The best way I can think to describe Full Auto 2: Battlelines, is like a kart racer on steroids – or make that PCP.
Full Auto 2: Battlelines is the sequel to the lukewarm offering known as Full Auto which debuted earlier this year (06) on the Xbox 360. It was somewhat derivative of similar-themed games and suffered from some annoying (unintenional) slowdown which did nothing for the reputation of the Xbox 360, a newly released next-next gen console at the time. Full Auto 2 has refined and defined its niche in this title and while it’s still not flawless, it will leave players drained at the end of a session as though they’ve just had a complete physiological workout.
Full Auto blends racing with destruction. It’s borrows elements from some popular games such as Mech Assault, Grand Theft Auto, Burnout, Twisted Metal and the lesser known, Smashing Drive. The environments are totally destructible. You can use your vehicle to smash through things or any of the 20 various weapons that range from machine guns to missiles. Warfare among racers is heartily encouraged. The payoff comes in two forms: Reduced competition and spectacular damage effects such as explosions and fireballs. The particle effects are amazing, with glass, bricks and chunks of metal flying in all directions. The bass-heavy sound effects and the randomized animations ensures you won’t quickly grow bored with this kind of vehicular warfare.
And then there’s the racing. The Career mode doesn’t differentiate between combat and racing. It’s all inextricably linked. If you don’t choose to use your weapons continuously you can be rest assured that your competition will and you’ll find yourself at a serious disadvantage. The combat goes deeper than just trying to shoot at your opponents. Since the environments are totally destructible you will be forced to knock down buildings, bridges, tunnels, overpasses, railways and other structures in which the debris will either come crashing down on your opponent or at least affect the layout of the course. This isn’t as easy as it sound since you have to do some tricky aiming coupled with perfect timing and reverse engineering in order to anticipate where the structure will fall and what it will affect.
The Career mode features a number of missions and you can select a few at a time. There’s nothing unique about these missions that include escort and time trial racing but they serve as a good platform for all of the action. There are secondary missions to add more depth such as eliminating a certain number of rivals or just taking out one specific opponent. There are more than 20 vehicles to choose from and they are quite diverse. There are utility vehicles such as police cars, sportsters, SUVs, muscle cars and customized vehicles such as lowriders. Big, powerful vehicles like the trucks and SUVs are fine for plowing through walls and obstacles, but if you want to win the race with speed, you’re going to want to use a sportster. Of course the smaller cars can’t handle the big weapons systems so you’ll have to choose your vehicle wisely. You can upgrade the vehicles as well the weapons system as you progress. The weapon selection is varied and well worth experimenting with. There are machine guns, smoke screens, missiles, mines, spikes, canons as well as some new ones including lasers, napalm and grenade clusters.