World Racing


Review by Christopher Coleman



Graphics: 5

Sound: 7

Gameplay: 7

Overall: 7


World Racing is a game typical of the racing genre - if you've seen Gran Turismo, you're on the right track. What serves to differentiate this game is it's licensing of Mercedes Benz cars. There's a vast range of them playable from the beginning, from hatchbacks to station wagons to performance sedans and more.

What really sets this game apart from the majority of PS2 racers, though, is that the environments are fully open. Sure, individual tracks are delineated for events, but if you drive off the side of the road, you don't bounce off an invisible barrier - it makes for a far more realistic experience, even if it occasionally can be detriment if you're not paying attention to the HUD map or the arrow signs around the course.

The backgrounds and general scenery design are interesting, dynamic and well implemented without being overly distracting. There's minimal pop up and, remarkably, the courses have persistence as well. Lay skidmarks on a section of road and, when you come around again on a second lap, they'll still be there. At one point, I crashed into a car parked on the side of the street, and it was knocked into the track - when I came around again, the car was still in the same place. Whether or not this adds all that much to the racing is arguable, but it certainly impressed me.

Another nice feature of World Racing is the way it tracks your driving abilities. If you perform such heinous acts as cutting corners or crashing into barriers, a percentage bar builds, a percentage bar rates your performance. This adds longevity in that you can always try to make that perfect run on a favorite track - of course, this is the same kind of longevity that any racing game can have. Still, this kind of system is a relatively new feature in the last generation or two of consoles, and is appreciated.

Graphics, sound, whatever! How does it play? Surprisingly well. The cars you drive handle quite acurratelty at default settings, but if you're not happy with that, there's a slider control for adjusting handling between "arcade" and "simulation." It doesn't suffer from the problem that annoys me about older racers - realistic or not, I don't want steering around corners to be disabled unless you brake heavily. Unfortunately, the AI players in single player races are a tad robotic - you can watch them all follow a perfect racing line from the rear position - amusing, but not entertaining in the long term. Passing at corners is your best bet for success. Perhaps playing with the difficulty settings will alter their behaviour to suit your needs.

The two-player split screen mode works well - no detectable loss of detail or speed. It's possible to pick single races or compete against each other in a series. Performance of both players is also rated as in the single player game.

World Racing, realistically, isn't head of the pack of PlayStation racers, but there certainly isn't that much wrong with it either. If you're a Mercedes-Benz fan, or you see this title cheap, then I highly recommend picking it up. If it's full retail,. I'm thinking Gran Turismo 4 might be the ticket instead.

One last point - whoever at the Ministry of Sound picked the often bizarre and usually crap eurodance for this game needs a swift kick in the Balearics!


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Last updated: Saturday, July 02, 2005 09:04 AM