CART Precision Racing
Microsoft's World Domination campaign continues, with a further inroad into the wonderful world of games, the one area where they've as yet had mixed success. First though, there's a dirty trick to negotiate. During the installation procedure, the set-up attempts to lure you into installing Microsoft Internet Explorer on the vague promise of providing access to an on-line racing school, or some such nonsense. Readers of our Man Who Knows column will be aware that Microsoft are currently embroiled in an extremely expensive court case, accused of monopolisation of the browser market. Yet here you are, an inadvertent mousedick away from having their software forced upon you. Which is a bit naughty, wouldn't you agree?
Just say no
After refusing their offer on general principle, the game kicks in and reveals itself to be an in-depth simulation of IndyCar Racing, a sport familiar only to Americans and seasoned observers of the late-night ITV schedule. Based on the 1997 season, the official CART tracks have apparently been modelled from source data and are accurate to within 10cm. Furthermore, they include visual landmarks such as trees, billboards and buildings that are true to the real-life tracks, although it has to be said that one interminable oval looks much the same as any other.
After just a couple of laps though, it soon becomes apparent that this is no laugh-a-minute buggy race, and anyone with a penchant for power-ups and novelty weapons would be advised to seek their driving thrills elsewhere. CART Precision Racing is a no-holds barred simulation with little concession given to the fact that sitting in front of a monitor is an entirely different experience to grappling with the wheel of a high-speed vehicle. Designed and tested by real drivers and race engineers, the vehicle models are so realistic that it's not long before you're bored. The controls may feel extremely rigid, but the slightest oversteer causes the car to career off the track or embark on an infuriating spin, followed by the traditional outburst of foul and abusive language.
In the days before technology went mad, games used to be fun. With a simulation of this ilk, the best you can probably hope for is to achieve a vague sense of satisfaction at getting to grips with it. But when it comes to analysing your performance using Pi Research telemetry software, you have to question whether this is actually a game or some kind of interactive multimedia hybrid.
For those with the time and patience to master it, CART Precision Racing offers pretty much everything. Entire seasons can be raced, including the Friday and Saturday qualifying sessions, although anyone who perseveres with 300 practice laps can only be one step away from needing psychiatric help.
Despite the anal attention to detail, in common with many racing games, the other drivers show a distinct lack of intelligence, rarely deviating from the racing line and taking little or no evasive action, even when sharing the track with someone who's clearly drunk. And that's something that can't be simulated.
Processor: PC compatible,
OS: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game Features:Single game mode