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Outlaws

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Released: 1997

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: PC - Windows

Publisher: LucasArts

Developer: LucasArts

Submitted by: Gavin Miller

There are certain sterotypes we all love; the ninja, the pirate, the zombie and the cowboy. I don't know why but I seem to have a thing for cowboy games, from Sunset Riders and Dead Man's Hand to Call of Juarez and the recent Red Dead Redemption there's nothing like a good western shootout. Outlaws is a 1st person shooter set in the old west. You play as Marshall James Anderson, a retired law man who hung up his guns years ago for the quite farm life with his wife and daughter. When the good Marshall is told to sell his farm, his negative response see's his wife murdered and daughter kidnapped. After digging the wife a grave he grabs his six shooters and seeks revenge on those who took his daughter.

Outlaws wasn't a very successful game but it seems to now have a very loyal fanbase. The game kind of got lost in a sea of 1st person shooters released in the late nineties. Games like Duke Nukem 3D although released before Outlaws were far more popular due to better graphics and also just being a better experience among gamers. Outlaws uses the same game engine as Star Wars Dark Forces which was released 2 years prior but Outlaws still has many cool features that keep me returning to it. First up the sound track is brilliant. The game comes on 2 cd's which contain 15 western themed tunes on them. The between level cut scenes look awesome and pan the story out in some well drawn cartoonish visuals. If you didn't fancy the story mode, multiplayer is available and allows up to 8 people to play head to head in a western shootout. Game play is quite realistic compared to the FPS of the time. Stealth tactics are required in many situations cause in some cases one bullet from the enemy can see you pushing up daises and guns don't reload by themselves do they? You are required to manually reload your weapons some of which have a standard fire and a rapid fire shot to get out of tight situations. To add to the atmosphere many of your enemies will taunt you with lines like "hey mister lawww man" and my favourite "don't be a fool Marshall, you're out numbered"

I've always had a soft spot for Outlaws and if you do a bit of exploring you may find some of the many easter eggs hidden throughout the game like a huge alien space ship underground or you might stumble across Indiana Jone's golden idol as seen in Raiders of the lost Ark. Little touches like this make Outlaws a fun and rewarding experience.