Three Fields Entertainment is already back with its third game after launching Dangerous Golf and Danger Zone last year. This time it’s Danger Zone 2, which takes the score-chasing car-crashing puzzle action of the first game and mixes it up with better environments and different kinds of vehicles and challenges.
As with the first Danger Zone, the sequel is a spiritual successor to the crash mode in the Burnout games from Electronic Arts and developer Criterion — Three Fields comprises some former Criterion team members. Burnout 3: Takedown in 2004 had a mode where players drive a car into traffic to to cause as much damage as possible. You’d play against friends, and while it looked like mayhem, analyzing tracks for the best route was a major part of maximizing your score. Danger Zone 2 captures that feeling, and I’m having a great time with it.
I enjoyed the first Danger Zone, but it turned off others because it didn’t have a lot of variety and looked to sterile. Every level in the original was in a VR-style digital laboratory. Many fans wanted to take the destruction into a more real-world setting. Danger Zone 2 answers that request. It also has a lot more variety in what you’re driving and what the stages are asking from you.
In one level, you may drive a sedan that can drive most vehicles off the road but will crash if it goes up against something to heavy. In another stage, you may get a big rig that is slow but can knock everything off the road. These different vehicles keep things fresh, but so do the run-up objectives. In each Danger Zone 2 stage, players don’t have to just cause damage any more. Instead, you have a chance to score crucial bonus points by completing “run-up objectives.” These are quests that you perform on the drive into the “danger zone” where all that matters is causing as many crashes as possible while picking up important bonus-point medals.
In the run-ups, you may have to take out a certain number of cars or perform a boost chain. A good example of this is a run-up that wanted me to take out eight taxi cabs before getting to the danger zone. To accomplish this, I had to figure out the best route and which cars to knock into the taxi cabs. As long as you smash a car in the back, they will crash, and you will continue. That feels great, but Three Fields made it even cooler by introducing directional crashes. On an Xbox One controller, if you hold the X button, cars that you crash will fly off to the left. If you hold the B button, they will veer wildly off to the right. This adds a lot more strategy and control over the mayhem, and I love the way it feels.
So to take out those taxi cabs, I had to push cars in certain directions using X and B. I eventually got this run-up down to something of a choreographed dance. And I got to cap it all off with a massive pileup at the end.
Not all of the run-ups are great. Some are too long, which makes restarting them a pain . But I’ve found that, overall, they accomplish what Three Fields set out to do with Danger Zone 2, which is provide a lot more variance to the action while also introducing deeper mechanics.