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Burnout 2: Point of Impact Package Art
†GENRE
††Racing
†DEVELOPER
††Criterion Games
†PUBLISHER
††Acclaim
†NUMBER OF PLAYERS
††1-2
†CONNECTIVITY
††no
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Burnout 2: Point of Impact

The first Burnout is still in my ďactive gamesĒ pouch next to my GameCube. Most other titles get relegated to the bookshelf in a hurry. Now imagine how many games I play a year and think about how good a game has to be to stay in my ďtop 10Ē rotation. The reason why the first game stuck with me was the unbelievable sense of speed that it conveyed. When I hit that turbo for the first time I had my Stereo cranked with the lights out and my buddy sitting next to me and all we could blurt out was a Classic Keanu lineÖ "Whoah!"

The other thing about the first Burnout was that you could just pick it up and play it anytime. It was great to get into the deeper modes but the game was great because you could just put it in and enjoy it anytime you want.

Acclaim has built on what I would call an A-Class game engine and added features and depth to create Burnout 2: Point of Impact. In keeping with what the PS2 ads for Burnout 2 said, the last thing that will go through your mind will be your ass!

visuals

The first thing that youíll notice in Burnout 2 is that the environments are a lot more rich in detail and design. Not that youíll be analyzing all of the polygons on the buildings around you as youíre blasting through the city streets at Mach IV, but you will get the visual feeling of polish and detail.

Crashing. In short, thatís what really makes the Burnout series a treat to play. Acclaim has upped the ante this year with stunning crashes that will see car deformations and fragments flying through the air. The slow motion then full speed representation of these crashes provides a superior sense of tension, especially when you create a huge pile up that you can see coming in slow mo, and then WHAM, all of these cars start piling in with debris everywhere. Itís great.

As for visual details, youíll find realistic looking rain, fog, snow etc. and a nice reflection feature and lighting. Most importantly, with all of these details, Acclaimís Burnout 2 graphics do one thing superbly well. They look blindingly fast. You simply havenít played a game this quick before. Itís amazing when you hit that boost button and you just feel your grip tighten on your controller.

Great job improving the original.

audio

Most Dojo Disciples know that Iím a big Audiophile. Before I noticed any graphical changes I noticed that the soundtrack is kick ass! The opening menu music with the harmonized sevenths guitar work gives me a flashback to the early metal days of the mid to late eighties. Great selection of tone here. Whatís more, Acclaim has chosen music that suits the game. It sounds fast.

I like the way that Acclaim has beefed up the sound effects engine. The cars sound a lot meatier and I like the ďfsssstĒ of the nitro bursting when you hit the boost, not to mention the amazingly detailed crash audioscape.

Itís nice to see that Acclaim decided to compliment what were already excellent visuals by creating a supporting environment of solid audio work. Too many companies neglect the significance of a great audio package as part of their game. Donít forget the Pro Logic II support.

gameplay

If you want to have a white knuckler in your portfolio of racing titles that you can fully enjoy on your own or better yet, have a blast when playing with friends, well the equation goes this way

A Great Game + Perpetual Replay Value + Great Fun Factor = Burnout 2.

The progression that I went through in the gameplay was to first take my offensive driving 101 classes. From there I went on to get golds in all of the THIRTY crash junctions. These things are awesome; youíre given an intersection to wreak havoc in and you have to cause enough damage to win a gold medal. The camera work during the crashes are amazing and then to see your mangled car crushed and read ďcongratulationsĒ youíve got a gold medal!! How classic is that!?

Finally I got into the season mode which proceeded to yield a great new pursuit feature with which I immediately fell in love. You have to knock your opponent enough times or wipe him out before the finish. Itís great. Itís like youíre a cop and youíre in a super high-speed chase. Nice job including this game play twist. The season mode itself is way deeper this year. Also I find that the traffic in this yearís Burnout is way less predictable and it feels a lot more challenging to navigate.

With more cars to unlock, more cities to go through and finally a custom mode that allows you to race custom cars. All in all, itís a "fatterĒ gameplay experience this year.

multiplayer

Burnout is a series that you can always have fun with when friends come over. First off, there isnít a lot to cover when youíre trying to explain the control of the game. Secondly, the game is a blast, so within minutes you can have a pretty competitive battle in all the different modes of the game. Itís amazing to go head to head in crash mode to see who can wipe out a highway the best. Nice work!

overall

If you havenít figured it out by now, Iím classifying this as a must buy. I had and am still having a lot of fun with the first Burnout, and Burnout 2 is better in every way. In the end, my ultimate deciding factor where buying is concerned is whether or not this game deserves your money. In my opinion, Burnout 2 pays you back every time you play it. Itís that good! Drive carefully to your local video game dealer and then race home to play this bad boy.

final score 9.5/10





WRITER INFORMATION
Staff Avatar Eric Mattei
Staff Profile | Email
"Lost like tears in rain"


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