McRae Rally 3
Developed by Codemasters
Released: Out Now
the already excellent RalliSport Challenge available for the XBOX,
Colin McRae Rally 3 was always going to have to be very impressive
indeed. Thankfully it is very impressive but although they both
are rally games they are entirely separate kinds of game. RalliSport
Challenge offers the gamer four distinct modes of racing fun whereas
Colin McRae Rally 3 is a wonderful recreation of rally season with
no time for alternate modes. For gamers who want a realistic rally
simulation for your XBOX, this game is for you.
when we are describing the contents of a new game, particularly
a sequel, there is usually a whole list of features to mention.
With Colin McRae 3 however, the whole thing has been streamlined.
There is no arcade mode, in which you raced wheel-to-wheel against
other AI opposition, which is a shame, this time around. The only
modes you can select are Stages, which lets you either, take part
in a time trial single player or two player race (which can be played
as a split screen or alternate mode) on a stage and country of your
choice (although initially you'll only have access to the first
stage of each country) and Championship. The heart of the game is
undoubtedly the Championship mode.
mode puts you in the shoes of Colin himself, no, literally it does
because you can't choose to set yourself up as an individual. For
those who have played previous CM Rally titles you'll notice some
key differences here too. First of all the whole proceedings have
been given a more professional edge. It won't be game over if you
fail to make the top places after a few rallies. You don't get the
chance to decide what repairs are made to your vehicles when you
come to service stages in a rally. Some gamers may be upset by this
but I suppose in real life Colin is a driver not the works mechanic.
You still get to set the car up as you like though but be warned
if you decide to tinker, the effects of wrongly setting the car
up, something I have been known to do, are more pronounced than
in virtually any other rally game I've played. Each rally you participate
in has six stages and a super special stage in which you go head
to head with another driver. This super special stage offers a great
way to finish off a rally and it is good to be able to race wheel-to-wheel
as opposed to point-to-point for a change.
course, the visuals were always going to be a significant leap from
the last CM Rally game and they do not disappoint. The textures
and detail in the cars and environments (and environmental effects
too such as rain) are fantastic and actually seem a fraction more
impressive than those in the PlayStation 2 version. The damage model
is also impressive. It looks very impressive indeed when parts of
your car fly off as a result of a bang, it doesn't give you much
confidence but looks great. The framerate is excellent too and there
doesn't appear to be any slowdown at all. Unlike the PlayStation
2 version of CM Rally 3 there is no pop-up in the normal stages.
In the super special stages however the pop-up is still there, it's
not a problem though.
course you can probably guess that the co-drivers comments are not
subtitled. The visual pace notes are colour coded though to highlight
the severity of the turns which is very useful. A white background
indicates a fairly safe turn whilst a red background indicates a
right pig of turn. All other information is shown visually though
and the game is absolutely fine for deaf gamers.
you own both the PlayStation and XBOX then you'll have to decide
which one to opt for. Personally I think the XBOX version just has
the edge in terms of slightly better textures and zero pop-up in
the normal stages. Both modes have a widescreen option too. Of course
a lot of people who own both will probably make there choice depending
on what controller they prefer. I reviewed the XBOX version using
a Controller S and for me it was better that the Dualshock 2 because
I prefer the triggers for accelerating and breaking and the Controller
S has the traditional layout of the primary buttons. If you only
have the original XBOX controller though you may opt for the PlayStation
2 version. In all honesty, there is not much to choose between the
two and both are excellent.
McRae Rally 3 sees the series become a serious simulation and yet
it still retains it's excellent gameplay. Some people might be upset
at the withdrawal of the arcade mode and the ability to decide what
parts of the car are repaired etc. but at the end of the day Colin
McRae Rally 3 sees the series becoming more realistic and these
features shouldn't really feature in such a game.
Game Rating: 9.4/10 Colin
McRae Rally 3 is the state of the art for the console rally driving
No problems for deaf gamers.