ATV Offroad Fury 2 Review

Is ATV Offroad Fury 2 the sequel you’ve been waiting for?  I think the score makes the answer pretty obvious, but if you still don’t get it, let me make it clear: yes, this is exactly the sequel you have been waiting for!  You and everyone else.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve never played the original, because the sequel is longer, faster and more refined.  As if that weren’t enough, the developers went even further, adding a four-player split-screen multiplayer mode, as well as a four-player online multiplayer mode!

Fans of the series already know what to expect from ATV Offroad Fury 2: more of the same great gameplay that was featured in the original.  Newcomers will find that ATV Offroad Fury 2 has one of the best control schemes, if not THE best control scheme ever made for a next-gen racer.  Steering is tight and extremely precise.  Any skilled gamer will be well on their way to becoming an ATV Offroad Fury master in just a couple of hours.  The stunt system is great, featuring over 20 easy-to-perform stunts that can be learned in a matter of minutes.

ATV Offroad Fury 2 has an excellent physics engine.  Landing is very challenging at first.  You must position your ATV to match the terrain below, whether it’s flat or bumpy.  It’ll become second nature to you fairly quickly though, and at that point you’ll begin to realize that everything I am saying is true, and this is one of the most brilliant racing games ever made.

Getting online with ATV Offroad Fury 2 is a snap.  If your ISP is already set up with your PlayStation 2, then all you have to do is pop the game in and select multiplayer.  From there, click “online” and the game does the rest itself.  It dials in automatically (if you have dial-up — broadband users can join games even faster), loads the race selection screen (where you can enter a game hosted by another player) and gives you the option to enter a chatroom (yes, a chatroom!).  The chatroom loads almost instantly after it has been selected, even on dial-up.  Typing is tedious with a game controller, so I suggest that you get a USB keyboard.  The simple interface, easy-to-host game setup and the surprisingly speedy connection are exactly what an online game needs, and ATV Offroad Fury 2 has them all.

The online gameplay is absolutely stellar.  Dial-up users are limited to only one opponent, but the non-stop action, intense feeling of each race and the overall joy of racing against (and beating) a complete stranger is still there.  Even when not communicating via the chatroom, I had a connection to my opponents.  I could sense their desire for success as they repeatedly challenged me (and failed).  The only thing I couldn’t hear was the angry words that came out of my opponent’s mouth as he lost by a couple of feet.  I wasn’t even a full second ahead of him!

Speaking of repeated challenges, ATV Offroad Fury 2 loads little a bit faster than the other online games for PS2.  It doesn’t take the game more than 20 seconds or so to load a race, and it takes even less to load the hosted games on the selection screen.  (There is one exception — if several games are being hosted at once, it will take longer to load, since all of them must be registered by your PS2.)

As PlayStation 2’s first online racing game, I must admit that I was concerned about a possible lag problem.  As it turns out, I was concerned for NOTHING because there isn’t any lag at all!  The framerate is constant throughout the whole game, whether you’re playing by yourself or with others.  Sometimes your opponent will disappear for a few seconds and then reappear in the position that he/she is supposed to be in, but it doesn’t detract from the experience or make the game play any less spectacular.

Once I began playing online, I didn’t want to stop.  Actually, I couldn’t stop.  I was almost late for class because of it!  That’s when you know that you have a great game on your hands — when it keeps you so occupied, so completely entertained that you forget about/ignore everything else that you are supposed to do.  Twisted Metal: Black Online and Tribes Aerial Assault are excellent games, but ATV Offroad Fury 2 takes the cake.  If all of the other online games were considered side dishes: carrots, potatoes, green beans, etc., then ATV Offroad Fury 2 would be the main course.

Get off your butt gamers, track down a Network Adaptor and buy ATV Offroad Fury 2.  I know that there are a lot of great games to choose from right now, but if you’ve gotta make a choice, choose ATV Offroad Fury 2.  It’s the best multiplayer racing game out there.

Reviewer’s Scoring Details

Gameplay: 9.2
Incredible track design, perfect controls and an excellent stunt system are just a few of the things that make ATV Offroad Fury 2 a must-buy racing game.  It’s an instant classic, one that I’ll be playing well into the next year.

Graphics: 8
Graphically, ATV Offroad Fury 2 is just a little bit above its predecessor.  Fog is still visible every now and then, and there is a slight hint of clipping every now and then, but I only noticed it during the single-player mode.  I have no complaints though.  The gameplay is top-notch and that’s really all that matters.

Sound: 7
The sound effects are repetitive at best.  No one wants to hear four ATVs rev their engines every few seconds.

Despite having a small list of decent bands — Garbage, Korn, Filter, Alien Ant Farm and System of a Down — ATV Offroad Fury 2’s sound is pretty weak.  Only a handful of the songs are worth listening to, and you’ll hear them so much that their enjoyment will practically cease to exist within a short period of time.  So why the fairly high score?  Listen to what other racing games call “music” and you’ll understand.

Difficulty: Medium
If you’ve played the first game for more than a few hours, then you probably beat a portion of its championship mode, preparing you for the sequel, which isn’t anymore challenging (at first).  The challenge is pretty low early on in the game, but the Expert mode will really test your skill level.

Concept: 8.5
If anyone ever wanted to know what a first sequel needed to be good, all they’d have to do is play ATV Offroad Fury 2 to find.  Improved gameplay, more tracks and a STELLAR multiplayer mode!

Multiplayer: 9.2
Have you been waiting for a great online multiplayer racing game?  If so, here it is!  ATV Offroad Fury 2 is the best narrowband online game available for the PS2.  (Broadband users can enjoy it too, but more people use dial-up, so let me say just one more time that this game has absolutely no lag whatsoever.)

Overall: 9.2
This racing game is out of this world!  It’s so unbelievably exciting.  I don’t even have much interest in ATVs, yet I love this game.  It truly is Splashdown and Wave Race 64 without water.  But it has many things that set it apart from those games.  Plus, it’s much longer than the average racing game, meaning that you’ll still have more “new” things to do even after playing it for a really long time.