I’m still not ready to give my full review, because I’m still evaluating the game.
That being said, I have spent the past 2 hours saying “well, just one more race,” and my heart is pumping in a way that it hasn’t been since the San Francisco tracks of the original Project Gotham Racing. So I would be remiss if the last thing I left you with for the weekend was my cryptic “Hmmmmmmm” from yesterday.
Visually, the game is unrivalled. Even though it obviously borrows a lot from Gotham 2 in terms of the game engine, it looks better. A lot better. The palette is richer than in PGR2, which was a game that was unremittingly swathed in the dark gray concrete of street racing. Good use is made of different times of day and sunlight and shadow. The cars are lovingly modeled, although they can look a little plasticky, at times.
Part of why I’m liking the game more than GT4, so far, has nothing to do with the game itself, but with the controllers. The Xbox controllers are a joy to use in driving games. The buttons on the PS2 controllers, while technically “analog” have so little feel that they might as well be digital. The Xbox has long triggers with deep throws, that are perfect for feathering through sharp corners. I’m convinced that the Controller S is the best possible hand-held controller for driving games.
The music sucks. But fortunately, it supports soundtracks, so I can drive to Los Straitjackets or Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet, instead.
But at this point, I think I’m on the verge of saying too much when I haven’t played enough to be sure that I’m accurate. Rest assured, I’ll be spending the weekend driving and writing, to give you the full scoop next week.
I just won a Lancer Evolution VIII from a hill climb race, and it’s time to take it for a spin.