cardon's Full Auto 2: Battlelines (PlayStation 3) review

Battlelines addresses some issues but is ultimately shallow

Full Auto 2: Battlelines is the PS3 follow up to last year’s Full Auto for the Xbox 360. One would think that with an extra year of development FA2 would fix the issues with FA1 but for the most part that isn’t the case.

One of the biggest issues with Full Auto was that none of the cars had a sense of weight to them. They all felt really floaty and equally controlled that way. Battlelines does fix that problem and adds some weight to the cars. Unfortunately the actual car controls still feel a bit loose which can hamper your experience during a race.

The first Full Auto bragged about its fully destructible environments, which in the case of gameplay really didn’t affect the race. Battlelines does add a few more interactive pieces which will affect the course of the race. Shooting a stack of pipes will cause them to roll onto the street blocking the road for the racers behind you. While the destructibility is cool it still feels a bit unrefined in terms of actual gameplay uses.

Pseudo Interactive had an extra year to polish the game’s graphics for the PS3 but the finished product is just a bit ‘meh’. While the game manages a steady frame rate and the visuals of seeing object get blown up is cool, the overall graphics aren’t that much of a step up from the 360 version. Even though you won’t be able to fully analyze the graphics due to the fast speeds you’re racing, the game does feature some sketchy textures if you slow down. The art design of the various courses is decent but they’re not anything you haven’t seen before and there is no definitive style like the Burnout titles. The actual cars and visual effects are decent but once again they’re not anything you can’t do on the 360 and look somewhat poor compared to a game like Motorstorm.

Driving your car is sharp for the most part but drifting around corners is a bit loose and can result in total spinouts. Shooting vehicles is pretty effortless but there are a few problems. The circle and x button handle your primary and secondary weapons while the right analog stick handles targeting. It’s a bit hard to get a precision shot via the right analog stick when you use one of the face buttons to fire despite R3 being a secondary fire button.

Battlelines has the standard race modes, career, online, and arcade. Arcade mode is straight up action, career mode has a series of events with different objectives. Unlike Full Auto’s career mode, Battlelines actually attempts a laughable excuse of a story for the career mode. You play as an undercover agent who is being helped by a female A.I computer named SAGE, with her help you need to take down a gang that is holding these dangerous tournaments in the city. Before each race you’ll have to listen to some pretty lame dialogue from SAGE. The career mode is ok but it would’ve been better without the story.

Just like Full Auto you can customize your cars with various weapons both in the front and rear. There really isn’t anything different between the previous installment and the newest one. You still have the standard smoke screens, machine guns, and shotgun armaments that you can equip on the various cars which range from sedans and SUVs.

The online aspects of Battlelines are decent if you’re aching for some vehicular combat. Battlelines uses Gamespy and not the Playstation Network Platform but you don’t need to make an extra account, it’ll automatically use you PNP account. Online racing has a few modes and race options for users to choose from. When playing online there is no lag so the experience is equal to the single player one.

If you’re aching for a PS3 Burnout or the next Twisted Metal the perhaps you should give Full Auto Battlelines a shot. It’s not a perfect title and after half an hour of play you would’ve seen everything the game has to offer. And if you’ve played the 360 version then you pretty much have played Battlelines. Battlelines is a rent and not a buy in the end unless you’re really desperate for some PS3 games.
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