I would like to bring your attention to PURE...An arcade ATV racer that has more fun packed inside the box than a night with an inflatable farm animal. That's fun, right?
I downloaded the demo just to see what it was, and I was a bit surprised by how much I enjoyed it...I'm not one for ATV games but this gives good game to be sure. It doesn't seem like the "World Tour" mode (which is the primary offline mode) has a ton of longevity, but the game is certainly worthy of a rental.
The game allows you to create your own ATVs (up to 10) across 4 different classes...The parts run from the frame, to body kits, shocks, fly wheels and gear ratios along with unlockable upgrades. You can truely make 10 distinctly different racing ATVs that are more than cosmetically unique. As with most "extreme sports" games, tricks equals turbo boost...And turbo boost levels up your tricking abilities. While the tricks aren't difficult to pull off themselves, the difficulty is in timing tricks so you actually land them, and tying together combos. I've enjoyed creating different ones, and seeing what works best in each of the 3 different event types....
Freestyle - A points rack'em up that allows you to grab power ups, and forces you to watch your gas level as the event ends when you run out. You can grab gas power ups that partially refill your gas to extend the race. Definitely the mode that sort of evolves along with you over the game.
Race - Racing against 15 AI competitors, where the fastest time wins. Tricks equal boost, boost equals bigger tricks, which equals more turbo boost.
Sprint - A very short track section (compared to the other 2 modes track layouts) that allow room for beginner tricks, until you can figure out timing and getting better, of basicall 5 laps. It's an interesting dynamic since you really need to use the tricking chances you have on each lap to get an edge, but landing them becomes difficult because you're not going off huge jumps.
The track layouts for racing are really well done. While there are certain things that nail you for trying to "take a shortcut" during a race, but there are multiple paths, and out of the way paths that will reward the inqusitive player. The graphics are nice, and the game runs smooth, but BioShock it is not. The track deformations seem to have an effect, as does muddy sections of tracks drag your speed down...But I've also noticed I would land in a big puddle and not see much of a splash. Overall the detail is nice, and the bikes look slick.
I haven't played online much, but there seems to be a wealth of options, especially if you've got a few friends you can regularly play with. What holds the online back for a game like this is that it isn't going to move a ton of units (at least not right away) so it makes me wonder how dedicated the players who enjoy the game will be, and how long they will stick with it since we are comming up on a barrage of big name releases for the holidays. Check it out though, it might surprise you...
Here is the video review from IGN, it shows off the gameplay, but not at a high res.
Also awesome is this skit from SNL..."Hey donkey, say hi to your mother for me, Mark Wahlberg...I produce Entourage"...Wonderful stuff. Also, cocks.