Review by Wamx
Reviewed: 05/04/01 | Updated: 05/04/01
Smuggling. Smuggling. Smuggling. It's fun, too.
So you want to steal the goods and get them to the delivery point? This game is for you. Actually, this game is for any gamer. You don’t have to love smuggling to love this game, and I am a living example. I never really liked car games. The only one I ever owned was Driver. That was a neat game, but when I put it up against Smuggler’s Run, it isn’t anything. Smuggler’s Run has it all, and you will not be disappointed.
The basis of Smuggler’s Run is to get goods (contraband) from one point and drop it off at another point. First off are the gangs. Your gang is called the Forgotten. You will be competing with and encountering several other gangs on your quest, each with their own style. You will also encounter the border patrol, CIA, or army. They will be doing their best to stop your efforts to smuggle goods.
First off, I must note that the gameplay of this game may not be what you expect. It is not like Driver, as I assumed it would be, but in the end, that isn’t a bad thing.
Smuggler’s Run starts with a great single player mode, with many challenging missions, in three types of terrain. You will find yourself racing through the forest, across the desert, and in the snow. The terrains seem to never end, as they keep going on. This provides an occasional change of pace which makes this game more enjoyable. The cars vary too. You may find yourself in a Dune Buggy, Military Vehicle, or Rally Car. Each one has a different, individual style of driving. The Rally Car may be faster, but it is not very strong. This means that if the Rally Car is hit, then its speed may change dramatically. The missions themselves have variety too. You may be fighting other gangs to get the contraband, racing other gangs, or delivering goods against the wishes of the Law Enforcement. The variety is what makes this game enjoyable. There are plenty of side distractions also. Trains, cars, and huge mountains will not make your quest much easier.
The multiplayer mode is likely one of the best parts, if not the best part of this game. You have a few different games to play in any of the three terrains. Crooks ‘n Smugglers is a race where one piece of contraband appears at a time, and about eight cars fight to deliver it. Hitting the car that holds the contraband will transfer the contraband to you. But look out, because once you get the contraband, everyone will be going after you. Loot Grab is another enjoyable game. You control a team of four cars, and the computer (or your opponent) controls their team of four cars. Each team has a base which they must deliver goods to. Somewhere on the map, four goods appear. You have to go and collect them (you can only carry one good at a time), and bring them back to your base. The same rules apply here, that if you are hit by your opponent then you lose the goods. First team with eighteen goods returned to their base is the victor.
The graphics aren’t that spectacular, but, in my mind, they don’t have to be. The only thing the graphics needed to do was to clearly express the gameplay, and they did that just fine. The cars aren’t up to their full potential, and could use a little work, but they are expressed clearly enough to where they don’t hamper the game. The terrain is not the greatest you will find, and that is clear. Enough is put in, however, to keep you playing. The variety of forest, desert, and snow really helps here. Without that variety, I don’t believe this game would be as enjoyable as it is. The trains, cars, and bumpy hills, as annoying as they may be, only add fun to the game. There are also tourists, livestock, and fences to plow over when you feel like a maniac. The buildings aren’t bad looking, but can’t be knocked over, which I got disappointed with. Nothing great here, but a decent job overall.
The music is fun and doesn’t seem to get annoying, which is a good thing since I’ve seen many games with very repetitive music. The voices of the Law Enforcement add a neat effect, but the sound doesn’t go very far beyond that.
Lasting Appeal: 10/10
This is definitely one of those games that you can pick up at any time and play. The multiplayer mode never ceases to be an enjoyable experience. Having a couple friends come over? This is a perfect game to play, and you will get addicted. You will start playing and play all night, not even recognizing the passing time. The single player mode has less of a lasting appeal, but is great compared to some other games. This isn’t a game you will stop playing after the first time beating it. After you beat this game a first time, you will likely say, “This game is awesome!”, and you will beat it again. So, to tell the truth, this game doesn’t get old.
Buy or Rent?: Buy
This one is a no-brainer. Definitely buy for all of the above reasons. Renting this game will be a fun time, but buying it will make the fun last a lot longer. Buy it.
Read above for reasons. To sum it up, Smuggler’s Run is a fun, addicting game which will keep you coming back for more. The single player mode is fun and challenging, and I cannot say enough about the multiplayer mode. That is my personal highlight of this great game. Playing against friends is great. And this is a great game.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
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