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In Smuggler’s Run you’re an official member of the Forgotten, a gang of international smugglers. Your main objective is to transport contraband from one location and make a speedy drop at another without getting caught. Your journey takes place across the Mexican and Canadian borders. This task is no cake walk. Dozens of vigilant border patrol police, CIA, and even the miliatry will be in hot pursuit. While players race through gritty terrain they must stay several steps ahead of the authorities to stay in the game. This is not your typical racing game. Smuggler’s Run is a ground-breaking PS2 game that sets the bar high for others to follow.
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Players can selet a Dune Buggy, Rally, or Military vehicle to smuggle illegal drugs in. There are 33 daring levels in this game. In single player mode referred to as Mission players start out as a rookie smuggler who has to earn their stripes. You’re given various missions to accomplish while battling border patrol, rival gangs, and the worst enemy of all time. Manuever around the harsh terrain using the analog D-pad. There are arrows at the top of the screen guiding you in the right direction. Collect, drop, and bank additional cash while boosting your rank. Each mission is complex enough to be challenging.
Smuggler’s Run has five additional game options you can choose. The Turf War mode allows players to battle rival gangs in a fierce competition to see who can loot the most without getting it snatched by a competing gang. Crooks N Smugglers plays somewhat like Turf War but it’s a limited amount of loot to grab. You must race to snag the five pieces of gold scattered around to win. Loot Grab pairs two teams in a face off. You have to be the first to collect 18 bundles of loot back to your hide out for a victory. When you just feel like racing than the Checkpoint Race mode is there for you. It’s a simple point A to point B race with a few extra challenges thrown in. One of my personal favorite game mode in Smuggler’s Run is Joy Ride. In true Rockstar tradition players can run over innocent bystanders and explore every inch of terrain in this mode. It’s also a great way to familiarize yourself with the maps. Overall the gameplay is awesome. Smuggler’s Run is one of the few games that you can play over and over again. It never gets old.
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Graphics & Sound
The incredible attention to detail gives a sense of authenticity that few racing games possess. Road-kill, bumps in the road, falling pieces from your vehicle during impact, and fences that you can plow over add to imagery. Smuggler’s Run is visually impressive. Realistic environments change from barren deserts to snowy mountain tops. There are beautifully landscaped hills, lakes, and rivers you can drive through. The animated livestock and tourists that players can run over are cool too. The background music is a diverse mixture of techno and pseudo-lounge. The pulsating tunes set the mood for smuggling. The sound effects are amusing. Throughout the game you hear a sexy female voice cheering you on. Pedestrians scream at you as you zip by. Gang members and cops throw in their two cents as well. The police sirens re-create a nice lifelike chase scenario effect also.
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Smuggler’s Run is an entertaining and addictive game. One of the most original PS2 games in the racing genre. It adds humor with vehicular mayhem to produce an incredibly fun game. The single player mode is challenging without being too complex. The multiplayer mode has plenty of variety to keep players from getting bored. The graphics are mind-blowing. The techno soundtrack rocks. Smuggler’s Run is a personal favorite and a must-have classic for any racing fan’s collection.