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Ford Racing 2 Review

Fix Or Repair Daily is the joke that most non-Ford fans use to describe Ford’s products. Does this joke also related to Ford Racing 2 for Xbox? Well, with new and improved cars, added tracks and challenges, and enhanced graphics, Ford Racing 2 might just show all those non-Ford fans a thing or two.

With 35 cars to choose from, such as, ‘49 Ford, Mustang GT Concept, EX Concept, GT90 Concept, SVT Lightning, ‘79 Gran Torino, 2003 L.E. Thunderbird, ‘56 F-100, F-150 FX4, 1999 Focus Rally Car, Ford GT, and many more you won’t have a problem finding the Ford that suits you best. They have the cars broken down into Living Legends, Movie Stars, SVT, Concept, Off Road, Custom, and Stock Car categories but that is all the details you get on them besides their year and name. It would have been nice if they would have included more background information about the cars and trucks in the game to explain why they are movie stars or how much horsepower comes in each vehicle. This is a game for Ford fans and maybe they already know this, but it would have been a nice addition that wouldn’t have taken too much time to add. I know that Electronic Arts has this type of feature with movies and voice-over in their Need for Speed titles but it doesn’t need to be that elaborate. Just one page of text for each vehicle would have made all the difference in my opinion.

Also, don’t expect to tune any of the 35 cars because Ford Racing 2 does not offer any of those types of things like Sega GT 2002 for Xbox offers. The most tuning you get is the ability to turn on and off traction control, anti-lock brakes, and use manual or automatic transmission. This game is all about racing and a few years ago not having tuning was fine but ever since a little game called Gran Turismo hit the scene the racing game genre has changed. Now everyone expects tuning and hundreds of cars to choose from in a racing game. If you are looking for that then I suggest you look elsewhere since you won’t find it in Ford Racing 2.

Ford Racing 2 also does not have real-time damage so those nice car models will look the same at the beginning as they do at the end of the race. This along with the no tuning options really gives Ford Racing 2 an arcade racing feel. To me it felt like a cross between Ridge Racer and Gran Turismo which is not a bad thing but don’t expect perfect simulation racing. The cars did handle well and I didn’t have a problem switching views from inside to outside the car during a race. I state this because some racing games have different handling depending on which view you choose to race in. It is almost like one view was the primary one and the other was added after the fact. Ford Racing 2 does not have this problem and handles the same in either view.

Speaking of views, the graphics in the game are not as good as Sega GT 2002 or Project Gotham Racing but they hold their own and are no where near horrible. The car models are nice and clean and fit well with the race track environments. You also get to choose from 16 tracks which include ovals tracks, standard road courses, and off-road courses. None of the tracks are modeled off of real tracks but they still have challenging designs and are well laid out. These tracks will have you racing by beaches, cities, balloons, helicopters, waterfalls, airplanes, overhanging trees, and through tunnels and caves. There is plenty to see and it all looks good as it flies by at a steady framerate in single or multiplayer split-screen mode.

Ford Racing 2 also has 8 race types to go along with the 16 tracks. These race types include Standard Race, Elimination (every lap the last two cars get eliminated), Duel (you against one other car), Drafting, Driving Skills (complete the lap before time runs out), Seconds Out (pick up bonus time to bring your lap time down), Racing Line (following the best race line), and Time Attack. These race types add variety and some of them are more challenging than others. But you have to learn all of them if you are going to unlock the 35 cars and 16 tracks in the game. This makes Ford Racing 2 different than some other racing games that only have you doing standard races over and over to unlock new cars and tracks. Ford Racing 2 also has 3 difficulty levels and you only unlock the cars for whichever difficulty you earn choose. I walked through easy mode and only lost a couple of times because of stupid mistakes but medium and hard modes make the game a lot more challenging.

During all this racing the sound effects and music set the mood. You will hear the roar of your engines as you blast down the straight-aways and then screeching of your tires as you hit the brakes at the next turn. All of the sounds fit well and sound good. The soundtrack also has a racing game theme that ranges from rock to house to funk. The songs are generic but decent. If you don’t like them you can always switch to your own custom soundtrack you record from your own CDs to your Xbox hard drive.

The last feature that is worth mentioning is Ford Racing 2’s Xbox Live support. Don’t expect to be racing head-to-head in Ford Racing 2 online since it doesn’t offer that option. What it does offer is the ability to upload and compare your best lap times with other Ford Racing 2 owners that have Xbox Live. This isn’t as good as online racing but it was nice to see Gotham Games add it into the mix.

Final Verdict

Ford Racing 2 doesn’t bring as much to the table as some other racing games on the market but at the $19.99 suggested retail price it gives you a lot of bang for your buck. It might not have hundreds or cars to choose from and doesn’t offer the tuning options that have become standard in a lot of racing games lately. But, what is does offer is good clean racing fun at and affordable price. It would have been nice if Gotham Games would have given a little more background on the vehicles to really showcase the Ford Motor Company, since it is a Ford only racing game. But I guess if you really want to know more about Ford and their products you can go to Besides that I feel that Ford Racing 2 is a solid racing game that is worth checking out especially for the price. So, if you haven’t looked at Ford Racing 2 lately look again.


8.0 out of 10

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Related Information

Posted by: cnc137
Date: November 14, 2003
Publisher: Take-Two Interactive
Developer: Empire Interactive
Genre: Racing
Number of Players: 1-2
ESRB Rating: Everyone
System Reviewed: Xbox

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Categories: PC Reviews, Xbox Reviews, PlayStation 2 Reviews, PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Reviews

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