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Posted: Apr 11, 2004 @ 02:20 pm GMT-0600
Updated: Feb 16, 2023 @ 03:06 pm GMT-0600
Sorting Tags: Article Review, Article Software, Articles, TOCA Race Driver 2,

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Format: Playstation 2
Developer/Publisher: Codemasters
Widescreen: Yes
Online content: Yes
Surround sound: DPL2

Note that this is our short review, following full review of the Xbox version earlier in the year.

Despite launching as Xbox and PC only early this year, the Playstation 2 version was finally announced and released recently. Identical in most ways to the PC version, the game is essentially about you, a rookie driver progressing through various world championships.

There is the widest range of vehicles ever available in one game, from Formula ford to big rigs, to GT cars and of course some European Touring cars. Game progress is linear – fail a race and you have to re-play. Which is fine to be honest, there’s not much scope of storylines in racing games, so this is a good approach and works well.

The Graphics are fantastic for the machine in question. Racing a full pack, damage modelling on and with a glorious draw distance, it does run at the promised 60 fps no problem. Reflections and texture detail is not as good as Xbox but then it still out performs all other racing games (with perhaps the exception of Burnout 3). Damage modelling is particularly great and supporting by some fabulous crunching metal on metal sounds.

AI is the best available on the Playstation 2. Simple as that. I do feel the AI is fair but competitive, however it’s clear that in some races the AI is given extra horsepower to help the story fit the in-game action. Or maybe I’m paranoid.

Handling is initially pleasing, then frustrating and finally It becomes very rewarding. And that’s just the normal/game mode. The Simulator mode is comprehensive in it’s scope (for tracks/cars combination) and will keep any Playstation simmer (Turismo fans etc) more than happy. Delighted in fact.

The fact is that, in the UK at least, it would have been nice to have the BTCC cars involved. It’s the principal of the idea and the psychology. Of course the DTM cars handle reasonably similar, it’s just that you simply can’t feel like you’re trading paint with Thompson, Muller etc.

The online feature is the biggest asset. Simply put, the menus are all good and easily used, they work and do what you’d think they should. There are no big limitations that will annoy. You can host/join others and so on. But here’s the best bit – you simply plug in your b/band connection and after typing in your email and password, you have created an account and you’re ready to race. It’s that simple. Sadly with other games like B3, there’s allsorts of problems with firewalls and EA servers. Here, it was easy and I really look forward to the day I have more time to spend racing online with this one. Especially since GT4 is plagued with delays.

It’s nearly the same as Xbox version, and whilst you don’t have the graphics quite as good, you are wholly compensated with the ‘game-expanding’ full sim mode. It’s not exactly a revolution, more an evolution of a quality game which is the best of genre. If you don’t have an Xbox and you dislike PC gaming, treat yourself. If you’re after your first decent online PS2 game, this is it.

8/10

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