Colin Mcrae Rally 2.0
The original Colin McRae Rally stormed to number one in 27 different countries, sold more than one and a quarter million copies in Europe alone, and won more than 50 international awards. To this day it remains the rally game for the PC. Let's face it, there's only one way this game was ever going to be ousted, and that was by its sequel.
Colin McRae Rally 2.0 is currently being fine-tuned by a team of 40 pampered programmers (most of whom worked on the original game) at Codemasters' luxurious Warwickshire hideaway. Disregarding the standard bolt-on extras so worryingly prevalent in sequels these days, Codemasters has opted instead to strip down the original engine, build a brand new all singing, alldancing, slap you around the face, state-of-the-art 3D engine, and go from there. And what a good choice it appears to be.
Drive Me Crazy
The new combined physics and damage engine not only allows spoilers to crack, rear bumpers to drag along the ground and windscreens to shatter, but it also incorporates damage into the way the car handles. So, if your tactics in the first game were based upon lOO mph pinball through the trees, you may as well get out of the car now, because the realism in CMR2 is going to kill you.
The new camera angles are pretty deadly too. Along with a host of television views and replays, one of the more thrilling ways to enjoy the game will be through the in-car driver headcam, which, with its constant jogging, simulates the neck-jarring punishment a real rally driver foolishly endures.
Other aesthetic wizardry in the game-engine department includes massively improved car textures with light-sourced reflections (just look at the screenshots!), McRae's new Ford Focus looks almost good enough to eat. Amazingly, these dedicated developers have also modelled accurate textures for the other 11 cars currently taking part in the World Rally Championship. Oh, and each car handles differendy. Would you expect any less?
The fancy makeover is not restricted to the cars either. Outside the vehicle, the 32-bit textured landscape looks equally sexy. Dozens of stunning topographically correct stages span eight different countries, ranging from the UK to Finland to Australia. These dramatic, obstacle strewn courses even boast randomly generated, real-time weather conditions, including snow, ice, rain, fog, mud rivers and even the odd bit of sunshine. The whole weather algorithm has been designed so players will never experience the same weather conditions twice on the same track. Which is hardly realistic, considering it pisses down constantly in Britain anyway. But, who are we to stand in the way of extravagant virtual weather systems?
Obviously, to change some things would be sacrilege and so the in-game coaching from Colin McRae and in-car commentary from co-driver Nicky Grist remains. They've learned some more jargon since we last heard them though; so prepare to be well and truly shouted at.
Six of The Best
Aware that driving games often live or die by their replayability value alone, it's the multiplayer aspect in CMR2 that has received the biggest overhaul. LAN and Internet options will be available, of course, yet on top of this there are other areas to explore. Firstly, there's the all-new Arcade mode, which pits six cars against each other over eight multiplayer-only looped circuits. You can forget car set-up or any other technical aspects here; just go hell for leather and see who wins.
Another mode imaginatively titled Rally Challenge allows two players to go against each other on the same track using a split-screen. The single-player game doesn't take a back seat though, and remains as engrossing as ever. For those with stamina, there's the full World Championship to take part in. If that's not your style, there's plenty of one-off races or time trial modes against McRae's ghost car. The rally school featured in the first game should also remain; although Codemasters I isn't entirely sure what form it will take. More lessons? Less lessons? We just don't know.
What we do know is that I CMR2 is due for release this I summer. So, brush up on your map reading skills and get I ready to navigate your way out I of your bedroom to buy it.
Processor: PC compatible,
OS: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game Features:Single game mode
Colin Mcrae Rally 2.0 Screenshots
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