Full Auto 2 - PS3 review

We’re used to games about humans knocking seven bells out of each other. Vehicles doing the same though? That’s much more rare.

The original Full Auto – a minor hit on the Xbox 360 at launch – combined fast and furious driving with combat that made the Fast And The Furious look like kiddies’ play time.

Its problems were numerous though. The handling was far too light to offer any real excitement and the fighting was hit and miss at best.

Sega’s sequel is aiming to iron out the faults and land a bigger hit than the original. So gentlemen, rev your engines and let’s get down to business.

While the first Full Auto certainly offered some hectic action, it wasn’t the real deal. Absolutely everything here is bigger, better and much more brutal. Full Auto 2 doesn’t try to make any wholesale changes, but merely polish up what’s always potentially been a winning formula.

There’s masses on screen. With up to a dozen cars all smashing through buildings, firing off weaponry and causing explosions in every corner, Full Auto 2 is a visual masterpiece at first glance.

It’s not all smooth sailing in the visuals department though. That’s almost literally in fact with the frame rate stuttering when things get a little too hectic for the PS3 to keep up with. So £425 for a console that judders on its first day? Not so good.

Last minute tacked on story lines have always been a bugbear of ours and Full Auto 2 shows just how bad they can be. Those Sega bods must have been up all night dreaming up the female sounding computer that directs you from mission to mission.

The dialogue is predictable too. Rival gangs are causing merry hell and you must take them out from the inside blah blah blah. Well, that’s just great. We could knock up storylines like this in our lunch hour. Luckily there’s only a few cut scenes – we thank the Lord for small mercies.

Trimmings aside, the game’s actually worth your time. Sega’s added a much needed bit of strategy to keep things interesting. You’re often tasked with taking out particular cars as well as winning races and you’ll find yourself torn between making use of your firepower and boosting to the front of the pack.

One nice feature is the "Unwreck meter". This lets you rewind the last few seconds of play Prince of Persia style, giving you a chance to take that corner at the kind of speed that won’t see you plough straight into a poorly placed shop. If only we had one on the day Steve McClaren was appointed England boss.

Sadly, the handling hasn’t improved much over the original version. It’s still too light and you can’t help but feel the car’s not fully under your control as it floats around another bend.

Verdict

Overall, Sega hasn’t got Full Auto 2 quite right, but it’s still a massive improvement on its predecessor. So leave your brain in first gear for a few hours, sit back and enjoy the brutal racing.