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Which Console Did You Buy/Receive Over The Holidays?

Xbox One X
Nintendo Switch
PlayStation 4

Game Profile
PlayStation 2
Rainbow Studios
GENRE: Racing
PLAYERS:   1-4
November 09, 2002
ATV Offroad Fury 4

ATV Offroad Fury Pro

ATV Offroad Fury: Blazin' Trails

ATV Offroad Fury 3

ATV Offroad Fury

 Written by Adam Woolcott  on January 17, 2003

Full Review: Twice the rides, twice the fun, twice the hillbillies.

The original ATV Offroad Fury was released in early 2001, and was Sony's first real good 1st party title for the PlayStation 2. If it was released at the launch of the PS2, it could have been one of their killer apps; but instead it was the post-Christmas sleeper that sold like hotcakes, in part because of the slow release of new PS2 games, in part because, you know, the game was pretty darn good. Earlier this year, the game was re-released as a Greatest Hit ? one of the inaugural ones for the console.

As you might expect, the game was successful enough to spawn a sequel, and that sequel is ATV Offroad Fury 2. With Rainbow Studios on the job one last time for Sony (since THQ bought them out earlier this year), the developers have pulled out all the stops to give SCEA another big title for the Christmas season, as well as yet another online feather in the cap of their online strategy hat. We've been able to get a hold of a bit of playing time with the anticipated sequel, and from early impressions of the game, it shouldn't have a problem selling just like the original ? since as usual for a sequel, it's bigger, badder, and of course, more of the good stuff we all love.

The small demo of ATV Offroad 2 contained a pair of levels ? one of the usual offroad circuits, and one of the real circuit tracks inside a stadium (people pay to see people race little ATV's?one of life's little mysteries). Naturally this is because both kinds of tracks will exist in the full game, so Sony wanted to let everyone get a small taste of both kinds of venues.

Fans of ATV will be right at home with the feel of the game, since it's basically the same thing. The controls are the same as last game, with the ability to pre-load the jumps for maximum distance, and the jittery, loose controls simulate the feel of a real ATV pretty well. However, it seems the controls have been tightened a bit for rounding corners at higher speeds, since wiping out by taking a corner too fast is subsided, unless you're going really fast ? and in that case, its your own stupid fault.

The tough computer AI (a Rainbow Studios specialty) is back again, with a rubberband feel that not only keeps you from running away with a race, but allows you to never leave a position of contention unless you really flub it up. However, the cheapness has been slightly lowered in this installment, since it's possible to be in 1st, make a mistake, and still maintain the lead if you're fast enough.

The graphics and audio will be familiar ? the visuals largely look like a more polished original, with the same sorts of track design details, lighting effects, and animations. However, in a demo state the possibility of graphics being fine-tuned before release is highly possible. The audio featured a handful of rock tunes featuring bands such as lostprophets ? similar stuff to the original game.

ATV Offroad Fury 2, in its final state, will have all the trimmings, from basic single race modes to a deep championship mode to become the best ATV racer in the world?or maybe just Alabama. Most importantly, ATV Offroad Fury 2 will be completed with online play for both 56k users and broadband users ? racing online should be a blast, and given the small amount if racers per track in the actual game, the lag shouldn't even be a factor, if there's any lag at all. Obviously this will give Sony a shot in the arm, since the online-compatible PS2 games haven't exactly been in abundance since the August rollout. With this, Sony will have a great shooter online (SOCOM), a football game that's actually got great online play and the game itself is not too shabby (GameDay), and with this one, a solid racing game to round out the important categories (outside of an RPG, but Everquest Online Adventures will change that).

Bottom Line
While the small taste of the game that's been played can't be a final indication, it is definitely a sneak peek at a game that shouldn't have a problem being as good as the acclaimed original. The inclusion of online play will help garner sales for people desperate for a new game to play online, and fans of the original will be right at home with the sequel. As what will probably be the last ATV game (at least from Rainbow anyway), ATV Offroad Fury 2 looks to go out with a bang when the game is released later this week ? and from the looks and plays of things, it should do just that.

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