Burnout 2: Point of Impact impressions

Acclaim and Criterion unveil their PS2 sequel to the multiplatform racer.


Acclaim was in town today and gave us a look at the PlayStation 2 version of Burnout 2: Point of Impact, its follow-up to the multiplatform racer released last year for the PlayStation 2 and this year for the GameCube and Xbox. Just like the original game, Burnout 2 is being developed by Criterion Games, a UK-based developer whose background includes TrickStyle, Airblade, and Deep Fighter. For the sequel, the veteran developer is trying to build on and refine everything the first game offered. Judging by what we've seen of the game so far, Criterion certainly seems to be on the right track. Sporting polished graphics, more game modes, and tighter gameplay, Burnout 2 is shaping up nicely.

The pre beta build of the game we saw gave us just a taste of what it will eventually offer. The single-player game featured three modes to choose from, two of which will be initially locked. Offensive driving 101 is essentially a tutorial that will acquaint you with the basics of the gameplay, such as how to fill up your turbo meter and maneuver through traffic. Once you clear offensive driving, you'll be able to select the single race option, which is a point-based race similar to a grand-prix-style competition. Once that mode is cleared, you'll be able to play pursuit mode, which called to mind Taito's old-school classic Chase HQ. The mode put us behind the wheel of a police car and had us chasing after a car and ramming the stuffing out of it.

Graphically, the game offered quite an improvement on the original game, with a higher polygon count, greater detail, and a host of new special effects. All the car models in the game will be made up of more polygons, as will the environments, which will feature high-resolution textures. One of the most impressive features of the game's refined look is the lighting, which offers some pretty slick reflective effects on the cars and the environments that compare quite favorably with effects we've seen in other Xbox games. Tech heads will also be pleased to hear that Criterion plans to include progressive-scan support in Burnout 2.

At the moment, Burnout 2 is slated to hit the PlayStation 2 this October. Look for more on the game as it nears release.

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