ATV 4 Offroad Fury
The ATV series never got in with the big guys, in other words, it never was a superb game. Although it was mediocre at best, Sony found it useful to create a fourth installment. I ask myself how we’ve come to this point as I start playing the game. Suddenly I realise there are plenty of people that have an unhealthy obsession with mud, loud engines and danger. And so Sony decided to keep it going with the series that never really got into the spotlight.
Let’s start with the story of this game. Yes, you’re reading correct, it’s a racing game with a story mode. Hooray for Climax Group for giving us the opportunity to enjoy the wild adventures of some douchbag with no personality at all. If this douchbag was my friend I would punch him in the face and kick him in the nuts so I could steal all the money he has just obtained in the race. I wanna to throw things at him and for an encore I push him down (thank you Electric Six, for being the best band on earth).
If Climax Group thought we were going to feel for this character they could at least give him some emotions. Even more, they could have made him look like a normal person instead of a chunk of meat with no brains. The guy can’t even talk normally, his lips just randomly move, and he has no pupils. How is he going to drive a truck if he can’t see a damn thing? How, for the love of Jesus? I also don’t really understand how he travels from an amateur league in Australia to some big event in Asia.
Let’s continue with the things that really matter in racing games, the racing itself. You can choose 4 types of vehicles, knowing to be a motorcycle, ATVs Trucks and buggies. The motorcycle drives fairly good, but is a little unstable and the steering is a bit too rough for my taste. Overall, I found the steering of all the vehicles too light. It takes some practice not to end up backwards on the track because you took a turn too hard. Even with the trucks I didn’t really get the feeling I was driving with power. They look like toys, and that didn’t help much either.
The ATV vehicles almost work like a charm and I did enjoy driving with them. That’s the beauty of these sort of games. If you don’t like handling a vehicle, you can always try another one. If that’s not enough, you could try to tune it up in the garage, but that’s not always necessary. Especially in the later races I would recommend it though, as your rivals will get a bit tougher. Too bad it always stays on the surface, but that would surprise only a few as in its essence it is still an arcade game.
The game is fairly big, with 70 different tracks and 30 vehicles to choose from. It’s too bad the real potential of ATV 4 stays hidden behind its disadvantages. The regular races might be fun to begin with but tend to get repetitive after a few races. Just when you thought you could discard this game it offers you the thrills of P2P mode. It lets you race in a semi-open environment where you can choose the difficult and dangerous route or the easy roads. The dangerous one is much more fun and delivers great jumps, speed and adrenaline. If the whole game was like this I would be more than happy to give it a nice 80, but the P2P mode only comes by from time to time.
The A.I looks pretty well-balanced but don’t be fooled. It doesn’t take long before you notice that it’s just impossible to leave opponents behind.
A very strange choice from Climax Group, as it just doesn’t matter if you’re driving the race of your life when the competition is always close behind, great race or not. Yes, you will have to stay focussed, one could say, but I prefer to say it’s just cheap.
ATV 4 is far from bad. It isn’t great either because it has just too many flaws. The story is so bad I could cry, the A.I is strange and the normal races are not exciting enough. The only reason to buy this game is the P2P mode which is really great. I just don’t think it’s wise to buy a game for only one mode that only rarely comes by.