Game On

Toca Race Driver

I’d been anticipating this game for some time, and although I’d been deterred by playing a very poor early version a few months ago I picked it up last Friday when it was released.

So far I have to say I’m pretty disappointed.

For a start, what can be more demotivating than to play a character who is a total asshole. He doesn’t just “have issues” – the behaviour of the lead character in the cut scenes just makes you want to hit the eject button, not take control of his destiny as a race driver.

Because of this I’ve been ignoring the “story line” pretty much – the characters are so one dimensional that it would be hard to achieve the same effect in a comic book. Add to this some suspect voice acting and it’s just a wonder why they bothered with this instead of concentrating on making a decent racing game.

It’s not as revolutionary as they might think it is and other than the clever front end, the cut scenes are nothing more than a distraction.

I cannot understand how developers fail time and time again to grasp what makes a decent racing game. Lovely graphics in GT3 were all very well, but it had the most awful AI for a full price game. At the other end of the scale there’s Rumble Racing – with AI that will fight you tooth and nail, but graphics that are PS1 and a half graphics rather than next gen, plus it has all the other arcadey pick-ups that aren’t much to do with racing.

Why is it so darn difficult to produce a game with decent graphics, decent AI and none of the trappings of arcade style pick ups and gimicks?

What is wrong with producing a serious race game, with all of the good things and none of the bollocks that seems to get thrown in by misguided designers who seem to think that because the human player is behind on lap one, his car should be able to go ten miles an hour faster down the straight than it would under normal conditions?

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