Four traditional modes of play are offered: quick race, training, championship, and two-player. In championship mode, players join a team, choose one of the initially few available cars, and then compete in 10 track events. Ranking in the top of the pack earns career points, opening new events and allowing players to upgrade cars and even switch to more experienced teams.
This is one tough game, focusing on realism from nearly every aspect. The first few accessible cars are very difficult to handle, and one spinout or crash can end all chances of finishing out of last place. Very frustrating, but also very compelling, as practice finds one learning subtleties that soon find racers bumper-to-bumper with the lead pack. The cars handle quite realistically and, with practice, skidding perfectly into turns around city blocks becomes an art form.
The graphics reign supreme, leaving players stunned even before they discover the letterboxed, high-resolution mode. One downside is that with so much realism in the game, bumping off walls without incurring car damage is not quite right. We'd love to see a simulation option that fully takes advantage of the even greater realism this game's powerful engine could offer. --Eric Twelker
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