ďGet a tank full of ATV reality from punishing Enduro treks, extreme freestyle stunt face-offs and glory-fueled Supercross showdowns. Roam endless integrated environments loaded with trails, killer stunt hills and secret out of the way tracks. The competition is endless with 14 championships in both Amateur and Pro events. Battle the elements as dirt and mud builds up on you and your machine. Slog through streams, slide through snow-slicked turns or saw your way through dense forest to get back in the race. Want to get even closer to nature? Lose it on a hard turn and kiss a tree after going huge over your handlebars. Dominate impossible wilderness, thrill thousands of cheering fans or just thrash for the fun of it.Ē This is the premise behind Sony Computer Entertainmentís new action, racing game for the PlayStation 2 called ATV Offroad Fury 2.
If you think this game sounds fun, then youíre right. First off, you get to choose either single player or multiplayer mode. Then you can pick the type of game you want to play: Race, FreeStyle, or Championships. If you choose Race or Championships, then you can also select the type of Race or Championship you want to run: Nationals, Supercross, or Enduro. Nationals are outdoor races. Youíll have to contend with a little bit of water, mud, ice, sand, and snow, but for the most part these courses are manicured for serious ATV racing. Supercross races happen indoors in front of a stadium full of fans. Technique and determination count more here than does speed. Enduro races are long outdoor races in a variety of weather conditions like fog and rain. These races feature lakes and streams, mud pits, snow drifts, sand washes and ice patches. The goal is to drive through the waypoint gates in the proper order and getting to the finish line the fastest. All three of these types of races can also be run as either Amateur or Pro, giving them even more variety. And if you ever get bored with whatís available, you can always use the Waypoint Editor to create your own Enduro races.
Freestyle racing is all about putting on a show. You need to bust insane stunts while keeping all your bones intact. Hold a stunt as long as you can, or chain together multiple stunts to create combos. The better and more varied your stunts, the higher your score. Youíll use the L1, circle, and triangle buttons as well as the left analog stick to pull stunts. Of course, youíll have to grab some serious air to pull your stunts off, and you can do this by preloading the suspension on your vehicle. As you hit the edge of a ramp, pull down on the left analog stick and just as youíre about to leave the ramp, snap the stick back up to clear jump sections easier or to increase your air time. It takes some time to master, but itís very cool when you get it right. Unfortunately, ATV Offroad Fury 2 can seem a bit limited when it comes to the variety of stunts available. There are only 24 stunts to choose from, but of course you can put them together to form combos, and this limitation may actually be a result of the realistic mechanics built into the vehicle models.
In addition to the type of race you want to run, you can also choose the vehicle you want to use. There are over 20 ATVs to choose from, each of which are licensed from top-tier manufacturers as well as some team sponsored ATVs from top offroad sponsors. Each ATV is true-to-spec, allowing for realistic handling and reaction. Each machine features a different set of engine, traction, and suspension tuning parameters, making this a very detailed and involving game if thatís what you want it to be. You can even customize your riders by choosing whether they will be male or female, and outfitting them by selecting the style and color of their helmets, goggle, gloves, and boots. And as with most games of this kind, as you win races, you will be able to unlock additional features such as ATVs, rider equipment, new tracks, and even some very cool mini games.
Even though the main game itself is quite entertaining, I really loved the fact that the developer included a number of mini games, which definitely add even more variety and fun, and make repeated play that much better. These mini games are especially cool when played in multiplayer mode. The mini games include Tag, Hockey, King of the Hills, and Treasure Hunt. In Tag, you need to grab the bouncing ball and hang onto it for as long as possible. The player who hangs on to the ball the longest, wins, but thereís a catch. The longer you hold the ball, the slower your ATV will move, making it easier for other players to get to you. Hockey is just as its name implies, a game of hockey but youíre riding an ATV instead of wearing a pair of skates. Slipping and sliding all over the ice is a lot of fun. In King of the Hills, you stunt off any lit hills or jumps to claim them and the player with the most hills claimed wins. Treasure Hunt is somewhat similar, but instead of claiming hills, you need to collect tokens.
The only other slight disappointment (besides the limited number of stunts) is the minor roughness of the gameís graphics quality. More details and a smoother quality would have been nice. But luckily, this game isnít about graphics, itís about game play, and the quality of the graphics in no way takes away from the gameís fun factor. If you played the first version of this game, you may also notice that the sound effects havenít really changed, which is either good or bad, depending on how you look at it, but the developer definitely went all out this time when it comes to the accompanying music soundtrack. Youíll find over 20 tracks of music performed by many of todayís most popular acts such as Filter, Cypress Hill, Meeker, Alien Ant Farm, Korn, Garbage, and more. Thereís a wide variety of music here and it really lends itself well to the mood of the racing.
Despite the few shortcomings of too few stunts, slightly rough graphics, and old sound effects, ATV Offroad Fury 2 provides a huge amount of variety in terms of game play and a whole lot of fun. Youíll definitely find yourself coming back for more and wanting to master the many tracks and vehicles that are available. The game is especially exhilarating when youíre playing against your friends in multiplayer mode. The AI in this game is very good, but it canít take the place of competing against another person. ATV Offroad Fury 2 is definitely a title that all action, racing fans will enjoy.