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As with most racing games, there is basically no story here. Your goal is to race through over 30 tracks, 4 of which are Gamecube exclusive on over 40 trucks, 4 of which are Gamecube exclusive as well. It’s nice to see what Universal and Terminal added something from the original 4x4 Evo 2.
As long as you go into this game not expecting a serious racing simulation you won’t be sorry. The closest thing to a sim here is the parts and upgrades you need to buy and equip for each of your trucks. Once you hit the tracks 4x4 Evo 2 becomes a pure arcade racing experience.
4x4 EVO 2 is a below average racing game with several major flaws. Although it tries to introduce a few original elements into the racing genre, the lack of polish and poor execution ultimately make the game fall short.
Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) have been all the rage, especially over the last decade. Offering up tons of legroom, trunk space, safety features, and raw horsepower they seem the perfect design for busy mothers, professional, yet instinctively rugged men, or anyone looking to cause some havoc on the road. All of the commercials advertise their ability to head off the claustrophobic highways and onto the open road and mountainous terrain. Of course, anyone who invest $20,000+ into one of these vehicles is not going to recklessly engage in this kind of activity. With this in mind, Terminal Reality set out to develop a new racing franchise that brings all the thrill of an off road 4x4-meets-SUV racing circuit to gamers.
Overall, 4x4 EVO 2 comes off as an entirely uninspired and unimpressive rehash of the same title which appeared on the X-box almost one year ago. While Gamecube owners don’t have many options in the way of off-road racing games I still wouldn’t recommend this title for anything more than a rental. If you happen to own a PS2 I’d suggest checking out the original 4x4 EVO, which is vastly superior to this game, and can most likely be found for under twenty bucks in the bargain bin.
When Terminal Velocity's previous off-road racing game was first released at the launch of the Xbox, it offered many enhancements on the original 4x4 Evolution, including a deeper career mode and a good variety of environments and vehicles. But it was also rife with tiny problems, and in the end 4x4 EVO 2 was an unpolished game that didn't really convey the excitement of rugged off-road racing action. Now, Universal Interactive has brought 4x4 EVO 2 to the GameCube, and while this version does have a small number of new tracks and trucks, as well as a handful of sundry tweaks, it also has the same unimpressive graphics and inconsistent physics of its Xbox counterpart.
It may be the first off-road racing game on the GameCube, but 4x4 EVO 2 is hardly representative of the best of what the genre has to offer, and it isn't nearly as good as the few other racing games available on the GameCube anyway. Fans of the original 4x4 Evolution will likely be disappointed by the game's plethora of problems, and gamers hoping for any real improvements on the Xbox version will be brutally rebuffed as well.