TBT: Burnout 2: Point of Impact

You blister down the city streets at sunset, muscle cars trailing behind you. You’re almost towards the finish line, with first place directly in your grasp. You expertly drift along the turns and burn your nitro on the last straightaway. From seemingly nowhere an oncoming taxi collides with you, sending you careening. But not before you cross the finish line. Welcome to Burnout 2: Point of Impact.

Point of Impact was released in 2002 and is the sequel to the original Burnout. It features no story, choosing instead to focus purely on gameplay. It offers three modes: races, pursuits, and crash. Races are standard fare, featuring different tracks along locals ranging from downtown city streets to snowy mountains. Pursuit puts you in the seat of an officer having to ram and subdue a suspect’s vehicle, and crash is all about managing damage as you wreck your car in oncoming traffic. Playing Crash mode feels like an intricate dance of destruction, as you trial and error your way to gaining gold medals on each course. Each track adds a progressive amount of difficulty, making the player reexamine how to approach

Point of Impact prioritizes risks and speed. Throughout a race you’ll be focused on earning boost. It can be earned by driving in oncoming traffic, narrowly missing vehicles, drifting, or catching big air. Boost can only be used when it’s completely full, giving more incentive to try and use it all at once. Combine this with the heavy traffic on most tracks and races become white knuckle thrill rides.

Of course, this wouldn’t work well unless the gameplay was solid, and Point of Impact’s is incredibly polished. Cars are responsive, with models ranging from Japanese muscle cars to hot rods. Each has their own different stats on control, top speed, and acceleration which translate nicely across the different game modes.

Point of Impact does have some missteps. Courses can become a grind (especially in crash where you need to metal on all the currently unlocked courses to unlock more), and the game does not take advantage of 4 player multiplayer. Also, certain cars are obviously overpowered compared to their counterparts leaving the roster of cars feeling unnecessary once said car becomes available.

Burnout 2: Point of Impact is a quintessential play for anyone who enjoys arcade style racing. It’s fast paced, hectic nature combined with polished controls makes it a class. However, if you’re looking for fun with more than two people, you may want to consider looking at another dealership.

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