Destruction Derby 2 takes the demolition/stock racer one step further with more spectacular crashes, improved realism and tracks, and a number of new features. Gamers can speed around seven tracks set in unique locations such as raceways, canyons, and Las Vegas. Players can also scramble to be the last man standing in four new devastating destruction bowls, including the dreaded Pit. New crash physics mean that players can witness cars flip, roll, and lose tires, hoods, and doors. There are three stock vehicles from which to choose, each suited to different skill sets, and competition has been ramped up thanks to more aggressive AI and the ability to join 20-player online matches.
About a year was necessary for British developer Reflections to come up with a sequel to last year's PlayStation hit, but the few improvements brought to the game justify the wait. Converted as well for the PC market, Destruction Derby 2 follows the same concept as its predecessor for a violent car smashing game where the only goal is to damage your opponents' car as much as possible, while keeping your own vehicle in good shape.
If Destruction Derby 2's basics remained the same, this is not the case for the car physics model that has been changed to allow the car to be manipulated in three dimensions. Forgotten are the times when your car could only stay in a horizontal plane, because now it moves along the Z-axis as well. This not only means your car will flip, roll or turn upside down, but also jump in the air after passing over a bump for example. The resulting crashes are nothing but spectacular, with realistic effects such as friction sparks, smoke and fire. Also new to Destruction Derby 2 are the light effects that, to give you an example, add light haloes on the screen when you are facing sun.
The game offers one more racing option than the first Destruction Derby (DD), the Stock car, in which you must place yourself among the best and earn the most points by hitting other cars. Points will be awarded when you wreck another car, or spin another driver's car by 90, 180 or 360 degrees. If you finish the race in first position, points will be then doubled. Both Wrecking Racing and Stock Car races offer the possibility to repair car damages at the pitstop for five seconds of your time. To help you figure out the damages of your car, a car representation with six points that successively turn from green to orange, red, white and black, is displayed at the bottom right of the screen. As in the first game when cars become damaged it will be visible with traces such as body damage, blown out tires, hoods missing, etc.
The number of tracks in Destruction Derby 2 have increased, but more importantly, their length and characteristics have been revised. With new features such as hills, bumps, tunnels and bunked jumps, Destruction Derby 2 provide players with more challenging driving. At first, only four tracks will be available, and as you rank higher in the divisions of the championship, three new tracks will be unlocked. There are also four arenas filled with dips and bumps, in which the Destruction Derby takes place. Before the races, you can choose your car among three sorts (Rookie, Amateur and Pro), differentiated by their acceleration, top speed and grip performances.
Regarding graphics, Destruction Derby 2 doesn't bring much of a difference except for the lighting mentioned above, and a few additions such as spectators along the circuit. The PSX version is of course, far more beautiful than its PC counterpart, and even switching to the SVGA mode won't make a difference.
The only advantage of the PC version versus the console one is the multiplayer capabilities. Indeed, the link option that was allowing two people to play together with two consoles no longer exists in Destruction Derby 2, forcing players to fight against CPU adversaries. On the PC, up to nine players can compete simultaneously through Direct Play, the multiplayer component of DirectX included with the game.
Destruction Derby 2 is what the original game should have been, had the developers, who were under time constraints, not coincide the release with the European launch of the PlayStation last year. Nevertheless, Destruction Derby 2 is a fine game that will please fans with its new features.
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