Outlaw Golf 2 is about as subtle as a brick. The intro movie, bare in mind that this is a golf game we are talking about, features some of the most crass and annoying characters ever to grace a video game. We have strippers, homies (one of whom looks suspiciously like Ali G), rednecks, hippies and a whole lot of other broadly drawn and downright cliched characters. The music, to add to the overall cheapness effest, had me rushing to turn down the volume very quickly as someone who reminded me of Kid Rock was singing about being an 'Outlaw'. First impressions are important and this really did a lot to sour my experience with the game.
The game is important too though right? Well fortunately, the game does not just rely on 'humour' to keep you going. Instead it completely overwhelms you with a stupid amount of available modes. A standard tour mode is chucked in there as in most golf games. Hypnotix have added in several other modes that should keep you busy for a long time. Online play seems to be standard these days and makes a welcome appearance here. As well as online play we have the Outlaw Range which is a training mode where you have to complete certain goals, Quickplay which picks a character and a course and takes into the game 'quickly' and Exhibition match which allows you to challenge your mates in some usual modes like skins, or at some weird modes like vegas style and baseball golf. Now I have no idea about baseball and this mode just confused me! But there is a huge amount of variety in the game that is a definite plus point.
The actual in game mechanics are fairly standard but there are some new touches that do add a little something to the game. The swing control is the usual 'swing the analog stick back then forward while trying not to slice or hook it' kind of control set up. It works so why try and invent something new? Putting is a little different from most golf fames. A jab of the square button will show you where the ball will roll. However, you are only allowed to use this three times on each shot so, consequently, it is best to be frugal in their use. Another innovative feature is a bar that measures composure. Smash a tee shot within a metre of the pin and your composure will go up, hook a shot into the rough though and it will drop. Low composure will make you more likely to hit terrible shots and, obviously, good composure will make it easier to play. It is a nifty little feature that will probably get stolen at some point down the line by other sports titles.
Graphics are generally quite good. The golfers are all modelled extremely well and are packed with a dizzying degree of animation. Physics even play a part with the female characters anatomy, I will leave it to your imagination to decide what body part is affected. Shots are punctuated by a short animation featuring the golfer and, at times, his or her caddy. These try very hard to be funny but usually just look stupid. Courses are a little bit bland and one feels that Hypnotix spent far more time designing their character models than working on courses. The 8 courses are located in a variety of novel locations though. We have amongst a freeway, a nuclear testing zone and one involving lots of really big mushrooms. The courses are different but they do look a little bland to be honest.
Sound in the game is a hit and (mostly) miss affair. The music, as previously mentioned is awful. I'm sure it might appeal to some people but it drove me absolutely mad. Sound bites for the characters are a bunch of wisecracks and smart comments. Commentary can also a little annoying, as at times the commentator will not shut up. Commentary is also a series of crap jokes and sexual innuendos. Not too bad if you are a thirteen-year-old boy I guess. Anyone with any degree of maturity may be easily grated though.
The game is far from terrible but nothing ever really shines. If you either: still watch the WWE, bought BMX XXX, are a thirteen year old boy, then you may well fall in love with this game. If not then you might want to steer clear. It doesn't come close to challenging Tiger Woods Golf but it was never going to really. However, the game retails for only thirty bucks!! Cheap and nasty it may be, but it is fun, and that should be the only reason to play a game, right?