Burnout 2

november 3, 2002

Burnout 2 has got to be the most fun I've had in a long time with a PS2 game. The first Burnout was fun, but no one really took it up. Plus, it had shortcomings like it was really short and there wasn't enough variety -- and the draw distance sometimes looked kind of crappy because of no anti-aliasing. Burnout 2 fixes all the problems of the first one and adds more! The graphics are smooth and fast. The gameplay is also smooth and fast. The controls are tight and really responsive. And there is just so much variety now! There's an added mode called "Crash" in which the most costly crash wins the biggest medal. This can be played in party mode with four people and when it's played like this it is just a blast. The championship mode has been expanded with face-off races, police chases, and good ole straight 4-on racing. There are lots of things to unlock.

The graphics are superb. I mean it makes the first game look cheezy. There is excellent particle effects (watch as you scrap against another car), the road reflection is perfect (on par with Gran Turismo 3), the weather effects awesome (rain, snow, etc), and the graphics are all anti-aliased -- this is a big benefit because when you're speeding at 150mph into oncoming traffic it's nice to see the cars coming at ya.

Yup, this is one kick-ass game that belongs in any gamers library. It's very accessible for anyone, even non-gamers. Anyone can jump in and just play the game without having to learn all sorts of buttons. There's no GT3-like car tuning, just jump in and race -- this is a straight arcade racer. The more idiotic you drive, the more points and boost you get -- power-sliding, driving into oncoming traffic, and general stupidity earns more boost. If you played the first one, you'll be happy to know that you can get boost more often in Burnout 2 -- hell, if you're good you can almost boost from beginning to end during a race.

Kudos to Criterion for putting out such a great game!