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It's time once again to slide into those bell-bottoms, slip on a mood ring, and feather back the long hair for some groovy vehicular combat. No, this isn't going to be a sunshine day, and the only thing truly out of sight is your opponent's ride bursting into flames. Welcome to the world of Vigilante 8: 2nd Offense, where rival gangs rule the '70s and futuristic technology has all but guaranteed one explosive showdown across the U.S. of A.
This sequel to 1998's Vigilante 8 picks up where the first game left off. The Vigilantes rescued the Southwest from an evil gang called the Coyotes in the winter of 1975. Leader Slick Clyde managed to escape, however, and turned his attention to the terrorist group named OMAR, which began to amass power through questionable practices and shady deals with other countries. After decades of rising through the ranks at OMAR, Clyde was given the title of Lord Clyde, CEO of the world's largest oil supplier.
The years weren't kind to Lord Clyde, and by the time he reached the pinnacle of his power, he was little more than a 70-year-old man still embittered by his defeat in the United States. Things started to look a little brighter, however, when he learned of the first successful time travel experiment performed by researchers at Stanford. Now Clyde can forget about the present year (2015) and go back to set things straight! With new technology and the help of his closest operatives, Obake and Dallas 13, he would ensure America fell under the iron grip of OMAR once and for all.
Vigilante 8: 2nd Offense marks the return to the vehicular combat found in the original game, which debuted on the PlayStation in 1998. Representing the Vigilantes are Convoy, his wife Houston (who are both missing at the start of the game), John Torque, Sheila, and the All-Star Trio of Tomey, Romey, and Leilah. The band of Coyotes include leader Slick Clyde, special operative Obake, the robotic Dallas 13, smuggler Nina Loco, and thief Molo. Joining the fray are drifters Padre Destino, Agent R. Chase, Astronaut Bob O. and the enigmatic Garbage Man.
Each character also drives a unique vehicle that is outfitted with a special weapon, from the Padre's Hades Gate to John Torque's Wheel O' Fortune, and can receive various upgrades by defeating enemy vehicles. The upgrades come in the form of acceleration, speed, armor, and target avoidance, the amount of which depends on the game's difficulty and damage settings. Accumulate enough points and you can outfit your ride with a new chassis! Also along the battlefields are the following weapon power-ups: Interceptor Missiles, Bull's Eye Rockets, Sky Hammer Mortars, Bruiser Cannons, Roadkill Mines, and Brimstone Burners.
Besides the weapon power-ups and vehicle upgrades, players can find futuristic technology in the form of propulsion mechanisms, which are designated by one of three icons: Hoverpods, Hydrofloaters, and Skis N' Treads. Depending on the technology found, your vehicle will be able to fly in the air, skim across the water, or plow through the snow without slipping. Also strewn about the levels are four more icons: Shields (which protect you from damage for a limited time); Radar Jammer (temporarily disables enemy homing devices and radar); Weapon Upgrades (temporarily increases the damage of your weapons); and Repair Wrenches (each wrench fixes a portion of your vehicle).
The main game is the Quest Mode, which can be played by yourself or with a friend. By choosing a character, you'll advance through the eight stages of the game set around the United States: a harbor in California, a meteor crater in Arizona, the site of the Winter Games in Utah, a bayou in Louisiana, a NASA launch site in Florida, a steel mill in Pennsylvania, a nuclear plant in Minnesota, and even the Alaskan Pipeline! As in the original Vigilante 8, all buildings are completely destructible as are the surroundings. Each stage also has unique danger elements such as sharks, crocodiles, and one giant ant!
Each level in the Quest Mode is broken down into a series of objectives which typically involve finding certain items, transporting them to a specific location, and destroying your opponents. By carrying out these objectives and advancing through the story, players can unlock hidden characters and vehicles! In addition to the Quest Mode, players can compete in an Arcade Mode, where they can set the number of opponents and choose the arena to fight in, or Survival Mode, which challenges you to see how long you can last after wave upon wave of enemy vehicles are thrown at you four at a time.
Vigilante 8: 2nd Offense also features a two-player Versus Mode and Cooperative Mode. Versus Mode is a standard seek-and-destroy game using a split-screen view, while Cooperative Mode lets you to team up with a friend against a group of computer drivers. For those with even more friends, three additional multi-player modes are available: Brawl, Team and Smear. Brawl is essentially a free-for-all with up to four players going at it without any computer drivers to worry about. Team mode splits up the drivers into two groups, while Smear pits one vehicle against up to three others! ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide