Bloodworth is driven insane by the monotony found in this mediocre racing game.
Well, although I was somewhat lenient on this game in my impressions, the more time I spent with this game, the more glaring flaws I began to notice.
The most frustrating and ridiculous thing I’ve discovered is that the cars run completely on rails – and very simple ones at that. It became very obvious when I began seeing the exact same wrecks in the exact same places on the track every time. It appears that the cars are all keep together in formation like a train. The lead car is always the lead car. All the other cars keep a predetermined distance away from him. Not only does it feel cheap and boring, but once you pull ahead, the lead car makes no effort to catch up with you.
However, you probably won’t have that problem without spending a considerable amount of time with the game. The controls are terribly unforgiving. You have to learn every turn like the back of your hand, braking and turning precisely. If you do it wrong, you’ll likely wind up running into the dirt or smashing into a wall while the CPU cars run along their train tracks and fly right by. The steering system can be learned with practice, and fans of more realistic racers might enjoy the challenge of learning the tracks for a brief time. Still, most players will likely give up in frustration.
There are other factors that lend to the frustration though. The physics are terrible. The easiest way I can describe the physics is to say that every other object on the road is an armored semi, and your vehicle is a tin can. There were many times when I barely hit a car from behind and was somehow launched thirty feet through the air. The traffic-filled streets of France are a nightmare. The time it takes to recover from a crash like this is devastating. Most races are only three laps long, and in advanced courses, you’re trying to pull to the lead from a distant 12th place. Any mistakes will generally force you to start all over from the beginning of the circuit.
Track selection is pretty slim. There is a total of eight tracks, but two of them are only available in story and versus mode. I actually enjoyed two of the tracks, Hexen Tal and Angel’s Bay. They seemed to be pretty well balanced for the cars and have a good sense of speed. Then there are two ovals; two races on blocked streets full of difficult turns, and two one-on-one races through traffic. The selection is limited, and by the time you’ve gone through all the different modes, you’ll have both mastered and gotten sick of pretty much every track.
The car selection is practically irrelevant because they are completely unbalanced. There is always a best car, and every new batch of cars you unlock makes all of the previous cars obsolete. It is absolutely ridiculous how closely this is tied in to the difficulty. I spent over six hours trying to beat the World Champs mode without success. I gave up and went back to Story Mode where I earned a car upon completion. When I took my new ride back over to the World Champs mode, I quickly finished on my second try. In other words, the reason that I couldn’t beat it was that I had the wrong car, and there is only one car in the game capable of making it through that mode.
I’m not going to spend any more time here to discuss the graphics or presentation. See the categories below. Before Burnout was released, I might have recommended it just as a rental to get your racing fix in, but now there’s absolutely no reason to play this game. I’m tired of it and I’ll probably have more fun watching it get slowly buried in the dust on my shelf.