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VIDEO GAME REVIEW

Outtrigger

AP2 Introduces an FPS that Holds Its Own

By Cesar L. Espitia

‘Outtrigger’

Published by AM2 for the Sega Dreamcast

Rated T for Teen

The First Person Shooter (FPS) genre has been successful in the PC world for the past several years. However, a majority of the FPS games that have made it to the console have been imports of the better known titles such as Quake and Unreal. Therefore, making an entirely new game is a hard task, but Sega’s AM2 wing has done a good job in giving us something slightly different with its new Outtrigger.

In this FPS, you become part of an international anti-terrorist force, where you'll be traveling around the world taking out baddies in the most violent ways. The game starts you off with four default characters, each with his or her own trio of specialty weapons, ranging from sub-machine guns to 55-millimeter rifles. Besides the guns and ammo, there are many types of power-ups which range from health to “thermography,” allowing you to see through walls, and “noctovision,” which allows the player to see at night.

There are four different modes to choose from which include: arcade, “versus,” mission, and network play, each of which adds extended replay value to the game.

AM2's team of designers did a great job in making the game visually stunning. Outtrigger runs at a constant 60 frames per second, with only few slowdowns during particularly complex scenes.

Levels are extremely detailed, with rain and snow complementing some of the stages. However, the surroundings are at times so small that your character can be easily cornered by multiple enemies. Despite this, they do add a different sense of game play. The terrains each bear unique advantages for each character. There is everything from two-storied terrains to huge boulders scattered throughout (for the hiding), and small platforms accessible from certain areas that permit sniping.

But with each game comes some sort of fault, and unfortunately Outtrigger suffers from the key element of the FPS genre: the controller. The reasons that FPS games do well on PCs is simply because of the greater freedom availed by the use of a keyboard and mouse.

Consoles, however, are a different story. Because of the reliance on a generic game pad, which works works well with many other types of games, consoles make playing FPS games a difficult task for the player to use in FPS.

Everyone remembers Nintendo's highly successful FPS, Goldeneye. The reason it did so well and my floormates and I played it constantly was because the controller setup was perfect. There was no vast learning curve required to figure out where everything was, what each button did, or how you would move around the levels with ease and stealth.

This unfortunately is not the case with Outtrigger. It took me a decent two hours or so to even get used to the controls. Sure, I could have gone out to buy the mouse and keyboard that the Dreamcast has made for these types of games, but that would mean spending more money on accessories. Why not take the time that Nintendo and Rave took into designing controller setups that work with the game? Perhaps, had AM2 and Sega had taken the steps that the makers of Goldeneye had, it could have been a great seller.

If you don't mind the learning curve for the controller, and don't mind an FPS without a storyline, you should pick up this game. It has lots of extras and the mission modes and network play make up somewhat for the controller issue. Then again, you can always buy the keyboard and mouse. If you're easily frustrated with games that have big learning curves or annoying controller setups, you might want to skip this one.