The Outforce Review
In The Outforce, the human race stumbles upon two warring races in the far future and soon finds itself in the middle of all the shooting.
Gameplay in The Outforce is pretty much run of the mill real-time strategy. You harvest metal from floating space debris, generate power with solar arrays or reactors, and build stations which in turn are used to build your fleet. You then send your fleet at the other player(s) until only one player is left standing.
The Outforce's strongest point is its graphics. The maps in The Outforce are quite colorful and dynamic - planets slowly rotate, space debris tumbles through space, etc. While the game is played strictly in 2D space, it does provide the player with some camera control, mostly in the form of a large degree of zoom control. You'll most likely just leave things as zoomed out as possible, though, since it is difficult to control your forces otherwise and the ships do not show much detail when viewed close up.
Unfortunately, that is about all that can be positively said about the game. Not only does The Outforce not bring anything new to the RTS table, it doesn't hold up well against traditional RTS games. There are three races in The Outforce, but they are pretty much identical outside of having different looking ships. In addition, there is not that much variety among the different ships - a large force consisting of just about any ship type is enough to win the game.
The Outforce is not a very challenging game. The AI is very rudimentary and is easily beaten. Computer controlled ships seem to follow preset paths to the point where you can line those paths with laser batteries and watch the computer happily send its ships into the gauntlet to be shredded. You'll be able to beat the computer with regularity by simply sitting back and building a large fleet and then sending them en masse at the computer's base. In fact, I never lost a single game while playing it for this review.
The Outforce does introduce a new concept to the arena of space games - fences. Yes, you can build fences around your base and they can keep enemy ships out. Apparently ships in the far future will not have the ability to fly over such obstructions. You'll also find the map littered with other impassable obstructions such as planets and debris fields. This unfortunately turns many maps into mazes which you must find your way through. This problem is compounded further by the game's abysmal pathfinding. Ships will often get themselves stuck on a fence or piece of space debris as they attempt to reach their destination. Movement across the map requires close scrutiny if you want to make sure that more than half of your fleet actually gets there.
In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 40%. This game just does not provide anything new or provide much of a challenge. Perhaps it might be appropriate for someone new to gaming, but most gamers will grow quickly bored by it.
System Requirements: 233 MHz Pentium II CPU; 64 MB RAM; 8x CD-ROM; 16 MB Hard Drive Space; Mouse.