Burnout 2 Reviewed
Burnout 2 Review On PS2
Burnout 2 is the latest arcade racer to hit the PS2, and like its predecessor it cuts right to the chase. The game breaks down into a couple of modes, Championship and Crash. When starting the game you will have to complete a short training session that successfully shows you how to power slide and drive as dangerously as possible in order to build up, the all important, turbo meter. Don't worry if your thinking this is a chore before the game starts, it isn't and you will find it only takes five minutes of so to complete and at the same time it does a good job of explaining your objectives.

A championship mode is the key to unlocking tracks and cars that can be used in the games other modes. As you progress through the championship mode you will have to come first in every single race to unlock everything the game has to offer, if you struggle through with some second and third place results you can still see most of what the game offers. As you progress you will also unlock one-on-one races with other cars, should you win these races you will win your opponents car. You will also encounter some pursuit courses, which have you driving a police car; you must chase and batter the escaping vehicle into submission before it gets away. This type of race is very reminiscent of the Taito classic game Chase H.Q. The variety in championship mode makes it a joy to play and you will always be unlocking something new along the way.

The second mode in Burnout 2 is called "Crash". In the original game the crashes where used as the main selling point of the game, but ultimately when playing the crashes simply got in the way. So this is one reason why Burnout 2 has its own crash mode. The object is to cause the best multiple car pile up possible, the game keeps track of your crashes to remind you how much damage you caused charging head long into the side on bus or launching yourself of the back of a stationary car. The first couple of levels are pretty straightforward, the later levels give you much more to think about and it can be more difficult to cause complete mayhem than you originally anticipated. For example one level has you charging down a road into a roadblock with a line of buses moving down the right hand side lane. In order to destroy loads of buses you must hit a parked car further up the road, which will cause your car to take off and land right in the line of the buses, then the rest is easy, just sit back and watch an awesome pile up of buses begin.

Burnout 2 Review On PS2 @ www.contactmusic.com
Burnout 2 Review On PS2 @ www.contactmusic.com
Burnout 2 Review On PS2 @ www.contactmusic.com
Burnout 2 Review On PS2 @ www.contactmusic.com

This may sound quite easy but you must hit the parked car perfectly to produce maximum damage. Crash mode is immensely enjoyable and it also showcases Burnout 2's crash physics very well letting you see each collision in slow motion as buses roll and articulated trucks jack-knife. This is fantastic fun and you may also take it in turns to play a multi player version of the crash mode; the object is to cause as much damage in dollars. Your points and your friend's points will be tallied up after each crash, who ever has caused the most damaged after three levels will be the winner.

Burnout 2 has very tight controls which is necessary given the high speed nature of the game. You have basic controls, which consist of accelerate, brakes, turbo, manual shift if you choose and horn. The tracks are filled with loads of traffic and the only way to build up your boost meter is to drive recklessly. Near misses, driving on the wrong side of the road, power sliding and catching air are all things that are classed as dangerous driving and will fill up your boost meter. Once your boost is full you may let it rip, this causes speed blur and the road seems to stretch out right in front of you. I you drive dangerously without crashing you may even fill your boost meter again before the previous one ends. If you are good enough it is possible to boost through the entire race, although staying safe becomes much more difficult and you will generally end up crashing at some point.

The graphics in Burnout 2 are very impressive and they actually make a difference to the game play. You will need to keep your eyes on the road when you're really steaming along as the traffic comes up very quickly, you will only have a split second to react. While all this is happening on the screen the frame rate maintains smoothness. The sense of speed produced by Burnout 2 is unmatched by any other game available, full stop! The rest of the graphics are also very good, the car models are not as good as those found in Gran Turismo 3 but they are still very impressive. The scenery is all very nice too, matched with the lighting effects of the sun reflecting off your car everything looks great.

Burnout 2 supports Dolby Pro Logic II but it doesn't really take full advantage of it although there are some nice touches like the drooping pitch of the police cars sirens as they speed off into the distance and the various engine noises for each car. The music is typical arcade racer stuff with plenty of rock, which will pump up and become slightly more frantic when you hit the boost button.

Burnout 2 isn't that different to the original, but saying that it does feel much more enjoyable than the original. Rather than taking all the elements of the game and sticking them all together, Burnout 2 has been constructed in a better way, the racing is all about racing and the crash mode is all about crashing.

Plus Burnout 2 looks much cleaner than the original. If you're a fan of arcade racing you should buy Burnout 2 even if you have the original, the crash mode adds that extra bit of zest to a great arcade racer.

8.5 out of 10