November 26, 2000
Does anyone else get the feeling that there are too many racing games these days. If you look at the Dreamcast after only one year you will be astonished at the number of racing games on the system. The developer of Smugglers Run have added in a bit of a gameplay twist. Instead of racing your opponents you are a smuggler who must avoid getting caught by them to deliver items to their destination. It definitely has the right ingredients for an exciting game.
Smuggler's Run definitely isn't a game for young kids. The game is comprised of 36 missions in total with the idea to smuggle contraband from one location to another. These illegal items can be anything from drugs to frozen kidneys. The whole game is set on the America - Mexico border where there really is smuggling problem. To aid you get the items to the destination the developers, Angel Studios, have included a guiding arrow similar to that found in Crazy Taxi on Dreamcast.
While much has been said about the graphics in many of the Playstation 2 launch titles one thing is certain, Smugglers Run is exciting to look at. With a wide variety of terrain and weather conditions this game will keep you on the edge of your seat. Perhaps the most impressive thing graphically is the draw-in distance. Gone are the days where scenery is drawing in only a second before you car arrives at a point on the track. In Smugglers Run you can see as far as the horizon. This is extremely useful as your next pickup/dropoff points are marked with smoke signals.
While major name titles such as Tekken Tag Tournament, Ridge Racer V and FIFA 2001 will likely draw gamers to the Playstation 2 in the short term it's games like Smugglers Run that will likely hold the key to the systems success in the coming years. As we have seen with past systems, most notably the Nintendo 64, several major brand name titles aren't enough to keep a system selling; it's the quality of the lesser-known titles that have the biggest impact. Fortunately Smugglers Run is not only a great idea, but also a great looking game and should do quite well on Sony's new system.