Review by Wolfewood

Reviewed: 03/08/05

Redneck fun for hours.

Test Drive has been a pretty successful series with it's street and track racing games, but can the series take on the dirt tracks of America?

Story 1/10
The story in Eve of Destruction is pretty shallow...since there pretty much isn't one. You're a redneck dude who got his granny's old car and you decide to go smash it up on the local dirt tracks trying to earn fame and fortune.

Graphics 8/10
EoD doesn't exactly have the best graphics in gaming but they're still pretty cool. Atari provided plenty of eye candy outside the tracks. Racing events take place during night and day in big cities, small towns, local fairs, and next to bustling airports. Graphics aren't really an issue though since you'll be to busy focusing on the race/derby/insanity that's taking place. The cars look nice, the backgrounds are superb, the tracks are well designed, track lighting is great and the cars look old and clunky just like they should. The only real problem with the graphics is if you're driving in the first person camera. The inside of the car looks pretty poor compared to the rest of the game's visuals, but no biggy.

Gameplay 10/10
This is where the game shines. Though there's only 3 modes (Career, Dare, Action) the game serves up plenty of ways to destroy or be destroyed. There are several interesting and unique ways to race that you might have witnessed at your local tracks. No-rules, Flagpole Races, Trailer Races, School Bus Races, Figure-8 Racing, Figure-8 Jump Racing, Road Courses, Red Rover, Whip-Around, Shortcut, Last Man Standing, Push-Off, Chain Race, Stop and Go, Demolition Derby and Suicide Races give you plenty of option to destroy your way to fame. In Career Mode, you start out with your junk car and run off to make money. After you gain enough fame and cash, you can buy better jalopies with better handling, speed, and endurance. You can further augment these attributes at the local garage once they decide you're worthy. You can even paint your car just the way you want, free of charge even. The custom paint option could have been better with pre-made templates or schemes since it can be hard to spell out words and such but it's cool. One thing that's cool is that while in career mode, you can freely drive around your little backroads town and challenge drivers at the Malt Shop and other places to make some money on the side. You can also sell one of the four cars you can own to the junkyard or trade it in to get a discounted price on a new car. Just be careful not to mess up while driving around or push your car to far in competition, since it won't be worth as much and will cost more to repair. In Dare Mode, you compete in pre-set challenges of sorts to test your skills and get some practice. Completing them all gets you a decent reward as well. Action Mode is a free-play kind of mode where you set-up all the events the way you want, and choose what car you want to race and at what track you want to do the deeds at.

Audio 10/10
The audio in this game is actually pretty cool. Almost all the cars have different sound effects and the crowd comes to life when big hits are laid down. The track announcer is pretty cool too spitting out phrases such as "That pass was nicer than Mother Teresa!" and other crazy stuff. He also comments on how well everyone's doing and if you listen to him he can provide some good information at times such as how many cars are still in the event. The dude makes shameless sponsor plugs as well. Don't worry though, Atari didn't sell out to companies, all the "sponsors" are made up so there's no money to be won by companies.

Difficulty 6/10
This game is pretty not hard. Though the racing itself can provide a challenge, especially if you have a low performing vehicle and racing against higher ranked AI racers. Overall though, the game is pretty easy and isn't really made for people looking for a big challenge. This game is mainly for people who just want to go crazy.

Replayability 8/10
The game has a lot of cool unlockables including some really cool vehicles like school buses, cop cars, mail trucks, hearses (complete with coffin) and others. While gaining higher ranks in Career mode, you unlock videos of local dirt trackers talking about how certain races work or how to win and such. It's also fun to turn the game on after a hard day and dominate the competition. Playing with friends is fun too especially late at night when everything's funny or if you're drunk or something. If the game were on Live though, it'd be absolutely incredible.

Rent or Buy? For people who are fans of the local yokals kicking ass and taking names in wacky events like me, this is a definite buy. I got this game brand new at EB for $20 bucks and it was a great buy. Give it a rent if you're not sure though.

Overall 9/10
A real sleeper hit. This game is really great and didn't get the attention it disserved at the time of its release. The only real flaw of the game is that it's not online. This is a superb multi-player game and it provides laughes and excitement every second. If there is a sequel, there's room for improvement but for a first shot, this game is awesome. It's a steal at $20 bucks so get it. GET IT NOW!!!

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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