4×4 Evo 2 is Off-Road Racing Game

4×4 Evo 2 is an off-road racing game that was first made for the PS2 last year and finally made its way to the Gamecube. This may be a good thing because the Gamecube does lack games from the racing genre, especially ones with a lot of dirt. One word to describe this game is that it is “okay.” 4×4 Evo 2 is a direct port (plus 4 new tracks) from the Playstation 2. I didn’t know this at first but realized soon afterwards.

The first time I put it in my GameCube and turn on the power, I was suprised to see a line at the bottom of the screen. The game was in the process of loading in a very obvious way. It takes about 30 seconds for the loading time to end; this happens with races as well. Being a Nintendo fan, I’m not used to seeing long, drawn out loading times, but I was please to see that the presentation is pretty good once it starts to get going.

The best element that this game has to offer is the diversity of its vehicles. 4×4 has many, many vehicles available from respectable companies like Chevy, GMC, Toyota, Nissan, Lexus, and more (no Ford unfortunately). Gamers can buy trucks, jeeps, SUVs, and also various parts that improve the efficiency or appearance of their vehicles. It’s a nice suprise.

The object of the game is very simple. Be the first to finish (but make sure you pass through the checkpoints and not around them). After the race, you win money, which you use to improve your racing vehicle(s), and get ranked based on how well you performed.

The graphics aren’t half bad, not especially good though. The trucks look like trucks, the SUVs like SUVs, and so on. I could tell that 4×4 Evo 2 was an old PS2 game that doesn’t show off the power of the GameCube; however, they are decent, just a bit outdated. There are some flaws like trucks start flashing/disappearing when you get close beside them, but it doesn’t affect the gameplay.

The sound is good, when there is actually sound to hear. During the opening presentation, choosing of vehicles, after finishing a race, the music is good. During gameplay, the sound (or rather the lack there of) is totally different. There is no music. There is mainly one sound–that of your truck growling. It’s a good growling, but its old very . . . very . . . very . . . fast. I guess that’s how it is in real-life, but, please, give us a radio or something.

The controls are, again, descent. They could be tighter.

Now to gameplay, this is what bugs me about 4×4 Evo 2. It’s mediocre fun, sometimes almost non-existent. When I try to hit or push an opponent off the track, there is no crash sounds or visual impacts. The vehicles just kind of move a little bit and come back for more. There isn’t much sense of having to be competitive. This game doesn’t have any “soul” so to speak, just descent.

Making 4×4 Evo 2, an off-road racing game, was a good idea because of the shortage of games in this genre, too bad it is just an ok game. If you like off-road racing, go rent this game before you decide to buy it. You might like it. It’s a descent game that gets an ok score.

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