Off-Road Adventure 2 is unlike virtually any previous driving game in that it does not force you to compete against other cars or a constantly ticking clock.
Apart from being yet another contender for the title of world's longest computer game name, Cabela's 4x4 Off-Road Adventure 2 is also the latest entry in the suddenly mushrooming subgenre of off-road racing. Designed by Hungary-based Clever's Software Development, the same team responsible for the unexpectedly likeable 2001 sleeper Screamer 4x4, Off-Road Adventure 2 is unlike virtually any previous driving game in that it does not force you to compete against other cars or a constantly ticking clock. Instead, it merely asks that you keep your vehicle in good working order long enough to complete all the assigned tasks, regardless of how long it takes you to do so. Suffice it to say that such an undertaking is far more difficult than it sounds. Though the game is plagued with one potentially serious technical issue and in many respects lives up to its budget-conscious $19.99 price, it is nevertheless one more pleasant offering from 2-year-old upstart Clever's.
Off-Road Adventure 2 is not designed for those who like their racing fast and in the company of other automobiles. In fact, you'll never, ever see another vehicle. Nor will the game allow you to race against another human. This is intricate, deliberate, and exploratory stuff, conducted in solo fashion through despicably craggy rural settings designed to ensure almost as much vertical movement as horizontal. As each event begins, you find yourself seated in your vehicle of choice, seemingly in the middle of nowhere. There are no start lines, no finish lines, and no predetermined routes to follow. Your only task is to locate and acquire one or more of the "navigation buoys" Clever's has cleverly scattered across the countryside. How and when you get there is completely up to you.
The inherent difficulty is two-pronged. Firstly, the topography is so dangerous and so unwelcoming to an automobile of any description that you will inevitably and mistakenly drop off cliffs, drive into trees or other obstacles, become wedged inside deep gorges, and even damage your vehicle simply by driving too quickly over a particularly rough section of land. It cannot be stressed enough--Off-Road Adventure 2 features some of the most vicious terrain of any off-road game. Secondly, the trucks and SUVs at your disposal are eminently susceptible to abuse. Unlike some similar games, you can't just hurtle merrily over hill and dale and expect to emerge unscathed. In fact, if you don't behave as you would in a real breakable car, it won't take long at all for your once-pristine machine to absorb more bumps and bruises than it was designed to withstand. Soon, bumpers will begin to dent, tires will begin to wobble, engines will begin to smoke, and assorted other parts and pieces will begin to look very different than they did when you started.
All this has a detrimental and very authentic effect on performance. Crushed fenders may well rub against tires, thereby grinding that corner of the car to a halt and causing you to veer off in one direction or another. Bent axles will result in wobbly tires and severely hindered handling, and over-revved engines and transmissions will eventually deteriorate and perhaps even expire. Soon, you'll be hard-pressed to extract yourself from gullies or scale the grades you need to so that you can reach the next navigation buoy. And when you can no longer reach the navigation buoy, you'll be forced to start all over again. There are no magical power-ups or quick fixes to save you in this game.
However, there are ways around the ever-present potential for damage, and the most important are found before you even climb in the cockpit. Off-Road Adventure 2 offers a variety of two- and four-wheel drive vehicles, four of which are available from the outset. The other six are reserved for those who can eventually unlock them, and they seem to be made available just about the same time you really need their added capability and durability. Although none are licensed depictions of real-life vehicles, there is a good selection of six- and eight-cylinder trucks and SUVs, as well as a surprise or two should you advance far enough. Additionally, all can be adjusted in the game's garage to better adapt to the upcoming terrain. Clever's has constructed a unique vehicle setup screen, wherein you can fine-tune in six areas, ranging from suspension balance and stiffness to tire pressures and gear ratios, and then monitor the effect of those adjustments on the three key performance areas of torque, maximum speed, and 4x4 ability. This concept of a garage may not be in keeping with a true simulation, which the game otherwise strives to be, but it is nevertheless useful.
- Game Universe:
- Cabela's Dangerous Hunts (PC, PS2, XBOX, GC),
- Cabela's Big Game Hunter (X360, WII, PS2, PC),
- Cabela's Deer Hunt: 2004 Season (PS2, XBOX),
- Cabela's Big Game Hunter 2005 Adventures (PS2, GBA, XBOX, GC, PC),
- Cabela's Deer Hunt 2005 Season (XBOX, PC, PS2),
- Cabela's Outdoor Adventures (2005) (PS2, XBOX, GC, PC),
- Cabela's Alaskan Adventures (PSP, PS2, XBOX, PC, X360),
- Cabela's Monster Bass (X360, PS2, PS3, WII),
- Cabela's Trophy Bucks (X360, PS2, WII),
- Cabela's Legendary Adventures (PS2, PSP, WII)
- Number of Players: