Developer: Three Fields Entertainment Publisher: Three Fields Entertainment Platform(s): PC, PS4, XB1 Review code provided
If you want to have a good time crashing into cars, you can’t really go wrong with Danger Zone 2. Developed by Three Fields Entertainment, made up of a lot of ex-Criterion developers, it’s a fun time that has a lot going for it if you can overlook certain problems with some types of crashes. Many are calling it the spiritual successor to Burnout’s Crash Mode that fans were feverishly waiting for, and although it might not be worthy of that title yet, it’s definitely a step in the right direction.
Danger Zone 2 is split up into three different regions, with an added tutorial region and then three bonus levels once you’ve finished all three regions. The tutorial region is six levels long and completely optional, which is good because the controls are absolutely self-explanatory. Each other region has eight levels to play. Sadly, these 33 levels in total don’t feel like much and can pass by incredibly quickly, finishing by the time you really begin to get into them.
The game does try to counter this by adding replay value in the form of different completion levels based on how much money you made in the level, but it still feels somewhat unsatisfactory. This isn’t helped by the fact that all three bonus levels are survival levels, meaning you have to crash as little as possible instead of as much as possible.
For those who haven’t played a Burnout game, Danger Zone 2’s core gameplay is about bumping into as many cars as you can while staying as fast as you can to ultimately cause as much destruction as possible when you get into the Danger Zone. In the Danger Zone, totalling your car slows everything down a bit and renders you unable to keep driving.
If you wrecked enough cars or picked up the right power-up along the way, you can activate the Smashbreaker, which causes an explosion centred on your car. For each such power-up, you can activate one explosion, plus the normal one you get from damaging other cars. The explosions usually launch you into the air, where you can control your car a bit, which is very useful if you want to grab the cash bonuses or extra explosions, as each collectable you grab raises your chances of getting a higher rank for the level.
The whole part of the track before the Danger Zone is called the run-up. Each level has a specific side-objective that should be completed on the run-up, but can also sometimes be completed in the Danger Zone. Completing those also gives you a large cash bonus, which can be very helpful for tricky levels where you don’t quite manage to cause as much havoc as you’d have liked to.
In some levels, you have a boost in the run-up, too. If you let the boost bar fill up completely before using it, you can hold on to the boost button and keep chain several boosts until you hit something or let go of the button. This is a great way to gain a lot of money. Another cool thing you can sometimes do in the run-up is jump off of ramps. If you decide to do so, you can even activate the cool slow-mo cam, which is the best way to look like a badass. Sadly, both the boost and the slow-mo cam aren’t used in many levels, and the slow-mo cam doesn’t have any in-game use other than looking cool.
Despite being a lot of fun, Danger Zone 2 does have a few major bugs. One main annoying one depends on where you crash into a car from. With a lot of cars, crashing directly from behind is fine, but crashing into one of the corners from behind more often than not causes the car to directly turn in the direction you crashed from and push you to the side, never letting go. It’s not hard for this to push you off the track, causing you to start over.
Some cars you have to crash into sideways when you’re almost in front of them, or it’ll instantly lead to a game over. These small details where the game doesn’t seem to agree with itself where the crashing stops and the bumping starts give the game an annoying touch that it could really do without.
Of course, the game wouldn’t be complete without a leaderboard. At the end of each level, you can see how well you did compared to other players in respects to how many attempts you needed, how many other cars you crashed and how much money you made. Not only can you see how well you did worldwide, you can also see how well you did locally or even just among your friends.
Danger Zone 2 does have some faults and bugs that hurt the gameplay, but it’s still a fun game. It wouldn’t have hurt to make the game a bit longer, but most likely, it’s just an appetizer for Three Fields Entertainment’s next game Dangerous Driving, coming out later this year. Of course, that doesn’t excuse the faults that this game has, as it should be a good game on its own, but it might be the explanation. If you’re a fan of the Burnout series or you just want a small game where you get to bump into cars and cause mayhem, you’ll definitely like this game.
Danger Zone 2 is an explosive and fun, if short, game. It’s flashy and exciting where it counts, despite having a few bugs that can be major annoyances, and at the end of the day, still worth a try.