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Colin McRae Rally (PC)

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Developed and published by Codemasters

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    32 Reviews
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      21.10.2012 13:45
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      For all racing game enthusiasts

      McRae's dominance of the 1998 season was excellent news for Codemaster's official video game of the Subaru driver - Colin McRae Rally for PC. Already highly praised in the games press from early code demonstrations, Codemasters grabbed support for the title with a £2million European marketing campaign.

      Colin McRae Rally was set to become the most realistic, thrilling and wholly playable rally game with the game engine based upon Codemaster's very own highly successful TOCA Touring Cars. You get to drive at speeds of 160mph and take your car to the edge of its handling ability. The game is a gruelling world rally championship, where you have to battle against the elements in 48 different stages, over 8 countries. All 12 world rally cars with full set up options have been reproduced, using telemetry data for accurate reproductions of power and handling - these include the Subaru, Impreza WRC 98, Toyota, Corolla WRC, Ford, Escort WTC, Renault Megane, VW Golf GTi, Mitsubishi, Lancer E4, Seat Ibiza kit Car Evo2 and Skoda Felicia.

      Achieve winning times to drive point-to-point stages, as well as super-special stages across the toughest terrains and tracks around the world. Compete in Individual Stages, 8 International Rallies or the entire Championship. Take handling to the edge with the brilliant car physics which allow you to perform manoeuvres such as power slides. You can also get dirty with a system that allows mud, snow and water to change cars appearance. Collisions result in damage to car body & handling on impact but there are car set-up and repair options so you can get back into the race as soon as possible. There are thrilling night driving stages, a multitude of surfaces to master including ice, snow, gravel, tarmac and mud, plus you get a choice of five views including 'Head Cam' from right inside the car.

      When you get tired of playing alone you can compete against a friend using the 2 player split screens, 5 racing views, new Super Special Stages and best of all Colin McRae himself is on hand to tutor and grade drivers at the Rally School. Colin McRae's co-driver, Nicky Grist, also provides co-driver commentary and directions throughout the game.

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      06.08.2008 02:34

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      This game was produced before the 1995 World rally champion Colin McRae switched to Ford therefore you find him in this game extolling the virtues of a Subaru Impreza. The game is an excellent representation of the rally sport and has so many features it is ideal no matter what level of skill you have.

      When playing you don't have to race a full Championship as you can just race an individual rally or a time trial or just practice at the rally school where you get tips from Mr McRae himself. There are also 3 difficulty settings so even if you are not very good or are a younger player you can still get some excellent play out of the game. There is also a 2 player option which gives you the chance to race against a friend in split screen mode or by taking turns to race.
      You do have the option to play with the settings of your car but unless you know what you are doing you are best just to leave them as they are. There are many options including the weather and even the time of day the stage is being run

      There are 4 two wheel drive cars to choose from initially (VW Golf, Skoda Felicia, Renault Megane and Seat Ibiza)and later in the more advanced modes you can race the 4WD cars (The Impreza as well as the Ford Escort, Mitsubishi Lancer and Toyota Corolla).
      In conjunction with the Microsoft Sidewinder wheel we have the game is great to play and we often return to have a quick race. We also find it popular with visitors as it is quick to set up and the gameplay and graphics are superb. CMR is a must-have game for anyone who likes competitive driving games.

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      15.07.2002 09:20
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      Where it all began

      The original entry in the mighty Colin McRae Rally series, which dates from the almost prehistoric days of 1998 when the late champion was at the height of his glittering career, is one of those games that occupies the middle ground between all-out simulation and knockabout arcade action. It's easy to pick up and play, but doing well, especially on the harder difficulty levels, requires a considerable amount of skill and thought - driving at 100% the whole way is always going to end in tears.

      In "Time trial" mode, you can blast your way along a single stage - although some of these are kept locked until you have completed them in the harder "Rally" mode. In a time trial, there is no need to worry about detailed car setup or damage - you just blast along the stage as fast as you can go. If that means bouncing off trees and walls, then so be it. In truth I'm not that interested in this mode as it doesn't quite offer the type of challenge I like, but more arcade-orientated gamers may be more so.

      In "Rally" mode, you compete in one relatively short rally, made up of about six stages (the exact number varies). Here, you will need to pay attention to the car setup screens - it is very easy to be caught out on completely the wrong tyres and lose 30 seconds on one stage, thus blowing your chances of outright victory. You also need to watch the car's condition - the more damaged your car is, the more mending it will require, which will eat into your valuable service halt time. I enjoy this mode, as I've always liked racers which offer setup possibilities.

      "Championship" mode is the biggie. Here, you compete in each of the rallies in turn (which increase in difficulty gradually, from straightforward New Zealand to incredibly hard UK, and try to accumulate points towards your ultimate goal - the World Championship. It's fairly easy on "Novice" level if you drive sensibly (and damage is less of a concern, as Novice rallies are not full length). But on "Intermediate" or "Expert" levels, woe betide you if you haven't made the right choices, both in and out of the car. There's a sting in the tail, too - if you fail to finish in the top six, then that's the end of your title challenge - just like that, as Tommy Cooper would have said. To my mind, that punishment is a bit harsh - even the top drivers can have bad spells. (As indeed did Tommy Cooper!)

