It's the early 21st century, and the world of Formula One racing has become predictable and, dare we say, boring? A horrible thing to say, but it's true, as far as the real thing is concerned, anyhow. So, where is the speed-freakin' thrill-seeker to turn for something edgier, a little more fulfilling? Fancy a trip from France all the way to North Africa? Bring your desert boots and let's off-road! Maybe the technology is more primitive and the vehicles aren't as glamorous, but the rules aren't as strict, and the desert is a great leveller.
Dakar 2 is the all-action arcade version of the most radical endurance rally in the world. This game is a big departure from 2001's Paris-Dakar Rally (the title is an illustration of the fact that Dakar 2 is not merely a sequel) offering a wealth of options and gameplay advancements which will undoubtedly put off-road race fanatics on the edge of their seat as they battle towards that ever-so-distant finishing line.
Founded on two essential characteristics - courage and endurance - the Dakar Rally has always united these things in the most majestic of settings, most notably the unforgiving Sahara Desert. The Paris-Dakar Rally pits around 300-400 drivers and riders against each other in a testing race over 6,500 miles. Participants drive and ride a variety of mixed-terrain vehicles including motorcycles, 4X4 trucks and rally-spec cars. Drivers are not just subjected to the fierce competition provided by hundreds of other drivers: the elements, the climate, and the vastly challenging terrain all need to be conquered.
Dakar 2 kicks up a cloud of dust and sand that might well obscure the extra goodness that the developers have thrown in this time around. There's a lot of ground to cover in Dakar 2, and the race will take you through visually impressive town and forest stages in France, Spain and Morocco before progressing to the familiar (i.e. sandy) Dakar landscapes. A new checkpoint system is in place to increase tension and urgency among competitors. Ah, yes, the competitors there are swarms of them, and the increase in traffic is enhanced by the inclusion of some seriously speedy vehicles and hairy (as in scary) tracks.
It's gripped, it's sorted, let's off-...oh, we've already used that phrase. Right then, get onto the mostly non-treacherous information super-highway and get a hold of this game. Sand-storming!