Review by Liontower

"Timing, Rhythm and Wide Open Spaces"

Racing games are not my favorite things in general. They can get the adrenaline pumping for a while....but too many times those adrenaline tire just go flat too quickly. ATV Off Road Fury may prove no different to me in the end. But it's still nice to see a racing game that pushes other concepts into this usual gas pedal heavy genre.

GRAPHICS:
This is one of the cleanest, smoothest, nicely detailed games I own. There's no anti-alising issues that I can see anywhere. Each ATV is pretty complex. It must have been a real headache to model... but boy, was the headache worth it. The ATVs look excellent. They have real weight. Turn sharply into a corner and you can see it all happening in the suspension. This goes for the tracks and environments too. It would have been easy to make the mostly dirt tracks look boring and drab. But they are not. They all have an overall richness to them... and thats saying a lot for dirt. I was also stunned by the shear size of some of the freestyle areas. I spent a few hour just driving around mindlessly like some idiot with my jaw wide open. You really can feel like these environments go on and on forever. My only negative comment here is that during play the camera doesn't offer a first person view. This is a shame because this would be a gorgeous experience up close and personal. ATV Off Road could easily widthstand the close inspection.

SOUND:
I have no real problems here. The engine sounds do not varie per vehicle, like they do in games like GT3. If you're an ATV enthusiast this may get under your skin. The high pitched buzzing of the engines are the prodominant sounds here. I like the music overall and so do my kids. I really don't care who or how old the music is. It seems to fit the game.

GAMEPLAY:
You don't get the sense of speed that you do in other racers. If they provided a first person view this would have helped some/a lot...but this racer is more about timing and rhythm. If you ride the gas pedal you're just not going to hit the hills right and you're going to slow down. Also colliding with something or really taking the hill wrong, will cost you too. Your racer will fall off the ATV and cost you an eternity. I applaud these aspects of the game. You need to think, run a clean race, to win. Sadly the computer is a little dumb and cheap. If the computer falls off their ATV, they're on it and back in the race, much quicker than you ever are allowed. But on the other hand, even if you're a total screw-up, the computer always seems to never get too far ahead. This doesn't kill the game for me, because I play this game mostly multi-player. But this fact alone could just kill the thunder if you're going to play this mostly alone.

EXTRAS:
There could be more tracks...there always could be more tracks. Over the year our expectations have gone up. So I'm being un-fair here. But theres a lot here too. You get two basic feels within the game. You get tracks and wide open spaces. The wide open space are the big crowd pleasers in my house. Theres a trick mode and a race between the gates/course. You also get to make your tracks over these wide open spaces. It's kind off cool because instead of linking track sections together, you're reading the lay of the land. Where you strategically place your gates can change the whole character of the race. A new for me way of desin your own track...really liking it.

FINAL:
I would rent this game first because of the feel of speed/computer AI issues. You would do well to buy it too. I like what these guys did with this game enough to make me watch what they're working on in the future.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 07/18/01, Updated 07/18/01


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