Hello people, your friendly neighbourhood Scotsperson is here with this week’s proper review….Don’t look at me like that! I know it’s a day late, but Job Interviews come first, and it cut up my writing time, so it’s here, and I will be updating tomorrow…Rappy makes me look lazy enough as it is >.>
I wanted to play something this week…that I would enjoy, that had that challenge factor. Something that was like Dead or Alive 4, just without the constant Fanservice. That’s when it hit me; I’m donning my helmet and racing leathers, as I play Project Gotham Racing 4
Now, this has been around for a couple of years, but it’s still a top-notch racing game, one that was doing the Professional Gaming Tournament Circuit, last I checked, so the quality is there, but is it an accessible game for newbies to the genre. Thankfully, there’s no story, as one would expect in a racing game, you’re just given vehicles, tracks, and opponents and are told to race and do fancy tricks for Kudos, the world’s money for vehicles, tracks and funny little outfits.
Racing games will always have the most beautiful graphics of their time, as they have very little to work on, but it is done well. Project Gotham Racing 4 is a small Gourmet Sirloin Steak, while other games ((Say for example…Oblivion)) is an all you can eat buffet on chips without any salt, vinegar, pepper or sauce ((That’s fries to you picky American people with your different words…)) The gars take realistic damage, the sun glints off the bodywork just right, and the settings are scarcely different from their real world counterparts. Makes the game so much more appealing
The vehicle choice is staggering, with six grades of cars and bikes ranging from F (Lowest) to A (Highest) with five attribute going from one to ten – them being Acceleration, Grip, Drift, Handling and Top Speed. It allows for some big strategy, which is also bolstered by the differences in the bikes and cars. As a generality, a car has higher top speeds, but less acceleration and turning, while a bike has lower top speeds, but better turning and acceleration. It forces you to switch vehicles, like using a car for a course with a lot of straights in it, or a bike for the twisty ones.
There’s various difficulty settings so that opens up the access to a lot of people, with easy for the people who are terrible, to just plain impossible for the cocky chipmunk assholes who garble leet-speak down the microphones on the Xbox Headsets…yeah, I don’t play PGR4 online anymore…although could be worse…could be Halo 3 online…or Shadowrun…or GTA4…why do I have a Xbox Live account again? Ah yes…for my Online Indulgence that shall be reviewed in the coming weeks…let’s move on.
The various tracks are a refreshing mix. Instead of official race tracks, or made-up cityville, USA – we have a mixture of legendary race tracks, such as the Nürburgring and tracks made based on Real Locations such as London, New York, St. Petersburg and more. They’ve been re-created well, and you can see several key landmarks of the cities in the game. There’s also a downloadable add-on to the gameplay that allows you to drive around freely. I haven’t gotten that yet, but it sounds interesting, but could be rather limited.
The gameplay? It’s a racing game, gameplay boils down to “Go faster than the others” however, it needs to be done well, and the various vehicles help do so. You need to unlock not only the vehicles, but additional tracks as well by purchasing them with Kudos. As mentioned earlier, it’s basically money. You earn it not only by winning races and tournaments, but also by being a showing-off idiot…erm, I mean, doing all sorts of tricks, stunts and kick-ass driving! Totally…This is esier to do on the bikes, as you get points for drifting, wheelies and stoppies, as well as moving up the placing in the race, as well as taking corners well. It’s a good system to reward skilful driving.
The controls are what you expect – one button to go, one to stop, and one to do really sharp turns. It’s nothing ground-breaking, but it’s a system that works. I have to say I quite like the soundtrack, albeit a little limited. There were two songs out of the 30-odd they let you have when you race I really enjoyes, them being Disturbed’s Stricken and Flight of the Valkyries, however they aren’t terrible. I ended up just playing music off my 360’s hard drive when racing. Lot more variety that way.
What else can I say? All it is is you go faster than the opponents – it’s so simple, but thanks to the various vehicles, adds a refreshing amount of strategy. It’s not intuitive, it’s not new, it’s not ground-breaking. All it is is a rather good game, although not one meant to be played all day.
Tune in tomorrow for a special update!