Danger Zone 2 Xbox One Review

July 24, 2018 by  
Filed under Xbox One, Reviews & Features, Xbox

Publisher: Three Fields Entertainment  Developer: Three Fields Entertainment  

Genre: Racing, Action  Players: 1  Age Rating: 7+  Other console/handheld formats: PS4

Danger Zone gave us spectacular crashes galore as you drove your car into a plethora of vehicles and timed your Smashbreakers to cause as much destruction as possible. It was a simple concept but still offered challenging fun, though I mentioned in my review that there wasn’t much more to it than that.

Danger Zone 2 gives us more of the same, this time around with a lot of the focus now placed on the run-up. The run-up is the section in which you drive your vehicle towards a danger zone area, which is where you get to use your Smashbreaker and cause mayhem.

You get to drive a variety of vehicles, including a big rig, an F1 and a range of super cars.

The run-up involves you driving past numerous other vehicles, and here is where the real challenge now lies. These challenges are optional, but considering the length of these run-ups, you are encouraged to try them, and given that they impact your overall final score – and the fact it can help you achieve at least the minimum Bronze rank – they can’t really be avoided. Challenges can see you smashing a certain number of other cars, or targeting and destroying particular vehicles, such as lorries and limousines, or trucks that are carrying other modes of transport, such as boats.

Danger Zone 2 needed to expand on the original, and these extra challenges and lengthy run-ups are clearly the solution to that, but it seems they are at the cost of the danger zones themselves. The danger zones were once the core of the gameplay where you would need to cause the most destruction and is where the challenge laid, but now they seem to have been put on the back burner.

The challenge in Danger Zone was nabbing those extra Smashbreakers and keeping the momentum of your vehicle going all over the place until you could crash as many other vehicles as possible. In this second game, the run-up takes up most of the gameplay, and whilst it gives glimpses as to what Three Fields Entertainment might bring us with Dangerous Driving, these run-ups overshadow the danger zones themselves, which last only mere seconds once you’ve caused a crash.

That’s not to say there isn’t any less chaos to be had; the run-up challenges still offer you amusing displays as cars launch forward, fall off the sides of cliffs or hills, crash down embankments, or flip and roll into the air. It is still very satisfying.

Graphical improvements can also be seen, with vibrant environments a step up from the bland, simulated warehouses of the previous game.

But it’s difficult not to compare to the original and notice that certain other sacrifices have also been made. The useful flyby shots of the levels are now gone, which gave you an idea of where you needed to go. It can be disorienting as to which direction you should be heading towards at times. There’s a display telling you how far you are from the danger zone, but sometimes you can run in to dead ends or have roads looping all over the place that can make it difficult to tell if you are going the right way.

A new addition is you can now change the angle of the camera over high jumps, giving you a cool glimpse of your car as it flies through the air.

The camera also doesn’t pan out to show you wide shots of the destruction after your vehicle has crashed in the danger zone itself, instead staying focused on the car and giving us a timer that counts down to signal the end of the level, even if cars are still crashing. I am assuming this is so that players don’t have to wait so long to move on, but part of the fun was seeing the consequences of your actions.

And even though the graphical improvements are welcome, environments aren’t particularly varied, set mostly within daytime locations that you can’t really tell apart, even though they are based on real-life accident hotspots. It can also be difficult to read the small white text of the menus against such a vibrant backdrop.

Danger Zone 2 also feels very quick and easy to complete compared to its predecessor, with there being only 23 levels compared to the original’s 32, that excluding bonuses. Of course, there’s a lot of replayability to be had here as you can go back and try and score the highest Platinum rank, but for those who aren’t into the challenges and just want to see displays of awe as cars crash in a crescendo of explosions, you may find yourself slightly disappointed.

Danger Zone 2 offers a more open but linear experience, one that offers less strategy, but it still manages to invoke that ‘just one more go’ feeling. This time around though it does feel as though this game was a bit rushed, with little thought given to the design of levels and instead only being used to give us a preview of what the developers might bring us in their next up-coming game.