Toca Race Driver Reviewed Stuntman Reviewed On PS2 @ www.contactmusic.com
Toca Race Driver Reviewed On PS2

This time round Codemasters have thrown in a story element to the game. You are Ryan Mckane and you have a point to prove to your older brother Donnie McKane and the people involved in the motor racing circuit. The reason being is that Ryan's father was the best when it came to motor racing until he crashed in front of his two sons.

The game will start when you are offered a drive with one of the British TOCA teams. You will then have to pass a time trial test to show that you have what it takes on the racetrack. At this point you will get experience of the handling; one of the first things you will notice is the sensitivity of the steering. At first it feels a bit awkward but after a few laps you soon get the hang of the cars handling and controls. If you leave the track it will be your fault, there is technically nothing wrong in this department. One very good feature is the analogue accelerator and brakes option. This makes for very controlled driving when you're used to the system. Should you hit a sand pit or go of on to the grass the car will not react very well and you are almost sure to hit the barriers around the track. If all goes well the racing team will accept you and your career will progress from here.

The first race will be a bit of an experience, think Destruction Derby and Gran Turismo, this is how I can best describe the action in TOCA Race Driver. Fast, frantic with loads of car wrecking action. The damage system works well during normal racing conditions, but if you hit a wall or an on coming car at a serious speed the damage doesn't seem to be appropriate as you will probably just loose the front bumper and a side panel. With 14 cars on the track at once you will always be in the middle of the action and with good A.I your rivals will give as good as they get when it comes to spinning opponents of the track. This isn't something that happens occasionally either, it's guaranteed, your rival will try to hunt you down and smash straight in to your car, which will generally result in you temporarily leaving the track. Another A.I related feature I like is you very rarely get a car speeding off in to the distance, other drivers do make mistakes, even the front runners, this makes the game very realistic, imagine travelling down a long curved straight then all of a sudden the track is blocked by six crashed cars. When this occurs it's great, it adds another dimension to the already great game play.

One thing that most people will notice is that TOCA Race Driver is just a bit too easy; it is possible to win every championship first time. Even with the massive amount of tracks and races TOCA Race Driver doesn't take very long to finish. A real shame, as you want the game to give you more.With all this action going on the replay offers quality comedy value. One thing I don't like about the "look" of the replay is the cars. When a car turns in the replay the front wheels give the impression that the car should be travelling straight as it is very difficult to see the angle of the front wheels changing. Put in this way the cars in the replay don't look anywhere near are good as those in Gran Turismo, even though TOCA Race Driver has the advantage of the damage engine.

Toca Race Driver Reviewed On PS2 @ www.contactmusic.com
Toca Race Driver Reviewed On PS2 @ www.contactmusic.com
Toca Race Driver Reviewed On PS2 @ www.contactmusic.com
Toca Race Driver Reviewed On PS2 @ www.contactmusic.com
Toca Race Driver Reviewed On PS2 @ www.contactmusic.com

The games presentation is very good, all the offers from new racing teams will come to your office via email, here you can accept or decline whichever job offers you like. All the rest of the games options will appear as objects or people in your office. As you progress through the game you will start to unlock tracks from different championships, there are a load of racetracks in TOCA Race Driver, this is one of the excellent features of the game. All the tracks on offer here are mostly famous ones from around Europe and America. You will accumulate a number of points in each championship, for example British TOCA championship, Alfa GTV Championship etc.

After you have done the business and built up enough points over the different championships you will be able to move on to the next tier of racing. This is where the speed and stakes are increased. You won't be racing poxy 2.0 litre Vauxhall Astra's but bit chunky Mercs and Audi's in the German DTM championship.

You will also be able to enter one day events; these are one race affairs in which every driver has exactly the same car with the same specifications. I think the first one is a Mini Cooper race, with just features two cars, yours and the guy who has challenged you. From then on you will be able to enter a TVR Tuscan and a K&N Air Filters Ford Focus one day event to name a few. If you successfully complete these challenges you will be able to keep the car for use in the Free Mode.

The graphics in TOCA Race Driver are not the best you will have seen, but the most important thing is that the game play is not affected in the slightest. TOCA Race Driver does suffer from some shameful pop up on the scenery and the car models can look a little rough at times. The reason for these graphical shortcomings has to be the result of the sheer number of things that can happen on the screen at any one time. Firstly there are 14 cars per race and secondly if the car at the front of the pack crashes on the first corner everything happens without a glitch, even with 14 cars smashing into each other on the screen at the same time. During races the frame rate runs very smoothly and fast, not once have I experienced any slow down.

So the graphics aren't the best in the world and there are some pop-up problems but the game runs brilliantly every time….Who needs fantastic graphics?

This brings me nicely on to the sound in TOCA Race Drive. In a word the engine and car sound effects are brilliant. Each and every car sounds unique and just like in real life. The Mercs have that great throaty V8 growl while the Mini sounds like a vacuum cleaner. GREAT! Oh there is also a great sound track too but you won't need it.

TOCA Race Driver is a very worthy purchase for one simple reason, playability.

This is some of the most realistic racing action you will get on any console, never mind the PS2. Some will argue about the graphics but nothing can take away the greatness of this game.

8.5 out of 10

Read More On Toca Race Driver

 

Contactmusic