Burnout 2: Point of Impact Review

I never played the original Burnout nor have I played the Playstation® 2 version of this game. I always enjoy arcade-centric racing games and with the addition of a crash mode, this game has a good chance of being great. So, is it?

The graphics are not stupendous, but they do their job. The cars look very much like their generic names (SUV, Coupe, Sports Car, etc.) and really don’t have any sort of detail prevalent in a game like Gran Turismo 3. The stages themselves look quite good though with not much of a hint of pop-up that I saw. The effects I really liked where on a rain soaked airport terminal with it raining or having already rained. Seeing the tire tracks as you race through the course is phenomenal and some good reflections are used at the start of the race in these conditions.

I would very much put this game in the Ridge Racer level of detail. Nothing is extremely detailed, but it sure paints a relatively pretty picture. The other cars, such as buses and trucks hauling lumber, look quite good as well. Overall a nice, but not jaw dropping graphical presentation.

There is a good amount of rock and roll type guitar riffs used as background music. It is nothing special, but it serves the game well. The music gets louder as you use your boost power though, which is pretty cool. The sounds of the cars and the road are put to excellent use in Dolby Pro Logic II. Instead of hearing echoes in the rear, you actually hear stuff coming from behind. The only minus in this section is that they give a louder engine sound to your 3 opponents in the race than other cars. This makes it easy to know when an opponent is close behind you and will soon possibly take you over. I think it would have been better to have distinctive engine sounds from every car and that the non-important vehicles get as much notice as your opponents.

Burnout 2: Point of Impact is an arcade racer at heart and it has the tight controls to back up that statement. Controls are relatively easy. A to accelerate, B to break, Y to shift down, X to shift up, R for boost, L for horn and analog stick to move. You can also change views by hitting the d-pad up and down. The controls are so easy that it will take you no time to just pick up this game and go with it.

I alluded to Ridge Racer before and I think it fits here as well. This game is just so easy to get the handle of and you will be weaving in and out of traffic in no time.

At the beginning you have to go through Offensive Driving 101 where you learn all the moves in Burnout 2. It’s a well-done tutorial and helped me get ready for the Championship mode. Once you are done with Offensive Driving 101, you then have 4 options to choose from: Single, Multi, Options and Records. Each one is easily recognizable for what it is, so let’s get into Single mode.

In Single mode you have these choices: Championship, Single Race, Time Attack, Offensive Driving 101, Crash, Options and Records. Many are easy to discern what they are, but let us concentrate on Championship and Crash mode.

Starting with Championship mode brings you a half of the meat of this game. You go through 4 Grand Prixs with varying number of tracks that you race in them. You race against 3 opponents and get points depending on where you place. If you win the whole thing you unlock the next GP and if you get all 1st place finishes on all the tracks you unlock a Pursuit (where you chase the computer) or Face-Off (race against a car you can unlock if you beat) matches. Overall there are 3 Pursuit Races and 4 Face-Off Races in the Standard Championship. At the end of this Championship you race the Custom Series Qualifier. If you win that you go onto the Custom Series Championship where you face off against street modded vehicles. Let’s just say there are hours of gameplay just in this mode alone.

Now let’s talk about Crash Mode. I have yet to complete all the Crash missions, but I’ve gotten quite a few under my belt. Basically you are put into a situation where you need to crash into traffic and cause as much damage as you possibly can to at least get a bronze medal. Sometimes the gold medal is in the tens of millions of dollars. This mode is just fun to see what kind of train wreck you can cause. I love watching cars, trucks and buses crash into each other going full speed. You can even try different vehicles of your own as different ones (like the SUV) can cause more damage if used correctly. This mode also gives you hours of fun.

Gameplay itself is just plain fun in this game. The key thing in this game is the boost bar. You increase your boost bar by doing such things as driving on the wrong side of the road, passing another car very close, doing a jump, doing a drift turn, etc. The problem is each time you crash you lose a good chunk of what you have built up, so you need to be sure to avoid on-coming cars as much as possible. Once the bar is filled you can hold down the R button and you get a super burst of speed. You just have to be a little more quick to miss the oncoming cars as they are coming at you a heck of a lot faster than before.

The only thing that brings this score down for me is how frustrated I got in trying to get gold medals, especially in crash mode. Sometimes it took me 20+ times to get the gold medal. However this game is addicting enough for me to not be bothered too much by it. However I may hit a point where I can’t take it anymore.

This game is well worth the money. I’ve played for over 10 hours and just got the Custom Series Championship unlocked. I actually had to force myself out of the Championship mode in order to play the Crash mode. Then I got addicted to that and have not gone back to the Championship mode. If there is one thing this game has lots of, it’s addictiveness. It’s been nice to have such addicting games as this, NBA Street Vol. 2 and Def Jam Vendetta. This is a great time for straight fun games. Honestly, Burnout 2: Point of Impact came out of nowhere for me. This game is just plain fun! Aren’t some of us just looking for fun and addictiveness in our games? I know I am always looking for that. At least give this game a rent, but I am willing to bet you will rush out to buy it because it is that addicting and has enough substance to last you many, many hours. This game came out of left field, but it smacked a grand slam right out of the ballpark!

Ron Burke is the Editor in Chief for Gaming Trend. Currently living in Fort Worth, Texas, Ron is an old-school gamer who enjoys CRPGs, action/adventure, platformers, music games, and has recently gotten into tabletop gaming. Ron is also a fourth degree black belt, with a Master's rank in Matsumura Seito Shōrin-ryū, Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do, Universal Tang Soo Do Alliance, and International Tang Soo Do Federation. He also holds ranks in several other styles in his search to be a well-rounded fighter. Ron has been married to Gaming Trend Editor, Laura Burke, for 21 years. They have three dogs - Pazuzu (Irish Terrier), Atë, and Calliope (both Australian Kelpie/Pit Bull mixes).
To Top