When “Dead or Alive: Extreme Beach Volleyball” was first released for the Xbox, many in the gaming community didn’t know what to think. Here was a game that perfectly captured the technical aspects of volleyball, yet mainly featured busty models bouncing around in the sand.
While Hypnotix’s “Outlaw Golf 2” is no mere facsimile of “DOA,” it does borrow the formula of scantily clad women playing a normally stoic sport. The first “Outlaw” proved to be a technically impressive and lighthearted round of golf. With the sequel promising “more attitude and less clothing,” it isn’t hard to think of it as cashing in on a current trend in entertainment.
Fortunately, the golf is as technical as before. Like EA Sports’ “Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005,” “Outlaw 2” maps the control of the golf swing to the left directional stick. This small change makes the golf seem more like an actual skill and less like a three-button mini-game. While gamers can still put draw, fade and spin on the ball, as in the last game, there is a new percentage indicator on the power meter, that makes it less like guesswork to hit perfect shots. Load times are faster, there are more unlockables (though not nearly as many as in “Tiger Woods”) and the visuals are much more defined and less blocky than anything on the market today.
Developer Hypnotix obviously spent much of the development time on “Outlaw 2’s” character models. Not only do they deliver the promised “less clothing,” the roster of golfers are much more skilled — it’s not uncommon for them to finish 18 under par for 18 holes, even on the earlier stages. The game developers seem so infatuated with their own slutty creations that they force players to watch the swings of all the character models … on every stroke.
Watching each of your opponents swing is really tedious, but the game commentator makes it worthwhile. Hypnotix enlisted comedian Dave Attell (TV’s “Insomniac”) to provide the voiceover, and he performs to his usual unsober brilliance. With the first “Outlaw” featuring “Daily Show” correspondent Steve Carell, the commentary has become one of the hallmarks of the series; fans of either Carell or Attell will want to pick up the game just for their wry reactions — they’re that good.
While it can be easy to criticize a game whose main feature is women gyrating around their golf clubs or performing sexually explicit acts with their caddies, the technical merits of “Outlaw Golf 2” are hard to ignore. Add a perfect commentary track from Dave Attell and “Outlaw” becomes more of a respectable purchase and less like a game destined for the used bin.
Rating: 2 and 1/2 out of 5 stars