Rally Championship Xtreme Download
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features:Single game mode
For the virtual rally fan with cash to bum, the options are becoming ever more bewildering. Indeed, with the graphical advances of recent years, it takes a finely honed eye to actually tell the various titles apart. The cars are indistinguishable, the tracks pass by in a cloud of dust, and the roar of the engine is a given. More than with most genres, it comes down to pure gameplay, which is, of course, heavily informed by the handling of the cars, and the inherent physics employed. What we're trying to say is here's another bleeding rally game.
Anyone who remembers International Rally Championship from the same publisher will recall the meticulous attention to detail that went towards precisely recreating actual stages. Hundreds of miles of video footage was utilised, and painstakingly pieced together to create an Ordnance Survey level of accuracy, as demonstrated by the on-screen appearance of an actual map. It was a mammoth achievement, and one that led to a game that was considered by aficionados to be... a bit dull.
Hogging The Track
It made for great press releases, but the reality was that driving in a straight line through ten miles of unchanging Welsh forestry was erring on the side of realism over fun. And as thanks for its efforts, developer Magnetic Fields didn't have its contract renewed. The task this time round has fallen to Cheshire neighbours, Warthog, the outfit behind respectable space combat affair, Starlancer.
Nine Months After
Warthog seems to be making a reasonable fist of it too. Without using anything from International Rally Championship, in the space of nine months the game is almost ready for testing. And having had the realism of the previous title rammed down our throats, the opposite is now the case. As producer Lee Clare explains: "We've moved more away from that. The lads have gone for a bit of artistic licence to make it more interesting. We just wanted to spice it up a bit."
What this means is that they've taken the basic look of a region and attempted to fashion challenging, playable tracks around it. The regions in question are Scotland, Wales, The Isle Of Man, The Arctic, Kenya and America, each boasting four stages. From the early version we played, there seems to be a reasonable degree of freedom, enabling you to lurch off the beaten track and drive along a river bed, for instance. An advanced damage model is also in place, with the car shedding body parts like autumnal leaves. Various arcade modes will be available, as well as a privateer option where you, "start off in a really smelly car" and attempt to reach the upper echelons of the sport. Much like Colin McRae, whose endorsed game is generally agreed to be the one to dislodge. The producer of Rally Championship Xtreme is confident though, claiming: "I think the physics are better. McRae is bang on, but it's arcade and we've gone for more of a simulation." Now that's fighting talk. More words here soon.
Rally Championship Xtreme Screenshots
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