Let me just say for anyone reading, it is official: I HATE RACING GAMES!!! Put me in front of Sega GT or Metropolis Street Racer and I am not only bad but I get bored very quickly. I'm of the school of thought that racing games shouldn't need anything other than an accelerator. You shouldn't have to break to go around corners; the car should take care of that. As a result I didn't take any notice of Burnout when it was released on the PS2 or the 'Cube, and I certainly didn't pay any attention when the sequel was announced. It came as a surprise then when the game started getting my attention, through the rave reviews it was getting on Internet forums after the US release. So I bought it, thinking 'well, I can trade it if I get bored'. How wrong could I be?
Burnout 2 is not your common or garden, no sex please we're British, accurate dynamics and no fun racer. It is not a Sega GT, by golly let's improve the suspension of this Corvette and I may get into first position of the second track, 'Why have they made this so difficult?' game. It is however an eye watering, brain numbing, heart in your mouth and several pounds of processed food in your Y-fronts anatomy lesson. It is the dog's dangly, looking so good even I would lick them, bits. If you don't bother reading the rest of the review, let me just say, buy this game!
It's not difficult to determine what makes this game so breathtakingly and pantwettingly good; it's the sheer excitement. The aim of the game is unsurprisingly to win races, in the form of championships. However, that is basically where the similarities to other racers end. Unlike almost every other racer in the shops at the moment there is not an accelerator. Yep, that's right, you heard me, not an accelerator! 'How does the game work then?' I hear you cry, well come in for a further look with us at C3...
Those of you that have played the game will no doubt be thinking, 'what the hell is he on? There is a bloody accelerator!' Well, you have all fallen for my cunningly crafted literary trick that took minutes to concoct. Yes, there is an accelerator, but if we are more accurate there are actually two accelerators. Anyone that spotted this may go to the front of the class. Aside from the two accelerators there is a brake and the control stick, and for those that want that little bit extra, gearshift functions have been incorporated. However, these can be viewed as unnecessary additions to the game. The main premise that separates Burnout 2 from the other racers out there is the 'Boost' feature. The boost feature consists of a bar at the bottom of the screen that is filled depending on how dangerously you drive. You get bonuses for getting air, driving on the wrong side of the road, powersliding around the corners and getting too close to traffic, without swapping paint, obviously. When your 'Boost' bar is filled you can press R to get a tremendous burst of speed.
It doesn’t even end there though. While in Boost, if you continue to drive dangerously you are awarded additional boosts; this is the skill of linking burnouts and is where you can really show your talent in the game. Now for the final icing on an already considerable cake, you and your competitors are not alone on the tracks. This is because the tracks are the streets and you share them with the regular road users – from transit vans, to taxis, to HGVs carrying lumber. And so the premise of the game is complete. If this doesn’t sound interesting though, let us go into the game for a second ~ Driving at 160 miles an hour the wrong way down a one way street, dodging in and out of cars, and suddenly you get a boost, cranking up your speedo to 200 in under a second. Still the cars are coming towards you, and your heart is in your mouth, and it’s just a case of whether you can keep your bottle. Powersliding around a sharp right hand bend, you fly between the small gap between two lumber wagons, and then your competitors are on your tail again, but another boost saves you once more and you pull away, your eyes watering and your brain shutting down as you negotiate city traffic at 200 mph ~ and we are back! You think that’s exciting? Try playing the game and you really will see that adrenaline is brown.
So what does the game offer over the previous incarnation? Well, this game is a lot more forgiving for crashes, and will let you scrape along the side of the other traffic as long as you aren't too rough. Also the crash replays are limited to a few seconds and as such the game is a lot faster and more immediate. On top of that there is the new crash challenges that allow you to cause the biggest amount of damage at a set piece junction. This is a very exciting and addictive addition that adds literally hours to the game. In terms of multi format issues the 'Cube version is a lot smoother than the PS2 version and looks a damn sight nicer, it is about equally matched to the X-Box version. However, we here at C3 think that the Cube pad is best suited to the game with the resistance offered on the Control Stick and the face buttons enabling quick reactions for powerslides. The import version of the game offers progressive scan support so it is Burnout 2 that is consummate home to some of the best graphics seen in any next generation console game.
Excellent, exciting, extreme.
Breathtaking speed and insane courses with sometimes 30 vehicles on screen at once. Progressive Scan Support is also a bonus for those that can afford it.
Suffers from having non franchise music, and would benefit from some cheesy 80's hair metal, a'la Iron Maiden or Guns 'N' Roses, but you will soon be humming the tunes it has made its own.
You will find yourself wanting to play this again and again, the 'just one more go' factor is strong in this one. Even after you have finished the main game.
So, now that you've heard what we have to say about the complete marvel that is Burnout 2 why in the hell are you still sitting there? If you already have it you should be experiencing the adrenaline rush once more and if not you should be down at GAME buying it.