Paris in the Springtime

Microsoft has released their first downloadable content for Project Gotham Racing 2, including a bunch of cars I’ll never be able to afford and a whole new city: Paris.

paris comparison

Paris Comparison (click to enlarge)

I don’t particularly care about the new cars – Gotham already has more than enough cars to hold my interest – but I’ve been eager to drive down the Champs-Elysees since I got the game. The developers did a great job of bringing the city to life. Although bereft of pedestrians and slightly greyer in tone than I expected, the feeling is overall that of the final day of the Tour de France. The textures on the road are good, and the tracks are challenging (and mostly short) – there’s quite a few tricky chicanes and odd- angled corners here. You’ll be firmly in center “Tourist Paris” here, from the Arc de Triomphe to the Tour Eiffel – no left bank cafes for you, young artist. And in one slightly sad twist to the tale, you can only drive a sunny, daytime Paris; there is no night time in the City of Lights. While this makes sense from an actuarial standpoint – this download content is mostly for online play, after all, and I can count the number of night time or rain races I’ve played online on one hand – it is disappointing on an emotional level. Despite that drawback, this download was well worth the $4.99 Microsoft charged.

The next release is rumoured to be Los Angeles, more specifically Long Beach. I’ll be buying that one, too.