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ATV Off Road Fury
PS2 Preview by Shawn Fogarty

Ever want to tear up a bit of mother nature on the comfort of your very own ATV? Sure we all have, and ATV Off Road Fury lets you do just that. But unlike most of the times when you see these bad boys driving aimlessly through the woods or getting in your way as they cross the highway, Off Road Fury takes a more constructive approach. Gamers will be competing in Motocross style tracks against other ATV's.

With high expectations from the same team that created Motocross Madness 1 and 2 for the PC, so far I am impressed with what they are cooking up with Off Road Fury. First of all, the controls are great. Players have complete control over their ATV. There is even some degree of control while you are in the air. Even though the game uses realistic physics, there is enough arcade elements to keep the game fast and fun. This is why it is possible to adjust the orientation of your vehicle after a jump when you are in the air. This is also part of the challenge of the game because you must be careful to land on all four wheels or else you'll risk loosing control and wiping out. The key to winning lies in maintaining momentum throughout the race, a bad landing or turn will slow you down.naturally.

The tracks are really exciting and are filled with insane jumps to hurl your ATV over. You can even go off the track to some extent, but it's not a good way to cheat. One of the coolest features of the game is a jump meter. Players can push forward on the analog stick, then pull back just before you get into the air to get more lift on your jumps. Tricks are easy to pull off, just hit triangle and a direction on the control stick while in the air and you'll be wowing the crowd in no time. Tracks are being designed by Motocross champion Stefan Concada, so we are bound to see accurate tracks to race on.

What I like to see in a racing game is depth, as in lots of customization ability and gameplay modes and Off Road Fury delivers. There are 20 different venues and tracks, 12 ATV's to choose from, six different types of events and three styles of bikes. The ATV's are from real manufactures like Yamaha, Kawasaki and Honda, which should add some authenticity to the game. There is also a garage mode where you can tweak many things such as steering, shocks and brakes. As if this game didn't pack enough into the one player experience, there is also a four-player split screen mode that players can make use of via the multi-tap.

The graphics are looking very nice, the game appears to be running in hi-res, it has very crisp, detailed textures. The environments stretch quite far into the distance with minimal draw-in. The game is also showing some spectacular lighting effects. Real-time shadows are cast by the vehicles and trees that stretch and bend depending on the surface and direction of light.

This could be one of the hottest games of the new year, its got all the ingredients for a great game, loads of features, awesome graphics, fast and fun gameplay. Oh, and it should also make a good party game with that four player mode.

Expected Release Date:
January 2001

Developer / Publisher:
SCEI / Rainbow Studios


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