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Driven to Destruction Review - PS2

77%
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Admittedly, games based upon the metal-twisting, bone-crushing destruction derby events held regularly worldwide in front of audiences packed into stands being offered hot dogs have gone into hiding recently, none coming to mind from the current generation of consoles. Monster Games took note of this and sent Driven to Destruction rolling into the foray.

Gameplay

Driven to Destruction makes no attempt to conceal the true nature of the events that it portrays. The game is set in a rural, run-down area of America, featuring vast desert plains, long dirt roads and a very small number of visually unappealing and rusted establishments such as diners and scrap yards, emphasising the harsh living conditions and low level of civilisation. In addition, the cars in the game are straight from the dump, covered in grime, scratches and patches of missing paint, obviously ready to be smashed and crumpled into smoking pieces of metal dripping flaming oil in their wake.

The game contains a career mode that's actually worthwhile, similar to but not better than that in Need for Speed Underground 2 in the sense that it features a free-roam feature. Each time you resume your career you begin at your house, which is more like a shack, complete with a number of chickens feeding from the ground. Here you're able to tinker with the up to four cars allowed to be held at any one time that you have in your possession, repairing them or switching between them to use another. When you're ready you can head out onto the road and explore the limited yet decent area available to you, stopping at the scrap yard, garage, diner or heading into the championship races or 'eves' as they're known in-game. Like in Need for Speed Underground 2, all of this is done while remaining in your car and via pop-up menus - don't expect to be able to exit your car and walk around.

The scrap yard is where new cars are purchased, more becoming available as you progress through the game. Some are better equipped to compete in races, while others feature durability great enough to allow them to survive in hit-based events such as the famous destruction derby. The key to winning in the game is to keep two fast cars and two durable cars - that way, you can switch between fast and durable cars when prompted before each race in an eve depending on what the event consists of. The garage allows you to upgrade your cars, adding and removing parts, while the diner is where you'll find rival racers - accept their countless race challenges and win and you'll earn yourself a bit of extra and much-needed cash, though the rewards aren't really great enough to compete with those earned in eves.

The eves are the meat of the game, being the only events opening up new items, cars and the like. Each eve consists or three or so events from the amazing ... (continued next page)