Review by Ramagamma

Reviewed: 07/20/01 | Updated: 07/20/01

Barging through Borders and illicit illegal acctivities

Smugglers Run

Smugglers Run is not your average racing game. Your not blasting round a formula 1 car in a perfectly tuned car trying to lap your opponent as Schumacker. Your not going in a realistic racing car round tracks to earn cash to finely tune your car and your not skidding round muddy tracks in a rally car as Colin Mcrae. Instead your a driver for a gang that smuggles numerous illigeal items across the country.

Graphics

As far as the eye candy department of the graphics goes its all plain and simple. Unforunatly its also rather repetitive seeing the same 3 levels throughout the entire game. The cars themselves are varied enough so you can tell the difference but simple enough that you recken you could have designed them yourself. Size wise the game is very strange. If this were real either people and houses would be the size of people from the Borrowers book or the cars would just be hilariously large. However scale is not an important factor in a game in which the objective is to rush about dropping off various goods. Also the pickup and dropoff points instead of being brilliantly designed sites are just columns of smoke raising in the air, green for pickup and red for dropoff with occasionaly the odd vehicle thrown in next to the smoke or possibly a helicopter hovering above.

Game play

First thing first. Although Smugglers Run is a racing game the gameplay element does in no way consist of finely braking and easing your car around apexes of corners trying to gain a few metres more over your opponent. Oh hell no. Smugglers Run invovles holding your foot firmly on the accelarator and getting to Point B from Point A as fast as possible. You want to know the little gem that this sort of gameplay has. Its *gasp* amazingly much more fun than realistic sims than Gran Turismo. Its also surprisingly entertaining just going in ''Joyriding mode'' for a half hour or 2 and trying to do the craziest jumps and flips. If however your the sort of person that takes anger managment classes because your tv controller batteries stopped working then i would not reccomend playing Smugglers Run because it does get very frustrating. Nee, very very frustrating. At some points your just about to complete a level you have been trying and trying again to complete for an hour and just as you think your about to hit the final finish point you get knocked from behind and go carrearing off into a ditch. I actually got so annoyed at one level that I stopped playing Smugglers Run for about 2 months and only resumed play after a friend came round and beat it for me. He had to use cheats but come on the mission was nearly impossible. Just so you can feel my anger it was the last level on the desert section the one where you have to chase down a guy, steal his contraband and go up the spiral hill.

Sound

Sound is not a large part of Smugglers Run. In fact most reviewers rate it as the least important factor in a game. I personally disagree, where would Final Fantasy 8 be without that slightly annoying opening sequence. Anyways i digress. The music in Smugglers Run is quite relative to all other sounds. The most stand out speech of the game is your sort of helper who eggs you on in a womans voice. Saying stuff like ''The Car is meant to be able to drive sweety'' and the like. It is fun for a while but soon gets rather boring.

Lifespan

Smugglers Run is a long game. Despite being pretty much the same thing every level with a few varations its still a fun game. It has about 33 levels in total. The first ones will be done in your second or third sitting and the latter ones have took me as long as a week. However you may just be forced to snap the game in half when you get to the later missions. I am only on mission 18 and its easily the hardest playstation 2 game i have. And i have 9.

Multiplayer

Smugglers Run is just as much fun in Multiplayer as it is in Single player. There are 2 options. Either you are in a team of 4 people with you controlling one against your opponent or your in a big 8 man with you and a friend controlling one car each. The object is to make 5 pickup or dropofs, first car or team to do so wins.

Pros & Con's

Pros
----
- Fun in the wake of more serious driving games.
- Long.
- Very good im multiplayer.

Cons
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- Frustrating.
- Repetitive.

Verdict - Buy this, Its a gem of a game.

Verdict - 9/10

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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