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ATV Offroad Fury 4 Review

Developer: Climax Studios Publisher: SCEA
Release Date: October 31, 2006 Also On: None

Every year you can be sure of a few certain things that will always remain the same. Christmas will land on December 25, the Houston Texans will always do horribly, and there will be a new ATV Offroad Fury on the shelves for at least one system at your local video game vendor. This year, Climax Studios gives the PS2 the final chapter in ATV Offroad Fury’s current-gen run. Will the last ATV of its kind go out with a bang or simply sizzle out into the world of $9.99 games? Let’s find out.

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From the beginning, the ATV games have never jumped off course of what it knows. They haven’t done anything to truly reinvent the game, which makes playing ATV4 feel like an upgrade rather than an expansion to the others. This is fine if you still have a blast with the original, but a little innovation or reworking of the old formula would have been refreshing to the series.

What is new is offered in vehicle form. Instead of riding simply ATV’s, you can now ride buggies, MX bikes and trucks. MX bikes feel just like ATV’s, a bit looser in control, but they generally feel the same. The controls are the same for the two as well. If you press and hold square or triangle, your biker/rider will go into ‘trick position’. From there you can press the directional buttons to perform tricks. As always you get points from tricks, and from points you buy credits and with credits you buy stuff. Same ol’ same ol’.

Trucks and buggies on the other hand are a bit different. As you may have guessed, neither of them are made for going up steep hills or high-flying antics, but rather they are made to power through anything that gets in your path. If you flip over, instead of being automatically reset back in the race, you keep rolling, and rolling, and hopefully you will end up on your tires. If not, there is a way to rock your truck one way or another to help return the truck onto its proper position.

Controlling either of them may take a bit getting used to as well. Trucks have tight and smooth feel to it, but on rough or uneven terrain you may find yourself rolling over a few times, as it can quickly become unstable. Buggies have loose controls, can power slide, and are also very good at getting through poor driving conditions, but they’re also the slowest vehicles in the game. Both the trucks and buggies have their own set of courses to drive on, due to the differences in the handling.

The game sports a tier-based story mode that is, to say the least, sub-par. In the career mode, players can choose how many extra events they would like to enter after they have reached a certain point. Speaking of sub-par, they also have a course editor in the game. Unfortunately, this is no Tony Hawk’s park editor. Playing on tracks you’ve made yourself feels awkward and doesn’t play as well as the ones the game provides. Of course, they are the ones who made the game, so that is to be assumed. Given that, the editor’s controls feel awkward and are very frustrating, which often makes your track look and feel sloppy or incomplete. The track editor was a good idea, but they definitely should have spent more time on it.

ATV Offroad Fury 4 is again the same as it’s always been. Even though it has a couple new modes, and a few new vehicles, the changes are a bit too moderate and not amusing enough to make me want to play them. If they are going to move this series into the next-gen, there needs to be much more time invested into new ideas and possibly a new feel and I don’t mean just looking pretty. If you’re still entertained with the last three ATV games, then this one should be right up your alley.

Graphics: 7
Sound: 7
Gameplay: 7.5
Creativity: 5
Replay Value/Game Length: 6
Final: 6.5
Written by Matt Evangelista Review Guide