TOCA 2 Touring Cars
Everybody loved the first TOCA game. A sweeping generalisation? Maybe, but tearing round authentic tracks in high-powered touring cars was largely deemed a right old laugh, with the game proving to be one of the successes of the year. Gavin Raeburn produced the first TOCA, so was he happy with the finished result?
Very. We set out with the intention of creating the greatest motor sport game of the time and, because of the wide variety of people interested in the sport of Touring Car racing, it had to offer a significant challenge to hardcore gamers and still be an entertaining game with massmarket appeal. The fact that, since TOCA's launch in December 1997, it hasn't really left the charts and is still selling at its original retail price is testament to that."
If there was one criticism, it was perhaps that it fell between the two stools of sim and arcade game. Gavin?
TOCA is a game, is a game, is a game. There was no real target to be either a simulation or an arcade action title - just a damn fine game. However, it's easy to understand your viewpoint. The real-life sport of Touring Car racing is almost arcade action itself, with hugely competitive events and aggressive 16-car pack racing. The look and detail of the game was very realistic - the TOCA licence gave us access to real team, real driver, real car and real track data. Combine those two together and, I guess, you could say you've got a sim of action racing.
Gavin is also producing the followup, and explains the major differences between the two games: The heart of TOCA 2 is the complete 1998 British Touring Car Championship season, with all the season's cars, drivers and new racing features. These include all front-wheel drive cars and the introduction of pit stops, adding strategy and planning to the frenetic action. Pit stops are taken in the middle third of a BTCC race and the player's viewpoint switches to in-car as tyres are changed and repairs are carried out against the clock.
Visually, there's an advanced and enhanced graphics engine driving TOCA 2 at an exhilarating speed and ensuring that the visuals are sharper, grittier and superbly detailed to provide a refined sense of realism. We've totally remodelled every car and, for the first time, car windows are transparent, enabling players to see each car's interior - complete with the driver steering the car and being thrown about from high- ' speed manoeuvres. We've also made the driving boundaries on each circuit tighter, keeping players' cars in the heart of the 16-car pack. Trackside features, such as crowds and buildings, are closer to the circuit's edges, giving a greater sense of speed. And on-track hazards - such as flocks of pigeons that disperse in a flying panic as cars approach - add to the game's tense driving atmosphere.
So can TOCA 2 justify itself as an all-new game, or is it yet another cynical money-grabbing exercise? I'm not in the games business fc the money. I like what I do, and I don't have to do any project I don't want to. I believed we could put enough changes and updates in TOCA 2 to make it one of the greatest I driving games around, even for people who own the original game. Compare the two games side by side and you'll see, and hear, what I mean. TOCA 2 is so much more than an annual update - TOCA 2 is TOCA 2, if you like!
We're doubling the number of tracks, with a whole load of international ones, and Support Car races which also take place at Touring Car weekend meets. Support Car Championships enable players to compete in specialised races against cars of the same make and model. The new tracks take you to France, Germany and the USA. We've created the tracks especially for the game; while they'll all look thoroughly authentic and realistic, they're designed especially to offer gamers a real challenging drive.
Top Gear presenter Tiff Needell provides the game's commentary. So what's he like? Tiffs a top bloke, and has a real understanding of how to voice the recorded pre-race commentary to sound very natural. We've also got some wonderful out-takes - we may bleep out the many swear words and throw them in for a cheat mode!
Aspirin At The Ready
Tell us some more about the game. On the special effects front, TOCA 2 replicates car damage better than ever before: car wings are ripped off, bonnets are crumpled and fly off at speed, and windscreens not only shatter and smash but feature rain splash effects and bug splats.
The roaring sound effects are designed to leave players with a headache from the gritty, realistic noise of engine roars and tyre screeches. Each tyre generates an individual noise against the road surface, which combines to create totally authentic sound. A drum and bass soundtrack complements the action perfectly.
If Codemasters can walk it like they talk it, chances are they're going to be looking at another massive Christmas hit.
Processor: PC compatible,
OS: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game Features:Single game mode