      There is a good choice of cars to drive - all the usual suspects from the late 1990s, such as the Subaru Impreza and Toyota Corolla, are there, though some are locked depending on your mode, and some are hidden cars, only available by winning the "superspecial stage" at the end of some rallies. The drivers you're up against include some big names too - Carlos Sainz, for example - and of course McRae himself. The inclusion of real drivers (this was the only McRae game to include a full set of these) always makes for a more enjoyable game, and that's certainly the case here. Be honest - would you rather be the person who beat Colin McRae or the person who beat Alfred E Neumann? Exactly.

      Handling is quite good on the whole, and though the physics aren't the best around even by the standards of a decade ago, they're good enough to make you feel in control of your machine, and that any mistakes are your fault, rather than the computer's. It's much easier to use a steering wheel than a joystick (amazingly, some skilful people claimed to find success even use the keys...), although it's a shame that you can't use a split-axis setup for the pedals. In fact, some people said this was possible, but Ie tried several times without success, and once CMR 2.0 came out a couple of years later I stopped worrying about it.

      The graphics and sound, while obviously looking very dated these days, and in truth nothing *really* to shout about even at the time of release (especially when you get right up close, they are pretty pixellated), do their job in being easy on the eye and ear respectively. This allows you to concentrate on the road and Nicky Grist's pacenotes, which are good in general but annoyingly leave out the distances (ie you get "2 right" rather than "2 right 80"). To be fair, most rallying games since have done this; I still hanker for the old days of "easy right" and so on, but that's long been left behind in real rallying as well!

      I never really managed to get the online multiplayer options to work properly in days of yore, and of course nowadays the servers have long since been decommissioned, so I can't comment on those, but from the documentation they seem to be the fairly standard selection. What I have tried is the two-player split-scren options, which are pretty well done. Far too few games nowadays have a split-screen option, so it gets a plus point for that alone - and it is enormous fun, so long as you don't take it too seriously and you have the space in your PC room!

      When I reviewed this game for the first time way back in 2001, I commented that those with a "high-spec PC" would be playing Colin McRae 2.0 in any case, and although hardware specs have moved on so much since then I'd still say that was substantially the better game. However, if you're just playing about with an old computer or simply want to see how the most successful rallying franchise in history began, then you can do worse than this if you want to go Maximum Attack!

      [NB: this is an edited and updated version of a review I first published on Ciao some time ago.]

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        25.06.2001 15:34
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        I found out about Colin McRae Rally by a review on DooYoo last month so because everyone thought it was good I went out to virgin and got it. I started playing it that day and found it quite addictive because it was so good! The graphics for the game are superb, the scrolling of the game and scenery is really smooth, the control and reaction time is almost perfect, and the sound effects do nothing but add to the game and realism! With the game, you have the choice of cars, and the settings of your machine can be catered to suit the driver and the conditions of the course - and believe me, it's important to do so! Before you can progress better cars, in bigger and better rallys, you have to get through the Rally School to obtain higher driver status. This can prove difficult and sometimes annoying, but practise definitely makes perfect. As with most games, the more you play, the more you learn, and the better you do! Both digital and analogue controllers are supported by this game; joysticks, joypads and steering wheels you can play a network game with only one copy of the CD being required. You can play up to 8 players. Overall just a great game

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        25.12.2000 23:15

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        Despite CMR2 being out now I have not played it much and so in my opinion the original is the greatest rally game ever to grace the PC. The graphics are superb, the sound, with Nicky Grist co-driving, is great. It is all the official liveries and drivers, except for a Mitsubishi driver who appears instead of a certain Finnish World Champ. HE obviously didn't want to appear as he was in his own, much poorer, rally game. The game has several difficulty modes and you can unlock more cars to play with by winning certain stages. In fact the only bad thing about this game is that it is not real stages. Some rally stages in real life take half an hour or so to complete, however you can usually get a rally finished in that time in this game! Its a shame as I would love to drive my car through a half our stage, flying into trees etc. If you don't have this one yet you should buy it, despite the sequel already being out.

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        26.11.2000 23:28

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        Excellent from Head to Toe. Inspirational in a word. If you are unsure about rally games and just want to try the genre then this is for you. It's also for hardcore drivers. It's just so good I don't know where to start or finish. I never owned this game, I just borrowed this game, or rather my brother did. I was a bit Iffy about it first but my brother said it was reallt good so I played, enjoyed and got warped into the game. I warn you though. There is a chance that this game will make you want to become a rally driver! That's about it really.

