My eye was on this game for a long time prior to it’s release, and as soon as I saw it at my local game shop, I decided to pick it up on pure instinct. What I got was a solid off road racer with great controls and beautiful landscapes.
The game menus are functional and not too flashy. At times the menus can be a little confusing or annoying, because its easy to skip over some things during game setup. The B-movie cut scenes can get annoying, but still are enjoyable. They are all live acted, and attempt to throw in some kind of story into the game. Overall, I see no problems with the case, instructions, and menus in game. Clean looking menus, decent live acted cut scenes, and a good looking case.
This is one of this game’s strongest points. While there are only 3 main worlds (2 bonus), They are HUGE. You could literally spend an hour driving around and still not have seen everything there is to see. You can see for at least 4 miles away, and there is minimal noticeable popup. Everything is smooth and crisp. The real looking grass and plants really give it that extra realism. As for the vehicles themselves, they are great, but could have used maybe a bump mapping or reflections to make them look more real. As they are, they look a little like plastic. The frame rate is a non-issue, as it never stutters. As I stated above, the live acted cut scenes look like crap, but intentionally so. They are grainy, horribly acted B-movie imitations. I guess they thought it’d be cool that way, but its not. Huge, crisp worlds give you tons to explore. Everything from tree to the grass is rendered. Solid frame rate and minimal popup.
The Sound track really, really sucks. The songs are stupid techno beats that loop 8 seconds of music over and over. It’s just barely bearable. You’d be better to switch the music off and listen to the engine noises. The engine noises themselves are only decent, as with the police sirens. A pathetic attempt at a techno-like soundtrack. Engine noises and sirens are nothing to get excited about. A disappointment.
This game is fun. You basically run Package A to Point A, then pick up Package B and bring it to Point B. It sounds pretty simple, but you’ll need to deal with the insanely mountainous terrain and aggressive off-road police vehicles. There’s a hefty sum of off-roading beasts to choose from, from a bulky half tank half SUV, to the highly maneuverable yet unstable quad, to the secret hovering bike. You are also equipped with 2 ‘countermeasures’ per vehicle. Basically its some kind of weapon or evasive maneuver you can use when you feel ‘the heat’ is working you more than you can handle. Countermeasures range from that launch others 30 feet in the air, to a cloaking device that will lose the police instantly. The police use the same vehicles, only dressed in black and white with lights, which seems lazy on the developers part, but it’s not a big deal. The physics seem very floaty, but easy to control. Often times you can be in the air for 4-8 seconds when going over a hill. The levels do get repetitive, but I managed to complete the 30-some levels still wanting more. Many levels will be done easily on the first try, while others have you slamming your controllers into the walls in frustration.