When Acclaim announced that the Xbox version of Burnout 2 would be Live enabled, it seemed like Winter had ended there and then. The prospect of taking our devil-may-care driving skills into the online arena seemed likely to provide one of the console's killer apps.
Sadly, for all its 'Live' status, the online element extends to no more than a high score table and 60 online 'Leaderboards' for gamers to compare individual stats for each track. Damn and, indeed, blast. Ho hum. Looks like we'll have to wait for version three for those kinds of shenanigans.
But Xbox owners will have the bragging rights over their PS2 mates in all manner of technical areas: cars will feature double the detail of the already sumptuous original, real time cubic environment mapping, 5.1 audio, HDTV support for NTSC version, custom soundtrack option, an extra four decal sets for Custom Series cars and an extra 15 Crash mode junctions.
Let's hope the Xbox's split screen multiplayer mode does the game slightly more justice than the neutered PS2 version. The game is currently scheduled for a May launch on Xbox and GameCube, but Acclaim has yet to announce what extras the latter version sports.