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Downhill Domination includes a very different style of gameplay that differs from standard bike racing games by having the character riding downhill almost exclusively, due to the incline of the tracks.
There are three options available at the main menu, single player, multiplayer and a options menu that allows players to modify gameplay elements such as difficulty and view unlocked items achieved during gameplay.
Initially, the player disposes of six fictional racers displayed at the top of a mountain once single player mode is selected from the main menu of the game, by pressing the select button over a unlocked racer additional info of the racer will be displayed and by pressing the select button over a locked character which is represented by a statue, valuable info on how to unlock the same will be displayed such as a specific career to finish. In addition to two other fictional racers, players can also unlock professional biking racers like Eric Carter and Tara Llanes when specific tournaments are finished during gameplay.
Combat is also integrated into the game, in which the player can use two buttons to attack other racers, one for a left attack, and the other for the right. These attacks can be upgraded to more powerful attacks by performing tricks, taking out opponents, or collecting power-ups (known in-game as "pickups"). A bike shop with several unlockable items to purchase is available but is only accessible in one player mode. Up to four players can play the game, but when playing with more than two, the available tracks and modes are limited.
Downhill Domination received good reviews from rating sites holding a 79 aggregate scores out of 100 on Metacritic, based on forty critic reviews, a 79.24% aggregate scores on GameRankings, based on fifty-seven reviews, and 8.0 aggregate scores on IGN.
Metacritic's Play Magazine gave it a satisfying 91 score praising "Take everything you could possibly desire from a manic downhill assault and amplify it by 10." while Armchair Empire gave it a 88 score, criticizing about the games audio stating that " DD's biggest failing is the audio. There are four different types of musical sets you can listen to while racing. They’re all lame and performed by bands that are not known very well. ", being the biggest complaint stated by NTSC-uk who gave it a score of 40 saying "A game that in spite its solid design and adherence to the extreme sports game blueprint, just seems a bit too formulaic. What’s missing is that intangible ingredient, which keeps the player coming back for more...".
- "Downhill Domination PlayStation 2 review". Metacritic. Retrieved September 27, 2015.
- "Downhill Domination PlayStation 2 review". GameRankings. Retrieved September 27, 2015.
- "Downhill Domination PlayStation 2". IGN. Retrieved September 27, 2015.
- Magazine, Play (August 2003). "Downhill Domination PlayStation 2". Metacritic. Retrieved September 27, 2015.