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Which Console Did You Buy/Receive Over The Holidays?

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Game Profile
Vivendi Games
Terminal Reality
GENRE: Racing
PLAYERS:   1-2
September 10, 2002
4x4 Evo 2

 Written by Jonathan Nicklas  on August 29, 2003

Full Review: Now, if my calculations are correct, this title equation should come out to = 16 (EVO)?

Off-road racing games are few and far between. Luckily, Universal Interactive has something to fill the void. 4x4 Evo 2 packs a power punch, but comes up short in the end. The next chapter in the series draws upon its predecessor, but ultimately leaves you a bit empty.

By the numbers, 4x4 Evo 2 delivers on all fronts. The game features hundreds of vehicles from credible manufacturers such as Lexus, Dodge and Toyota. The GameCube version sports several new trucks including the Stillen Silverado Monster, Warn Dodge Dakota, Calmini Nissan Frontier, and Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. With the addition of 90 real-world parts, you have yourself a selection here that raises awareness. Add in 32 off-road tracks, and I can shut up now. Take my word for it that the presentation is simply astounding.

Graphically speaking, 4x4 Evo 2 delivers the goods. The vehicles are exquisitely detailed with reflection mapping that look great. The outdoor courses are particularly impressive as well, with interactive objects like road signs and little farms in the outer reaches. As usual, the vehicles also leave tire marks and, at least from a distance, most forestry looks top notch. Up close however, it's not exactly a pretty sight. With the added bonus of sinking in water and screaming for your life, you can really appreciate the water effects with great water physics. In addition, the game pits you in gorgeous terrain with many added details that make things really feel like a busy world of its own.

However, it all comes down to the fact that 4x4 Evo 2 isn't anything to write home about. The gameplay stems down to off-road racing that doesn't bring anything new to the table, and is accompanied by loose controls that don't offer enough durance. At its heart, it's pure, unadulterated fun that really needs only one button for the ride. It's far from bad but not close enough to good. To close things off, the artificial intelligence is only sufficient. The game features four computer-controlled bots to harass that take some time to topple, but it's well worth the effort. However, the huge selection of tracks offers lengthy races that take some time to learn. The game has it all covered, from Yukon to huge dirt tracks that get you lost easily.

Unfortunately, the controls leave a little bit to be desired and analog movement isn't as tight as it could be. Nevertheless, the control scheme is rock solid. R accelerates and L reverses in a nice change. If you've worked your fingers to the bone, you can also make use of the camera stick to accelerate and reverse, which actually comes in handy. The game also features three views and looks best when you're behind the windshield. On the up-and-up, the multiplayer component adds some much-needed replay value and supports up to two-players.

Bottom Line
Overall, 4x4 Evo 2 is painfully average. The gameplay is free of anything special that demands some playtime. For the hardcore of off-road racers, you can't go wrong. In the end though, you'll find a solid engine and some added graphical touches, but nothing particularly impressive.

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