Ford Racing 2, sequel to the Playstation’s Ford Racing, which sold over 500,000 copies is now available on the Xbox. There isn’t much to be said about this game considering the fact that it’s very basic. You pick up the controller and race through the challenges, and as you proceed you unlock more challenges, cars, and tracks. Everything you unlock can be used in the Ford collection mode, which allows you to take all the challenges, cars, and tracks you have unlocked and create your own challenges; it’s a neat little feature.
In the main challenge mode you select a challenge theme, such as Living Legends, SVT, Concepts, or even stock cars and choose a challenge within that theme–then race. If you successfully complete the challenge, you are rewarded with the car used for that challenge as well as other such rewards like trophies, tracks, and the ability to unlock yet more challenges.
This is all fun for a while, but it gets boring very quickly–after just a few races it’s all the same thing over and over again. Xbox Live support is available, but with games like Project Gotham Racing 2 on release you really wouldn’t want to dedicate much time to this game.
Overall Ford Racing 2 has a very nice presentation, but doesn’t really take full advantage of the Xbox hardware. The cars are well detailed and look very real, and the tracks also look impressive, too; they are nicely detailed and appear quite beautiful. There isn’t much movement on the tracks but you will see the occasional electric train or car drive by on a different street. One thing that caught my eye were the in-car dashboard gauges–they weren’t as detailed as they perhaps should have been. For example, when you’re in the first-person view all you see is the speedometer on the older cars, and that makes it really hard to change gears.
You just can’t help but love the engine sounds in Ford Racing 2, especially on the older cars, but when it comes to sound…that’s about it. Everything else is kind of dull. The soundtrack is made up of rock, funk, and house music but, when you’re driving, it just blends into the background so it’s really cool and makes for a nice ride. However, the sound effects are not so great. Whether you’re hitting a side wall, or another car, they sound very weak. Also, if you don’t like the music provided you can always choose to listen to music stored on your hard drive.
Ford Racing 2 is one of those games where you wish it ran a little faster. It runs great, there are no slowdowns, and when you’re hurtling down the street at 150mph it feels like you truly are travelling that fast. You are, however, constricted to only two camera views–first-person and behind the car. For those who prefer the overhead view, you will be disappointed. Other than that, it’s a smooth running game with not too many features but it does well with what it has.
There isn’t very much depth to the game, so once you unlock everything you’re left with racing online through Xbox Live–but it will get boring pretty fast.
Rent it, play it, beat it, return it to the shelf and never look back.