The sequel returns with a bumper load of new challenges to play from, like the first game, in order to progress/unlock each challenge you must qualify within a set rank/goal. Once completed successfully, you unlock new challenges, vehicles, costumes and such.
The presentation and graphics are top notch once again, easily superseding the first game by quite a margin. This time round Evolution Studios' have included a photo mode giving the player the ability to pause the game and take pictures of the moment; from players crashing through windscreens head-over heels to animal and crowd animations - generally anything that's cool and of interest, it can be snapped up and savored. You can save the pictures to the console and have them as wallpaper or desktop backgrounds - which is nice!
Now as mentioned earlier, this game is suited to players who are up for a challenge. The reason being, is that this time round the difficulty of the game has been bumped up quite considerably. Once you get to around level 7, races and challenges become seemingly impossible to beat. The A.I and 'rubber banding' continues to go into full effect which makes it a frustrating and annoying (an experience you will have many times) especially when you're on the last lap and the opponents all barge and jostle you out of place!
From single player mode to multi-player online, I'm glad to say online play is in good steed, as you will be racing with humans and it is naturally, a better, more fun experience. There are various modes to choose from which will keep you busy for a quite a while.
There's a variety of music tracks played throughout the game and most of them suit the game's theme quite appropriately. Once again, drum'n bass maestro's Pendulum are back with a few new tracks up their sleeves - which keeps the action flowing nicely!
To sum up, it's a pretty adequate sequel to the first game marred by its difficulty and challenges. Players will have to work hard to get the most out of the game - it's simply by design. Let's hope the third game in the series will iron out the difficulty and gameplay issues - only time, and a demo or two will tell...
+ Lovely detailed graphics/presentation
+ Photo mode is great
+ Will take a long time to complete
- Gets frustratingly hard as you progress
- A.I can be cheap and unforgiving
- Not as fun as it could have been