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|It was a time for lawmen,|
It was a time for heroes,
It was a time for justice...
Using an improved version of the Dark Forces engine, Outlaws sends players back to the 19th century in the heart of the Old West. Assuming the role of Marshall Anderson, the player's mission is to retrieve Sarah and free her from her kidnappers. To do so, the player will have to go through nine different levels ranging from a small hideout to an old mine through various towns and a runaway train. If you wonder how interesting the levels are, you will be happy to hear that they are large and as complicated and challenging as those featured in Dark Forces. Therefore, expect a plethora of intricate multi-layer levels, sheer cliffs from which a fall is lethal, multi-floor houses and buildings, as well as underwater levels where you will be out of breath more than once. Finding your way through the various levels is not always easy. Besides specific keys to unlock doors (iron, brass and steel keys), many hidden doors and passages will only be revealed if you find the associated mechanisms (buttons, gears, stones, levers, turning wheels, and others). While it is not enough to qualify this as a puzzle solving game, it definitely is a change from the ordinary shooter! In a few occasions, you will need to be creative and find out how to use what you have picked up in your inventory. For example, what could a shovel be used for? The answer is simple, but I'll let you dig it out by yourself not to spoil your gaming pleasure...
Speaking of pleasure, you will appreciate the sharp graphics of Outlaws. Although the game is not currently using Direct3D (only Direct Draw), the graphics are quite well done using realistic textures that make the Outlaws' world very lifelike. Work is being done on an update to provide the game with support for 3D accelerators cards such as the Voodoo chip from 3DFx Interactive, but more generally for a generic Direct3D driver that will enable all 3D cards to work with the game. However, as stated by LucasArts, performances vary drastically from one card to another. That's why in addition to this generic driver, will be released specific drivers born from the cooperation between LucasArts and other 3D cards manufacturers. While no fixed dates have been determined yet, the patches should be available soon for the public. But for those without 3D cards, I reassure them that playing without such a card is still enjoyable. Several resolution choices will let you select which graphic mode is best for your configuration, ranging from the standard 320 by 200 mode to the extended SVGA 800 by 600 mode. If you own a Pentium 120 or faster, it is strongly recommended to try the SVGA mode for the best experience.
Animated sequences will unfold the story as the player moves from one level to the next. LucasArts's artists have once again outdone themselves with these beautiful cinematics, where sound effects and great voice acting were cleverly combined. However, what truly is the best part of Outlaws (besides game play) is the soundtrack. Clint Bajakian succeeded in composing a masterly piece of music in Outlaws, that is available in its wholeness on the two CD's of the game. With themes that are not without recalling those from famous composer Sergio Leone, Outlaws immerses you completely in its Old Western universe. In fact, only the wind and dust are missing in your eyes to convince you that you are the real Marshall!
But Outlaws offers more than the quest for Sarah. There are two other modes you can select from the beginning. Historical missions will give you a chance to track down famous outlaws and capture or kill them for the reward. If you are successful, you will awarded with bonus points that at some time will allow you to be promoted to a higher rank. Starting as an Associate Deputy, you may become a Deputy, Sheriff or Marshall if you prove that you have enough guts, and then access to the corresponding clubhouses. There are also a great variety of multi-player options included in Outlaws such as LAN and TCP/IP networks, modem and serial connections, and even the Internet. Five different locations will provide the playground for the multi-player games which feature four separate game modes: Capture the flag, Death Match, Team Play and Kill the Fool With The Chicken. While others don't deserve an explanation as their name is very explicit, the last mode requires further details. Players will first need to find and pick up the chicken. When done, the player who has the chicken will be allowed to shoot at anybody, while others will only be allowed to shoot at the player with the chicken. The winner will be the player who kept the chicken the longest.
Written by Frederick Claude
Click here for screen shots.
Local Area Network Play: Supports up to 8 players via IPX or TCP/IP Local
Area Network (LAN)
Internet Play: Supports up to 4 players via 28.8 Kbps or faster connection to the Internet
Modem-to-modem Play: Supports 2 players via 14.4 Kbps or faster modem
Direct Serial Play: Supports 2 players via Null Modem Cable
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