Joining the plethora of street-based racing games such as Midnight Club and Metropolis Street Racer is Ubi Soft's appropriately named Downtown Run for PlayStation 2.
Developed in-house, Downtown Run offers players an intense racing experience, providing everyone with instant fun thanks to its attractive tracks in beautiful cities, its frenetic action and its intuitive handling. Players will have to learn to gather and use power-ups on the road in order to defeat opponents, and to drive with style to unlock new cars and tracks. The varied environments and prestigious licensed cars, such as the Audi TT, the Ford Mustang, or the VW New Beetle will please casual players as well as more experienced arcade racing game fans.
There's a new scoring system, rewarding the ability to perform dangerous moves while avoiding accidents, eight different game modes, additional cars and tracks to unlock, and a catch-up feature ensuring never-ending action will offer constant new single and multi-player challenges to the player.
There's plenty to be getting on with, but it's the racing itself that's the heart of the game, and in this case, it's a lot of fun. Deliberately avoiding the technical genius seen in Gran Turismo in favour of casual arcade gameplay, Downtown Run's tight circuits are littered with numerous power ups, bringing a random factor into the equation a la Super Mario Kart, and as you might expect, it works very well.
Overall, Downtown Run may not be the top of its genre, but but as a light-hearted racer, it's hard to fault.