Developed by Brain in a Jar
Platform: PlayStation 2
Released - Out Now
Price : £39.99
been a long time since we had a decent Indycar racing simulation.
Perhaps the last one of note was Indycar Racing 2 on the PC, which
was a very impressive title at the time and for me it even eclipsed
Grand Prix 2. Of course that was a long time ago and there are many
gamers here in the UK who will not have played an Indycar simulation.
To those bought up on Formula 1, Indycar racing can seem a little
strange. The biggest difference is the nature of most of the circuits,
as most are an oval (or at least an oval of sorts). At first glimpse
it seems like the races will be easier but you have to balance the
simplicity of most of the tracks against the increased speed and
the difficulty of overtaking at such speeds. Thanks to Codemasters
we can once again experience the delights of these high speed, and
mostly oval, races. This review looks at the PlayStation 2 version
of Indycar Series.
fair to say that right from the beginning it's very obvious that
this is a game aimed squarely at Indycar fans and those interested
in Indycar racing. I'm not claiming this is a problem though and
it's refreshing to see a racing simulation that doesn't water the
experience down to pander to the arcade racers. There are 3 set
levels of difficulty though so if you don't want your car to take
damage, it's possible to race on the easy difficulty setting and
you'll have all the driving assists available to you. Choosing the
pro difficulty level will throw you in at the deep end. Your tyres
will wear, there is a full damage model, fuel is realistically consumed
and you have no assists avaliable to you.
are a variety of gameplay modes open to you in Indycar Series. You
can take part in a quickrace, compete in the Indianapolis 500 or
take part in a whole Indycar series. Competing in the Indycar series,
and acheiving certain career goals, will allow you to unlock certain
bonuses and extra game features.
handling of the cars is always a top concern in simulation such
as this and Indycar Series does not disappoint. The control feels
just right without feeling too lose or too tight like it can often
do in a console racer. It's pleasing to see the tutorials encourage
you to use the manual gears and thankfully it is easy to change
your gears as they are mapped to the R1 and R2 buttons. On the subject
of tutorials they have to be the best I've seen in a racing game.
Being used to mainly Formula 1 racers, I appreciated these tutorials
as they highlighted the difference between driving in an Indycar
race and actually helped me improve my driving in the game.
Series won't set any benchmarks for the quality of it's graphics
but they do look good and crucially for this kind of game the framerate
is excellent and even when all the cars are bunched up there is
no degradation of the framerate. There are some nice touches in
there though. You get animated pit-crews and if you look carefully
you'll see a heat wave coming off the track from time to time. The
cars look OK and I was pleased that a cockpit view had been included,
which is always a sign that the developers are aiming for a simulation.
very impressive to see that subtitles can be enabled for the tutorials,
or masterclasses as they are called here. What makes this an extra
valuable addition is the fact that the masterclasses have been very
well done and provide valuable information that will help you aclimatise
to the world of Indycar racing. What's not shown in text though
is the pit-radio communication you receive whilst you're racing.
All the race/circuit introductions are subtitled though which is
great to see. These communications are actually very useful and
informative but that's not to say that the experience suffers too
much with them. The HUD does a good job of visually showing you
what part of the car has been damaged as well as other important
information. All the information you need to help you read the HUD
can be found on page 4 & 5 of the manual.
doesn't take a genius to realise that Indycar Series will have more
appeal in the US than here in the UK but racing simulation fans
shouldn't let this one pass you by. Yes the circuits are ovals,
or a kind of oval in some cases, but this is a polished and accomplished
racer that in all honesty matches any racing title out there on
the PlayStation 2. I do indeed hope this is the first of a new Indycar
Game Rating: 8.5/10
the nature of the circuits, this is a very good racing simulation
that should be experienced.
Subtitles can be enabled and this provides access to the tutorials/masterclasses.