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.
High Speed Fun
Lots of Extras
Smooth as Glass
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.