at times, almost drowning out the other sounds, but this
can be corrected in the options menu.
have known they'd contracted a real tour de force with its soundtrack,
because they included the various themes on the CD-ROMS so you can take
the game discs and play them in your audio CD player. A nice touch!
hired some quality actors to play the roles in Outlaws, including John
de Lancie (the inimitable "Q" from Star Trek - the next generation)
and "Night Court's" Richard Moll.
On your quest
to find young Anna, you'll visit many different settings, including a
moving train, a complex system of mine shafts, and a watery sawmill. There's
also the odd secret area - and you'll need some creative thinking to find
some of the bad guys (that hanging bale of hay can't be left hanging if
you want to fight your way out of the barn on one level).
We played the
game with the gore setting turned on, but don't expect Sam Peckinpah to
rise from the grave; the gore is comic book at worst and shouldn't cause
any impressionable minds to become any more warped than they are already.
Weapons range from your bare hands to Colt .45, sawed-off shotgun, throwing
knife, and even dynamite (and you won't want to toss a stick of that
in an enclosed area!).
a multiplayer mode that lets you choose to be one of the bad guys, and
you can also play as a bounty hunter.
definitely done it again, and "Outlaws" is a real winner. This
is definitely the most fun we've had with a game in quite a while. It
takes all the best features of the 3D, first person game and puts them
in a convincing old West setting that lets you play cowboy just like you
did as a kid.
Tell us at TechnoFile what YOU think