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ATV Offroad Fury 3 PlayStation 2

Published by SouthPeak Interactive
Developed by Climax Group Inc.
Release Date: Out Now
Price: £14.99

ATV Offroad Fury 3, an introduction.

Whilst never the most popular of racing titles, the ATV Offroad Fury series has always been an enjoyable alternative to the more traditional race titles that appear on our consoles. This is partly because the series has always been more accessible than most racing games out there. You don't need to be a fan of quad bikes to appreciate what's on offer and the easy to learn control system is very user friendly. ATV Offroad Fury 3 manages to remain as user friendly as ever despite having a change of developer.   

What's the game about?

ATV Offroad Fury 3, as the title suggests is the latest in the ATV Offroad Fury series which means it's time for quad bike racing in a variety of forms. The game comes with tutorial, single-player modes and also offers multiplayer split-screen races for 2-4 players. The race types on offer are Supercross, National, Enduro, Short Track and Freestyle. There are amateur and professional races for all of these types in both the Single Event and Championship single-player modes. There is also a Waypoint mode where you can create your own Enduro waypoint races.

What's good about the game?

ATV Offroad Fury 3 is a solid quad bike racing title for just under £15. In terms of single-player action the game is easily worth the asking price and fans of ATV games can't really go wrong with the game in terms of the single-player experience. The five race types, Supercross, National, Enduro, Short Track and Freestyle add variety to the game. The Enduro races in particular (where you are not confined to a fixed circuit and you simply have to pass through each checkpoint in order) feel very different from the more traditional race modes. The control doesn't really try to be realistic and the game has an arcade style feel to it which makes the game more accessible than a simulation would have been. The emphasis is on preloading your jumps and powersliding to turn the corners at high speed which gives you an edge in closely fought races. The trick system is uncomplicated too, which is actually a good thing as the points you earn from performing tricks can be used to purchase ATV parts, new ATVs, rider gear and other items in the new garage section. The tutorials are fairly short and to the point meaning that you'll learn all you need in order to fully enjoy the game. In fact as a single-player experience the game is enjoyable and worth a place in any racing fans collection.

What's not so good about the game?

Whilst the US version had online racing as a feature you probably won't be surprised to find that ATV Offroad Fury 3 is yet another game that has had the online side of the game ripped out for its European release. Basically this makes the multiplayer side of the game redundant. Of course there are four-player split-screen races if you own a Multitap (two-player if you don’t) but this just isn't the same experience. It's also disappointing to see that the frame rate doesn't remain constant and dips are quite frequent. Load times are on the long side and can get tedious. There are some clipping issues here too. I've had my rider go straight through an advert board when he should have bounced off it several times, which is annoying. Sometimes you can hit a fence and it will do nothing other than slow you down a little and at other times it will throw your rider off the bike. Inconsistencies like this can become really irritating.

How does it look?

ATV Offroad Fury 3 looks quite good although it's fair to say there's nothing out of the ordinary as far as the graphics are concerned. The riders and ATV models look good and animate quite nicely. The animations for the various tricks that your rider can perform all look good and quite natural. The various environments, both indoor and outdoor look OK but aren't really any better than anything we've seen before in games such as this. We mentioned earlier how the frame rate dips frequently. It's worth mentioning the frame rate suffers on some circuits more than others and also during different weather conditions, which is unfortunate. 

How deaf gamer friendly is the game?

Deaf gamers won't have any problems with ATV Offroad Fury 3. The tutorials that show you how to control your ATV are all in text. Occasionally the text is a little different to the speech but it's usually a case of the text providing more information, so there's nothing to complain about here. The rest of the game is fine too. All of the information is displayed either with gauges, icons or text so the game isn't problematic in any sense.

Final thoughts.

ATV Offroad Fury 3 is a solid if unspectacular addition to the series. The single-player portion of the game alone justifies the asking price with the amount of championships you can undertake and it's great that you can purchase other ATVs and customize them too. The multiplayer side of the game is a big letdown though. Having no online mode really harms the product and you have to wonder why we in Europe have to put up with our games having such features removed. Had the online mode been included in this version it would have been a much more attractive package (let's face it the PlayStation 2 isn't blessed with a great selection of online titles). For just under £15 though, the game represents good value because as a single-player game at least it offers plenty of replay value and is an enjoyable experience.

Overall Game Rating: 7.6/10

Deaf Gamers Classification:

(Click the letter or here for details)

ATV Offroad Fury 3 is an enjoyable single-player experience that at the asking price is easy to recommend. However it's disappointing to find that the online mode has been stripped from the game for its European release which leaves just a lacklustre split-screen affair as the only multiplayer option.