Race 07 Official WTCC Game PC DVD
Published by: SIMBIN Studios
Developed by: SIMBIN Studios
Release Date: Out Now
Whilst console racing games often arrive on a tidal wave of hype, PC racing titles are often released with a whimper which is a shame as there are some really impressive racing titles on the PC. Some of the finest racing simulations of the last few years have appeared on the PC and have been developed by SIMBIN Studios who have given us the likes of GTR and GTR 2. Here we have their latest title, Race 07 or to give the game it's full title, Race 07 Official WTCC Game.
In terms of what the game offers Race 07 is certainly impressive. The modes on offer are Race Event, Championship, Additional Events and Multiplayer. Race Event allows you to create an event of your choice selecting from the available circuits and cars. Championship allows you to race in the 2007 WTCC FIA World Touring Car Championship (or the 2006 WTCC Championship) or you can create your own custom championship selecting the cars and circuits that you want. Additional Events allows you to drive in Time Attack mode or simply practice using the car and circuit of your choice. Multiplayer allows you to race over a LAN or the Internet. There is support for 24 opponents which can be a mix of players and AI opponents.
One of the most impressive aspects of Race 07 is the amount of variation you have with the cars on offer. There are over 300 cars in 9 different classes in the game. The cars on offer include the SEAT Toledo, Alfa Romeo 75, BMW M3, Caterham CSR 200, Mini Cooper S, Chevrolet Lacetti, Peugeot 407 and the Radical SR3 252bhp to name but a few. The circuits on offer include: Brands Hatch, Monza, Zandvoort, Macau and Estoril.
As you might expect from SIMBIN, the game is definitely more of a simulation than an arcade experience. Played with all the assists turned off and with the AI running at full strength (you can alter the effectiveness of the AI from 79% up to the full strength setting of 100%) the game is challenging enough for anyone. The game supports just about any control setup you can think of with support for steering wheels, gamepads (including the Xbox 360 controller), keyboard and you can even steer with the mouse if you really want to. To be fair the game controls rather well with whatever control setup you prefer but to get the most from the game, and to play the game well with the assists disabled, you're going to need a good steering wheel. With the assists enabled you essentially have a game that's quite novice friendly although the game still isn't as easy to get to grips with as an arcade racer. In fact with the assists enabled Race 07 could act as a bridge for someone who has mainly played arcade racers and now wants to experience a driving game with a lot more depth.
Graphically, Race 07 is a little disappointing. The lighting effects used in the game are rather weak and the textures used in the game, particularly on the racing environments and on the car interiors, don't look that great even when the game is running with the highest graphical settings enabled. The games' presentation on the whole is a little sterile and the menus, whilst clean and uncluttered are a little on the bland side. These deficiencies are compensated for by the excellent physics in the game. The cars actually look and feel realistic and the way they move around on the circuit is impressive. The car models are absolutely fine too. Naturally, the frame rate you achieve will depend upon your PC specification and the settings you run the game on. The game recommends a graphics card with 512MB RAM which definitely seems about right when running with higher graphical settings Our ATi X1950 Pro which has only 256MB RAM definitely suffered when the details were set too high. You can choose to allow the game to automatically alter your settings to achieve the best performance and this is a good feature to use if you don't fancy constantly tweaking the settings and testing them to see which ones work best for your system.
Deaf gamers won't have any real problems with Race 07. The communications you'll receive during a race aren't subtitled although you do have short text messages that appear at the top of the screen which inform you of anything important. All other information in the game is shown through the use of text or icons such as the flag icons that appear on the lower left of the screen. If you are using a controller that allows for force feedback you'll also appreciate the quality of it in the game which helps to give you an extra degree of immersion and realism.
Race 07 isn't SIMBIN Studios' finest racing title but there's more than enough here to justify the asking price. Maybe the graphics are a little tired and the presentation is a little bland but when it comes down to the heart of the matter it's a quality racing title that should please hardcore racing enthusiasts. Whilst the game can be tweaked to be more accessible for those who aren't so serious about their racing games, it's still quite a demanding racing title. As we mentioned earlier though, with the assists enabled, Race 07 is a great game for those who want to dip their toes into a realistic driving game and don't want to be hampered by the steep learning curve that’s usually associated with hardcore simulations. Essentially then, as long as you're not looking for an arcade racing experience and can live with the graphics being a little below par, you'll love what Race 07 has to offer.
Race 07 probably won't be remembered as SIMBIN Studios' finest racing title but it's still a very good racing game that manages to please those looking for a quality simulation and, with the assists enabled, those looking to step up from playing an arcade racing game.