1. bryehn

    OP bryehn GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Oct 26, 2004
    Sony shipped out ATV Offroad Fury 4 Demos to Playstation Underground members this week. I got mine today and just played through it.

    I can't believe that they've put 4 of these out in one console generation. What I can't believe even more is how similar this one is to the first 2 (I never played 3). I normally put section headers in reviews, but then again I normally don't review demos. This is NOT an entry in the review contest.

    Graphics: Technically, um, functional. For a first party published title this late in the console's life cycle: damn ugly. There's a winter level that's particularly bad looking. Very low resolution textures, bland palettes and lots of aliasing. Games like this should do a good job of making the dirt look, well dirty. Instead, the dirt that flies up from the vehicles looks simply ugly. There's not enough shades of dirt to give it a very textured look at all, and on the aforementioned winter level, there's no real blending of dirt and snow, just hard lines. Other than a camera that's a little closer to the rider, it feels very much like the original ATV Offroad Fury engine that Rainbow Studios developed almost 5 years ago. I was very unimpressed.

    Gameplay: The addition of buggies and trucks in the Rallycross mode is a nice change of pace from the otherwise stale gameplay. The trick system is pretty much useless and unsatisfying, and mapped to 2 face buttons. Most racing games these days have bonuses for high trick scores or great drifting in the form of speed boosts or other power-ups. From what I can tell, this game rewards you with nothing other than a score. Presumeably in the final game, there will be unlockables tied to high scores. It's just not very fun to try for said scores.

    The vehicles in the demo contain no branding of any kind. You get a generic ATV and a generic bike, buggy, and truck. The actual driving physics are decent enough and easy to pick up and play. It's also very very easy to beat every race with very little challenge. Compared to MX vs. ATV: Unleashed, Freekstyle or even FlatOut, I didn't find this demo very fun to play through.

    Sound: There's a few nameless rap tracks that loop endlessly in races, none of which are very decent. There's a song about "Icey Chains" that really gets on my nerves. During one of the longer demo tracks it looped 4 times and when I played the next track, It looped another 3 times. The vehilces simply aren't loud enough and come off sounding like electric lawnmowers.

    Value: Well it's free. There's 6 different tracks to try out. There's a supercross race, a rallycross race, a national race and two point-to-point races. There's also a freestyle track to mess around with. Took me about an hour to play through it.

    Summary: Well, I won't be buying it. It was nice of Sony to send out this disc, but it may also be shooting themselves in the foot at the same time. It's too much like the copy of ATV Offroad 2 that's been collecting dust on my shelf, and really not up to par with other current racers. I assume this will be in next month's PlayStation Magazine as the feature demo. Do yourself a favour and check that out, or rent it before you drop 30 or 40 bucks on it.

    -- Brian J. Papineau
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