|System: PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Climax||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Sony||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct 2006||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1 - 8||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|Review by Lee||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
By Lee Wuu
Developers Climax have really done their homework. They know the franchise inside and out and more importantly they know what the players like. They have delivered what I would consider to be the definitive version of the ATV Offroad series. There is so much to do in this game, and its accessible to a wide variety of different skilled gamers. The controls fall under the easy-to-learn/lifetime-to-master category. You can always push your skills to the limit with the multitude of online modes where you can challenge some of the best and most dedicated racers in the world. There are also a ton of single-player modes so that you can whip yourself into top competitive shape and have a blast doing it.
There are four main vehicles in ATV Offroad Fury: Bikes, quads, trucks and dune buggies. Each vehicle has different handling characteristics which better suit them to different conditions. For instance the dune buggies are your best bet for sand while the bikes make easy work of hills and jumps. The quads offer the best of all worlds. All of these machines are easy to steer. There are tricks to perform in the Freestyle mode and you wont have a lot of button combinations to bog you down. Put the controls into trick mode by pressing the square and triangle button then press the D-pad in any direction to execute a trick. This simple control system doesnt mean that there isnt any depth to the game as most of it comes down to how you negotiate turns and jumps by adjusting your speed, applying brakes and the pre-loading of jumps. Vehicles can be upgraded with your winnings. Tires, suspension, acceleration, brakes, clutches and engine upgrades will increase your performance measurably. Youll probably want to start with the tires for increased traction.
The various tracks are impressive. The best are the outdoor tracks, especially the point A to point B tracks that offer different scenery and terrain every few yards. Its a nice change from the fixed, looped tracks of the arenas. The outdoor tracks sport a variety of terrain including sand, dirt, gravel, grass, hills, valleys, forests, water and a good selection of obstacles to really put your vehicles and your skills to the test. There are color-coded paths on these tracks which determine the best route for each particular vehicle. If youre driving one of the larger vehicles such as the truck youll want to follow the green path while bikes and quads will take advantage of more narrow and steeper passages on the red path.
Single-player modes include Story, Classic, Training, and Quick Race modes while lets you take part in any of the following racing types: Supercross; National; Circuit; Sponsor; Point to Point, and Freestyle. Theres no shortages of ways to play this game. Whether you want to sit down for 15 minutes or 15 hours there will be a mode to accommodate your mood. If thats not enough you can go online and race head-to-head or take part in championship tournaments that feature up to eight players. Find the style of race that appeals to you, with competitors at your skill level and have at it. There are also mini-games to be played from hockey to bowling, and yes, they are little more than a novelty. A track editor assures that there will always be a different track for you to race on. Finding a race online was simple and there were no latency or control issues.