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Dakar 2
High Speed Fun
Lots of Extras
Smooth as Glass
With the games market awash with high-speed racers, new groundbreaking ideas are pretty thin on the ground these days. Acclaim's Burnout 2: Point of Impact certainly isnít the greatest looking of the bunch, but once you get in and turn the key you'll be hard pressed to find a better arcade driving game on the console. 

What works particularly well for me is the terrific car physics and responsive controls. While the large selection of cars offer different advantages, you always feel in control of the car. Like its predecessor, Burnout rewards for dangerous driving. Each high-risk manoeuvre like driving into the oncoming traffic and braking around corners gain you Burnout Throttle. Once the dial is at max a press of a button sends the car at blinding speed for a few seconds. Very useful when playing catch up.

Perhaps the most major element of Burnout 2 is  the championship mode where you take on three other CPU opponents per stage. Win the race series and you'll unlock more features, cars, and challenges. Special levels such as cop car chases are scattered throughout all offering hidden tracks and cars on completion.

Graphically the game covers a lot of bases. Widescreen and 480p progressive scan modes are supported. The cityscapes, buildings and bridges all look great. While the car textures have certainly been bumped up, they're not as realistic as Project Gotham Racing or Colin McRae's vehicles, though nice uses of sunbursts, glares and reflection make everything visually sound. The trade-off on car texture may have resulted in Burnout 2's beautifully smooth 60 frames-a-second game engine. Even two-player mode runs as smooth as glass. In racing games high fps is vital in the response of the car and Criterion Games have done the gamer proud here.

Another great addition to the title is the ability to import your own soundtrack to the radio. The preset soundtrack is average at best but loading up your own music into the game really adds to the game. All in-game effects sound decent enough through Dolby 5.1 and the game does support Xbox Live for some global action.

Burnout 2 may well be the best arcade racer out there at the moment and certainly worth a look if high-adrenalin racing is your thing.


Burnout 2
Burnout 2
Burnout 2

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