Gamestyle Archive intro: hilarious isn’t it? You would be forgiven for believing this was an incomplete review but no this is a very early short and sweet Gamestyle review dating from November 2000 and JJ. A launch PS2 title, it is most likely the first review we had for Sony’s new format during the launch window.
It was a fun game but more than anything seeing this now takes me back to the PS2 launch where a lucky few were rewarded with a console. The amount of checks, deposits and forms you had to go through to finally confirm you’d been successful and a console was allocated to you. This was the era of DVD and sheer power. Unfortunately the funniest aspect for me was that after a few days my console suffered a power unit fault and Sony had to courier me a replacement. Thankfully they had one otherwise I would have gone to back of the queue!
This game was recommended to me by a local store manager who knows his games. Not another off-the-road racer I thought – what a tired genre that is, to Smugglers credit they’ve tried to add mission’s ala GTA but although the difficulty level cranks up later in the game, it’s just a case of going from A to B to C to D etc etc.
The real word to describe this game is “fun” because it certainly is, handling is more arcade and flying over the wonderful terrain is a joy but watch out as damage affects your vehicle. Your opponents either another player, the fuzz or rival gangs will try to stop you and this results in a Dukes of Hazard feel with a touch of John Woo for amazing stunts. The graphics are excellent and the sheer size of the levels created the need for an option where you can just drive. The box claims each is 15 square miles and it does seem so with minimal pop-up to boot. I do feel that this game was rushed out for launch day. More options and better presentation would have added to what is an enjoyable game but which had the basis to be great. Still it gives an indication of the PS2 power and its fun in short blasts. Gimmie some sugar baby.
Gamestyle Score: 6/10