In many ways Sony has really been dominant with their first party games in that most of the franchises have gone on to be success stories. For example they have three first party platforming games (Ratchet and Clank, Jak and Daxter, and Sly Cooper), all three of which did really well on the PS2. Today we are going to talk about another success story for Sony on the PS2, being the ATV Offroad Fury racing series, which has been with the console since near the beginning and stuck with it all the way through. Now in 2006 with the PS3 right around the bend how does ATV Offroad Fury 4 leave quite possibly its last treks on the PS2? Read our full review to find out!
Many times when you’re talking about a franchise that is now in its fourth installment, you begin by talking about what has made it worthwhile for the developers to revisit and continue to build. One of the key factors of these games success has been there simple yet elegant controls that translate into just a very simple yet enjoyable experience. Climax Studios has never done too much with the series, just keeping things simple and fun and that has really been their key to success, keeping the franchise going strong and adding new content along the way.
In ATV Offroad Fury 4 one of the big features of the game is the all new story mode, which has never been found in the series before. But was there really a need? The games story mode is really as thin as they come, giving just a bit more structure to what is just a typical career mode. It does however provide that much needed extra incentive to continue on these races and try to win the grand prize, which is of course a championship. The game doesn’t really try to maximize on the story, but rather just throws it in there as merely a new part of the game.
The only other big feature that can be found in ATV Offroad Fury 4 is the PSP connectivity, which does add some serious extra content if you have the latest PSP version entitled ATV Offroad Fury Pro. This is something that Sony has hyped up in a big way for the PS3, and is kind of giving us a taste of what we can expect from Sony in the future. Basically by plugging in your PSP you can swap tracks and ATV’s, and really kind of joins the two games. Also the PSP can connect to the same online system, however they cannot play verses each other online, which are something that is definitely desired in the long haul. However the connectivity is good and real fans of the series are definitely going to take advantage of it.
For the most part outside of those two new concepts the rest of ATV Offroad Fury 4 really feels like more of the same. The online multiplayer allows up to eight racers in a race, and although there were some instances of lag I did find this game to run smoother than the previous game. The online action is extremely intense and when you find a good connection is really a great experience. Of course you would hope for more depth with some more customization but what is there does work. In the end, ATV Offroad Fury 4 definitely feels like it is nearing the end of the road and is ready to move onto bigger and better things. ATV Offroad Fury 4 has all of the great makings of previous games, with some new features that do help continue to make this a good solid game. It is just too bad there wasn’t more new content in what may be the last version.
Visually you are getting basically what you saw in ATV Offroad Fury 3 with just slightly more detail and some better looking courses. It seemed to me that the courses react a lot more realistically to the ATV’s then they have in years past. Other than that if you have played any of the previous games in the series, then you pretty much know what to expect from the visuals of ATV Offroad Fury 4, which are good all the way around and not a whole lot more than that.
One thing that the ATV Offroad Fury series has always had a lot of is spunk. Although it is very specific in its nature of being an ATV game it is still a game that just carries that edge that really makes it an enjoyable game to play. Although the story in the game is as thin as paper, the structure of the mode is deep and makes a whole lot of sense. The whole game has just been polished over the years to this version, which just is just a rich ATV experience that fans of the franchise are once again going to love.
Although there has been no confirmation that this is the last game for the PS2 from the franchise, most people would imagine that would be the case. ATV Offroad Fury 4 is a good way to move onto Sony’s next console, as this is a game that has perfected what has made it such an enjoyable series and that is simple yet entertaining gameplay. ATV Offroad Fury 4 isn’t a huge step in front of the last game, but it just seems to tie everything together in one neat enjoyable package.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.