The Vigilantes had defeated Sidburn and his Coyotes after the events of the first game. Sadly, one of the heroic Vigilantes, Slick Clyde, rises as the leader of the OMAR oil conglomerate in the far future. Sidburn's rogue gunnrunners may have failed to capture the United States for their Oil conglomerate, but Slick Clyde decides to use the power of time travel to go back to the 1970s and try again to recapture the United States. Clyde travels back with the cybernetic hitman Dallas 13 and the silent assassin Obake to kill Convoy and take over America.
As in the previous game 2nd Offense is a car combat game. Each vehicle has a machine gun with unlimited ammo, and can also pick up more powerful limited use weapons like missiles and mines from pickups throughout the level. Each weapon pickup has a normal firing mode, and two special firing modes that are activated by taping in specific directions before firing. For example, a missile can be ignited but not launched, turning it into a rocket-powered nitro. Each character also has a special weapon unique to their vehicle.
A new addition to this sequel are vehicle traction replacements. By driving over a ski, aqua jet, or hover icon in a level a vehicle's tires will be replaced. Skis offer better traction over snow, aqua jets can drive over water without sinking, and the hover attachment enables a car to fly.
Each stage in the game has a specific objective for each faction: a target must either be protected for the Vigilantes, destroyed for the Coyotes, or a non-destruction related objective must be met for the Drifters. Sometimes items must also be collected and delivered. As well all opponent vehicles must be destroyed. Almost every object in a level can either be destroyed or damaged by weapon's fire. Some will drop special weapons when broken, while others will change the level, such as the giant model doughnut on a cafe which will fall off and roll around the level after the cafe is destroyed, or bridges that collapse after being weakened.
Destroyed vehicles drop upgrade points that increase a character's car's parameters; at 50 points in a stat the vehicle is upgraded with an accessory and at 100 in all four stats the vehicle is upgraded to a completely new design.
- Garbage Man
- Astronaut Bob O
- R. Chase
- Chassey Blue (unlockable)
- Padre Destino (unlockable)
- Dusty Earth (unlockable)
Meteor Crater, Arizona
This desert location has a drive in theater, diners, gas station, observatory, and, of course, a large crater. Meteors will occasionally fall from the sky, especially if the observatory is destroyed. An extra large meteor will sometimes fall into a crater, and if destroyed will unleash a giant ant.
Winter Games, Utah
A mountain ski resort, complete with slalom, long jump, and half pipe. Cars can also ride the ski lifts.
Ghastly Bayou, Louisiana
A remote swamp location complete with abandoned plantation house, graveyard, and levy. Ghosts will attack nearby cars if their tombstones or crypts are destroyed, and the entire level will flood if the levy is opened.
Launch Site, Florida
An island launch pad for the space shuttle. Players can manually launch the space shuttle, or even launch themselves by driving around the tower's rear. On their return to earth they can pick up floating health and weapons in the sky. Highly explosive fuel containers are located throughout the island, and hungry sharks swim around the island's edges.
Steel Mill, Pennsylvania
The steel mill has a train that circles around the level endlessly. The train can be destroyed, or will crash itself if it run into a destroyed bridge. If parts of the mill are broken they will leak liquid metal on to cars passing nearby.
Nuclear Plant, Minnesota
This plant consists of two reactors and a field of generators, turbines, and transformers. If a reactor is shot is will go critical and detonate, dealing massive damage to any nearby vehicles. The turbines and transformers are also dangerous, capable of shocking any nearby cars if they're charged up.
Alaskan Pipeline, Alaska
An oil drilling and refining plant. The pipeline acts as quick transportation for cars, sucking them in and depositing them elsewhere in the level. Pools of crude oil will also slow down any vehicle that drives into them, and can be ignited with special weapons.
Pacific Harbor, California
A major shipping location with cranes and sea access. A massive bridge runs the length of the level, and, of course, can be destroyed.
All the levels from the first Vigilante 8 game can be played on the PS1 and DC versions of the game. On the PS1 the V8 disc must be hotswapped into the system while the game is paused. The disc will be read, the game will notify the player that the old levels have been unlocked, and the V8:2O disc will then need to be replaced. On the DC the code OLD_LEVELS only has to be entered.
Secret Base, Nevada
Sand Factory, Utah
Oil Fields, New Mexico
Aircraft Graveyard, Arizona
Ghost Town, New Mexico
Hoover Dam, Arizona/Nevada
Valley Farms, California
Casino City, Nevada
Canyon Lands, Utah
Ski Resort, Colorado