Review by GTA3 Addict
"A great racing game! Definately better than the original!"
Burnout 2: Point of Impact is a great game. When the original was released in 2001, it was a disappointment to many. It only had a limited number of tracks, a limited number of cars to choose from, limited game modes (there was nothing much else to do other than a 4-car race) and a very annoying instant replay of the crashes. The graphics were not bad, but the game had more negatives than positives. So, when I saw Burnout 2, I was very skeptical about it. However, I was wrong. It is significantly better than the original in many aspects.
Gameplay (10/10): The gameplay is very good. When you start out, you must complete several lessons in ''Offensive Driving 101''. These include practicing near misses, driving in the wrong lane, etc.
Once you complete the lessons, you are ready to race. You can race in either championship mode or single race mode. You have several tracks available at the beginning and more will become unlocked as you compete (and win) in the championship mode. Some of the tracks are short while some are quite long and challenging. You also have different elements thrown into the race. Some races are done at night, while others in the rain, etc. This definitely adds to the race's complexity.
You also have a selection of 7 cars to choose from at the beginning. As you win some of the races, additional cars will be unlocked and available. When you select a car, you see a graphical indication of its acceleration, control and speed. This lets you pick the car that best suits your driving skills or the race you are about to do. You can also pick the car's body color (so you can race in your favorite) and the type of transmission to use (automatic or manual). The number of selections is quite extraordinary.
In addition to the single race and championship modes, there is also a Pursuit and a Crash mode. The Pursuit mode (which is unlocked after completing the first pursuit during the championship mode) is where you must chase a target vehicle while in a police car and hit it enough times before it reaches the finish line. I found this to be the most unlikable part of the game. During championship mode, you have to do them in order to unlock some of the cars. Even if you hit the target car causing it to crash, it still only counts as 1 ''hit''. Plus if you crash, you pretty much have to restart because it will take most of your remaining time to just catch up to the target vehicle. To me, this was the most frustrating and aggravating part of the game. On the other hand, the Crash mode was neat. The goal here is to use your car to create as much damage as possible. I found myself redoing crash zones I already completed just to see if I could do it better (that is, cause more damage). This feature was a nice addition from the original.
In the championship mode, winning first place in all of the races will unlock some of the cheats that are available from the Options menu that can be used during races. The downside is that if you compete in a grand prix (which is a series of races), you must redo the entire series and you cannot repeat only one of the races. So, if you placed first in all but one race, you must repeat all of them to get to the race you need to achieve first place.
The elimination of the 3-view crash replays is also a definite plus over the original. After a crash, you are back to racing very quickly.
The game also has a multi-player mode. This allows two players to compete side-by-side in a single race, in pursuit mode (one player drives the pursuit car and the other drives the target car) or crash mode (to see who can cause the most destruction).
Graphics (10/10): The graphics are outstanding. The streets and surroundings make you feel like you are actually driving on the road. They are extremely realistic. The crashes are also incredibly accurate. You'll see smoke and tire tracks from cars trying to stop to avoid the collision, windshields smash from the impact and even semi-trucks jackknife. Everything you see is exactly what you would expect if the same thing happened in real life.
Sound (9/10): The sound effects are very good. Just like with the graphics, the sounds you hear during a crash are real. From the horns blaring, to the tires screeching, to the glass shattering, you will think you were in a real accident. You will also hear your engine revving and tires squealing as you navigate around corners at high speed. The downside of the sound is the generic background music (which was also in the original). Other recent games, such as Gran Turismo 3 and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, have incorporated actual songs by real artists into the game. This would have been a nice feature if it had also been included in Burnout 2.
Controls (10/10): The driving controls on the analog controller are pretty much standard for a driving game. You also can use a GT Force or Driving Force steer wheel if you have one. This can add an even greater sense of realism.
Replay (8/10): In the single player mode, once you complete the championship mode (and have unlocked all of the cars and secrets), there is not really anything else to do. Sure you can always compete in the single races and try to break the current records, but this may become boring after awhile. Having the multi-player ability does increase the replay ability since you can compete against family members or friends.
Rent or Buy? I think this is definitely a game to have. If you are not sure, then rent it first and try it out. I think once you do, you will definitely want it for keeps.
Overall Score: 9/10
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 02/17/03, Updated 02/17/03
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