|Review by Jaz|
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Xbox Review – TOCA Race Driver 3
It’s been over a month now that the Xbox 360 has been on our shelves, along with some superb next-generation titles that have left the original Xbox somewhat in the shade. However, with their latest racing title, TOCA Race Driver 3, Codemasters have proved that there’s still life in the old dog yet!
Having spent so many hours enjoying my new Xbox 360 and the wonders of the next generation of gaming, I had semi-prepared myself not to be overly impressed by Race Driver 3 (RD3) – but boy was I wrong! RD3 grabs the Xbox by the scruff of the neck, wringing every last drop of power that is available, and directs it into what ultimately becomes pure driving bliss.
Lets get one thing clear - RD3 is a racing game made for ultimate racing fans. Almost every possible genre of motor sport that you could ever think of is included. From go-karts to rally cars – they’re all here, and each modelled to absolute perfection. One night you’ll be speeding around Silverstone in a Williams F1 car, the next evening you may decide to tear up a dirt track in a monster truck, and on the evenings you can relax with a bit of lawnmower racing! Whatever your mood, there is a car and a track to suit it, and because of this Codemasters deserves enormous credit.
Graphically the game IS an original Xbox title and so it is difficult to judge it when compared to the hi-def era - PGR3, for example. However, the graphics are crisp and detailed, and they do run along at a particularly impressive rate. The detail on the cars and track is faultless – sponsors and the like are placed exactly where you’d expect them to be. Codemasters haven’t held back on the authenticity of the racing series either – with many fully licensed teams and drivers included.
One of the major improvements that RD3 has over its prequel is the crash engine. Smashes and bumps in RD3 are superbly realistic; there are no hit-and-runs here. If you smash into the back of a rival, especially if you’re in the single-seater class, your race is more than likely over.
One of the key aspects of RD3’s lifespan is that of the multiplayer modes, namely split-screen, system link, and of course online via Xbox Live. Racing games are one of the most common multiplayer genres, and with its wealth of online options, RD3 will challenge with the very best to take up your gaming time.
RD3 is certainly one of the most technically impressive games that I have ever played on the Xbox. And even now, with the Xbox 360 sitting proudly under my television, I find it hard to put RD3 down. Sheer brilliance, and it really is a dream come true for racing fans – an essential purchase no less.
TOCA Race Driver 3 is available from retailers from the 24th February, priced around £35.