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The offroad racing
genre has become more popular as of late, but
is the recent success unfounded?
ever played a game that got you so frustrated
or angry that you just wanted to pound
your chest, spit and foam from the mouth,
skew your eyeballs out with a stick, or
wrap that stinkin' controller cord around
your neck and squeeze just to see the blood
drip from your nose? Alright, maybe I was
a little too drastic, but after playing
4x4 Evolution 2 I couldn't help but wonder, "Where's
the fun?" Perhaps my expectations were
too high, but the game just didn't deliver
my thirst for a more solid offroad racer.
There are a few elements that make 4x4
Evolution 2 stand out from its brothers,
but it just wasn't enough to keep me at
with Xbox games you'll automatically expect
a high polish to the games, or at least
something decent looking. 4x4 Evoluation
2 does not have this shine. I soon began
to wonder if I was playing the Nintendo
64 instead of the Xbox. Bump mapping? No.
High texture quality? Hardly. The textures
on the buildings you encounter look extremely
blurry and undetailed. The maps you race
in are also fairly desolate and lacking
in detail, there's not much to encounter
or look at it. Don't even try to go too
far offroad, you may get lost due to the
continuity of the maps that seem to never
end, which all look the same. Unfortunately,
there's 32 of them.
however, look at least a little more polished.
They have the shiny reflective coating
that we've seen in quite a few of the Xbox
games released. I did like the fact that
there are not 30, not 50, not even 70 trucks,
there are over 120 trucks from Dodge, Jeep,
Nissan, Infiniti, Lexus, Toyota, Mitsubishi,
Chevrolet, and GMC. Probably one of the
greater aspects within the game is the
ability to buy parts in several topics
for these trucks. These parts range from
tires to engines to brakes and even appearance.
One could almost say this area of the game
is the Grand Turismo 3 of offroad racing.
may appear quite decent with the part customization,
but your hopes soon crumble to ashes once
you actually put your truck to drive within
the game. The "fun factor" seems lost in
the translation from controller to screen.
After choosing Career mode, buying my truck
and a few parts to go with it, the race
is supposed to begin. The load time itself
could kill you off, for you have to wait
up to 30-40 seconds for the loading screen
to finish. I was lucky enough to read the
tips that appear on the loading screen
about the track I was about to race in.
They pointed out a shortcut that would
almost guarantee a win! I soon found the
shortcut and hoped I would win, unfortunately
I ended up going in the wrong direction.
How could that be? I followed the overheard
arrow that told me where to go but instead
I ended up going around the track backwards!
That's where my fun ended, within the first
few minutes. Even if you actually follow
the track, it's just not that fun.
mode is where the main course of your 4X4
meal is. You'll begin with no vehicle and
$30,000 in your bank. The first think you'll
want to do is buy a truck [otherwise, what's
the point, right? - Ed.], and if you have
enough, a part or two. Once you complete
this step, you move on to actual racing
in which you use cash prizes to purchase
performance upgrade parts to customize
your vehicle. Earn enough, and possibly
get a newer (higher performance) vehicle.
In Career mode, there are a lot of other
categories to dig around in. There are
practically categories within categories
to choose from. There are also several
different races to compete in, as well.
You can race through Series, Qualifying
Events, Team, and even Missions in which
you embark on an "adventure." Successfully
completing an Adventure Mission will earn
you cash, too. It seems like there's a
lot to do, but in the long run it's again
just not fun. Once you actually pick up
and play the many races you may end up
all this action, I found most of my pleasure
spending three to five minutes in Free
Roam. This mode allows the player to explore
a track without the constraints of time,
checkpoints or competitors. You can set
the many tracks, and there are many, to
have different weather or time of day,
which adds to the fun. However, straying
off course will just show you how desolate
these levels truly are, and staying on
the track is the only place you'll actually
see something worth seeing. That is one
of the reasons I spent three to five minutes
playing each track, the fun is quickly
cut off after roaming a desolate land free
of anything half interesting.
include Time Attack in which you compete
for the fastest time or Hot Lap on any
track. There's also a Quick Race mode which
allows you to race all courses up to 20
laps and against up to 5 opponents. Fun?
I don't think so. Even though 4x4 Evo 2
utilizes multiplayer capability, I doubt
your friends will enjoy themselves too
much. It's certainly not a game to show
off if you want to impress your friend
with your hot new Xbox. Especially since
only two people can play at a time. What's
up with that? Last I looked, the Xbox had
4 controller ports.
sound didn't add to the experience either.
I rather enjoyed the game more by turning
the music OFF! The music is your basic
farmland songs, nothing more than computer
made themes. The only real sound to experience
is the roaring of the engines and the squealing
of the tires, although I wouldn't call
that enjoyable to actually listen to, since
there isn't a lot of variety there.
would've been much more enjoyable if they
probably closed off the levels and actually
added some detail within. I could hardly
play this game for 5 minutes without getting
bored; there is just no "fun factor". Although
I wouldn't mind a good offroad game, 4x4
Evolution 2 just isn't the right kind.
It's not a horrid game, the fact that it
has such an extensive amount of customization
Scott "VeX" Kuss
It's not the heat, it's just the gosh darn humidity!
Overall, it's not bad but it's not great. I appreciated
the customization level in the Career mode, but the graphics,
sound, and gameplay are not very high in Xbox standards.
Infact, this game probably could've been a Nintendo 64
game if it was early enough. If you want a good offroad
racing game, don't look here, this isn't it.