vs. ATV Unleashed is the consummate arcade racing
game. Though it's developed by Rainbow Studios and
features many of its innovations from past games such
as the Fury and Unleashed series, there is not one
game that packs as much entertainment punch into one
package as you'll find here.
vs. ATV is not a compilation nor is it a "best
of." It's a new game that puts bikes and four-wheelers
in direction competition. But it's much more than
that. There are monster trucks, sand rails, bi-planes
and even golf carts to race and destroy. If you get
bored with NASCAR sims or powersliding around city
environments then this is the game for you.
sheer number of modes and options is staggering. You
can play alone, with a few friends in your living
room or against the world online. Modes include Quick
Race, Career, Freestyle and both on and offline multi-player
modes. The tunes are composed of bone-crushing guitar
riffs with a predilection for Cookie Monster-style
vocals. It suits the genre much better than any lame
it comes to comparing and competing, the bikes and
the ATV are evenly matched. They both have great acceleration,
sharp turning radiuses and the ability to preload
a jump and catch some air. One area in which the ATV
should have the advantage is in sand. Anyone that's
ever ridden a dirt bike on sand knows what I'm talking
about - two-wheeled vehicles were not made for sand.
The game seems to ignore this fact and doesn't require
anymore skills to drive a bike over sand than it would
over a solid track.
and intermediate players will get the most out of
this game. The races become more difficult gradually.
Getting started takes mere seconds. Most players will
be able to handle themselves quite admirably for the
first 15 races. If you're looking for more of a challenge
you can always increase the difficulty.
not a big monster truck fan and this mode didn't influence
that conviction one iota. These vehicles require a
different degree of control than I care to exercise.
I like the tight and responsive control of the bikes
and quads as opposed to the sluggish, top heavy trucks.
mode lets you experiment with different vehicles,
techniques and riders. There are 24 riders and for
the life of me I can't notice any difference. It's
not as though there is one super-rider and the rest
are duds. These are all professional drivers. When
you get into the more difficult races the outcome
can be determined, or undermined, by the slightest
mistake. That's my or your mistake, not the character
that's sitting on your machine. If you're not a skilled
player no rider is going to help you. Yes, some of
the machines do perform certain tasks better than
others. Some have faster acceleration while others
may have better stability. However, you will find
yourself compensating for the differences naturally.
That's the key to good gaming - flexibility. If you
play all the different modes and ride all of the vehicles
in this game you can't help but cultivate many valuable
skills. They may not get you through med school, but
they'll get you through having to watch reruns of
Survivor with mom, dad and sis.
game is clean looking without too much superfluous
detail. It's better to be less busy than cluttered
and Rainbow knows that, especially when designing
for the PS2. The graphics could have been significantly
upgraded for the Xbox. Technically there is nary a
glitch to be had. I can't say this is the best game
ever made but as far as the arcade racing genre is
concerned it would be difficult to imagine how to
improve on it.