Rally Fusion: Race of Champions
You have to admire any developer that attempts a rally game on the PlayStation 2. The console has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to this particular genre. Still that didn't daunt Climax who have bought us Rally Fusion: Race of Champions. So what does Rally Fusion offer us that other games haven't? Let's take a look and see what Rally Fusion can offer is this fiercely competitive genre.
Well we could be really idle and say that one word sums up what Rally Fusion has to offer, variation. The amount of events that you can take part in is absolutely fantastic. First of all we have the Race of Champions mode. Here you'll find the Race of Champions and the multiplayer variation that is known as the Nations Cup. These are knockout competitions. There are three classes for each one: a Class C, Class B, and Class A. The races are one against one and whoever wins the best of three races will progress. Then you have the Custom Championship which allows a single or multiplayer championship of either rally, rally cross or circuit racing. ROC Challenge mode is a game in itself and includes the following modes:
As you can see the amount of challenges is simply astounding. There is also an impressive list of trophies to be won, so all in all the game should keep you busy for a very long time to come. There is also a quick race option and many of the above modes can be raced, although some will need to be unlocked first.
Visually the game is impressive. Personally I wouldn't class it as good as Colin McRae Rally 3 but it's very good all the same. The races are held over a number of different environments. There's the Gran Canaria circuit, desert racing, Arctica (snow and ice), Inca (tropical and muddy), Oceana, Canyon Fire, Alpine Climb, Metro and Motordome, which is a stadium track. Some of the weather effects look particularly good. The Inca track particularly impressed with it's realistic mud effects and superb rain drops against the screen, which again looked very realistic. It also came as a surprise to see that your car has quite an extensive damage model and it is possible to completely wreck your car and have to retire from a race. Wheels, doors etc. all fly off when you don't look after your car.
There is nothing here to spoil the game for deaf gamers. Of course there is the usual co-driver speech, which is not subtitled, but as per usual the icon pace notes are displayed and the ones on offer whilst not the best we have seen are still good. What the deaf gamer misses out on though, is the way the co-driver goes crazy at you if you decide to throw safety to the wind. It is actually quite funny and it's a shame that deaf gamers will miss out on it.
Rally Fusion: Race of Champions is a worthy addition to the rally enthusiasts collection. Yes the handling is slightly arcadey but that means the handling is tight and doesn't have a steep learning curve to it that some of the simulation rally games have. If you're looking for a driving game that offers fun as well as depth and has a long term challenge you can't get much better than Rally Fusion.
Game Rating: 8.7/10