As one of the few good PS2 titles present at the system's launch, Smuggler's Run found it's way into many of our hearts. The concept is simple: you work for a group of smuggler's and complete a variety of missions that usually involve picking up or dropping off contraband. Although missions vary from standard ho-hum races to team-based scrambles to pick up more cargo than the competition, the real highlight of the game is in it's most predominant mission style - a game of cat and mouse with the police. Attempting to evade your pursuers can be exhilarating, and the games physics make it even more so. Your dune buggy can run circles around the border patrol's SUV's, and hitting a bump can send you soaring over their heads at just the right moment. However, the game does have a few downsides that take away from the experience. You'll find the sound to be a little glitchy. This can be especially irritating when the game's narrator/announcer who's motivational phrasebook consists of the same 3 or 4 phrases repeated over and over gets stuck in a loop. An entire mission can be played while she says the same irritating line over and over, nonstop for the duration. The graphics are pretty decent for a launch title, but you can see where there was still work to be done. This only becomes a problem as the games three major areas (forest, desert, and snow) don't really offer a lot of variety in their appearance, which adds to the games only other flaw - after awhile, Smuggler's Run just stops being fun. The games mission types are limited, and after awhile they all feel exactly the same. Those who pick this up will find a game that is enjoyable at first, and will continue to hold their interest so long as they only return to it occasionally. Any gamer who is looking to sit down and play this game through to it's completion will likely tire of it quickly. At the $5 you can find this title for nowadays, it's worth picking up if for nothing else than to see Rockstar's brief fumble before hitting the jackpot with GTA3.
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