ATV Offroad Fury 2 Review
ATV Offroad Fury 2 puts you in control of an offroad machine, and sends you racing across forests, deserts, and even frozen tundra. All told, there are a total of 40 environments spread across five different events. When you want to take on some real live competition, you can play against up to three other friends in races or mini-games, or go online against other players if you have a Network Adaptor.
The first step in most games is to select your ATV. The game features over 20 ATVs from real-world manufacturers, although some will need to be unlocked through gameplay. Your choice will effect more than your ATV's color and logo, each handles a little differently based on the actual ATV's specs. You can also tweak the engine, traction, and suspension for a customized feel. Your rider's look can be customized as well, and you can select the helmet, goggles, gloves, suit, and boots. You won't be forced to go through the customization process each time as the game allows you to save all of your settings with your profile. The profile will also track your race statistics which is a nice feature.
When you're ready to race, you can select from single races, freestyle competitions, and championships. Races are timed events on circuit tracks, and freestyle challenges you to catch air and pull of the best tricks as you try to score more points than the competition. If you need to get some practice in before taking on the computer, there are two modes to help you out. The first is freeride, which lets you drive on any track for as long as you want. You can use this mode to get the hang of pulling off tricks, or to look for the best lines on the race tracks. The other practice mode is lap attack. This mode places you on a circuit track as you try to complete a lap in the fastest time possible. After you finish a lap, a ghost rider is added to the track that is a recording of your best lap run. You can use the ghost rider to gauge your approach to the turns and terrain features, allowing you to determine the best way to approach the track in an actual race.
Each ATV handles slightly differently, but the control on each is responsive and smooth. Control in the game is excellent, and it is evident that a lot of work went into the game's physics model. You can almost feel your momentum as you try to make a tight turn or land on a steep down slope. The game's tricks resemble tricks that are possible in real-life (well, if you're a top-ranked professional driver), as the game's physics does not compromise itself by letting you pull off the impossible feats common in many of today's extreme sports games.
Track conditions have a big effect on handling, and the ice-covered tracks require extra caution. These tracks aren't simply sliding affairs as is often the case when encountering ice in video games. If you approach them like you would if you were really driving on ice, you'll do fine. Get careless and you're liable to go spinning into a snow bank.
The single player game is fun and the AI competition is good. However, like a lot of racing games, ATV Offroad Fury 2 can begin to get a bit repetitive once you've raced for a while on all of the tracks. What sets it apart from other games though, is that the multiplayer action and mini-games are a lot of fun and really go a long way towards extending the title's life.