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        24.11.2000 19:42

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        Colin Mcrae rally is a great game but difficult at that these cheats should help you!!! When Doing A Night Stage, Here Is A Good Trick. Pause At The Start And Turn The Brightness Of The TV Up Between 20 And 30 Points (On A Digital Brightness Control) Or Just Turn The Knob Up A Few Turns. This Will Make It A Lot Easier To See Where You’re Going. If you put both the low gravity cheat on (moonboots) and the turbo cheat on (kitcar) then when you press select the car will be in the air for much longer than before. bad ey!!! to drive a monster truck enter monte carlo stage four on time trial with jelly car cheat on . then finish the race in a minute and 20 seconds dont crosss the line then drive the whole race backwards. and thats it the master myself did this and is very very very very proud. GOODBYE MY FOLLOW PEOPLE There is another u.f.o. pick up point on stage 4 of new zealand. 2/3 rds of the way throught the stage you will come across a house where the gate is only slightly ajar. Drive through the gate and turn left and the u.f.o. should pick you up.

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        06.10.2000 23:51
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        I bought Colin McRae Rally after playing a demo of the game on a friends PC. When I got the game home and tried to play it on my computer I was a bit disappointed to find that despite having a Pentium 266 and a Voodoo Banshee graphics card the game was too jerky to play unless I switched off every graphical feature available and the game resembled something you'd have played on your Super Nintendo ten years earlier. Six months later I upgraded my PC to a Celeron 400 and the game finally came alive. One of the first things that strikes you about driving in Colin McRae Rally is that it's so realistic you start whincing out loud every time you crash. Driving in the real world after you've played the game becomes a surreal experience and you begin to wonder why your co-driver isn't telling you to turn a hard left at the traffic lights and take an easy right at the local chemist! The game is difficult to master at first and I've known some friends to give up on it because it's taken them weeks to even get half decent at the first set of courses. If you perservere with it though the game becomes easier and certainly some of the later tracks are a lot easier than the beginners ones you originally started the game off on. There are an astounding number of courses which ensures you never get bored and there are a variety of cheats you can get off the web to make the game even more interesting I would recommend this game to anybody who is thinking of buying a rally sim. It's the best available but do make sure you've got a reasonably good spec machine or the experience will be a disappointing one. If you want to have a real laugh, try the Rally School feature in the game and deliberately drive badly to hear Colin McRae's comments.

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        05.10.2000 19:29

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        Colin McRae Rally is an excellent game, all of the tracks and realism are very good. The handling of the cars is superb (even better with a Microsoft Steering Wheel) and the feel for speed is very good. One of the really good things about this game is the tutorial that basically takes you step by step through stages, at the end of each stage you get a score and can only progress to the next when you achieve a certain percentage. Once you have completed the tutorial at all levels, you are ready for the real challenge of rallying. The game is quite hard to master, I recommend starting at the easy level and try to become the champion before attempting the medium and hard levels. This is about the best rallying game on the market, anybody that likes driving fast and on the edge, should invest in this game.

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        05.10.2000 04:24

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        I have always love driving and it seemed much interesting to be able to visualise yourself driving a rally car. I've played this game on my Pentium III 500 MHz. Graphics was excellent. I personnally loves the introduction. And the gameplay was good, as good as it can gets playing racing type of game. The graphics was excellent, the sound effect was as good as it can gets. Gameplay was easy. I only took an hour to become acquainted to the game. I actually spend the entire night playing it, trying to get the best time. My favourite part in the game was the mud section. really cool. This game is good for those who prefer driving kinda game. Dont however take this onto the road.

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        12.09.2000 06:37

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        Fantastic! - If they ever release Colim McRae Rally 2 for the PC it will have to be pretty spectacular to beat this. As you race through the forests and roads of Sweden, Corsica, Austrialia etc you really feel the atmosphere, you will be leaning into corners, stamping on the brakes and closing you eyes when you flip the car end over end. This game is so good that when I finished it first time I started playing it again from the beginning. Type in a few cheat codes and your can unlock a micro machine, jelly cars, turbo leaps, backwards tracks and a whole host of fast cars from the past and future!. Now that the game is available at £15 you cannot go wrong (though the graphics are beginning to show their age). If you only by one driving game for the PC buy this one. P.S. Make sure you get the patch from the codemasters website to fix a couple of minor bugs.

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        23.08.2000 04:15

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        the first thing about this game is that Mr Mc Rea has changed teams from the pure testossterone sexy scooby Impreza turbo to the not so sexy and down right average and mundane piece of family car crap the barf ford barf focus barf barf. If I wanted to drive this car I could have got the boring ford racing on my brothers pc. It dont matter cos the game has been refined, you know the usual business of smoothing out the graphics and updating colins ice cold stare and graty scottish voice.

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        20.08.2000 07:55

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        Colin McRae's Rally game is a good oldie game. It's graphics aren't too good as things such have trees have tried to be made realistic but just aren't good enough. However, the game play is excellent. Which ever way you try to play this game the handling is excellent making the game play better than i have seen in most driving games. The game can be played in many various options making it suite every type of player. Different views can be achieved so if you are playing with a steering wheel you can drive from the cockpit of the car. This is a classic game!

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        18.08.2000 05:31
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        Colin McRae Rally is obviously a rally game, which uses the real cars from the 1998 season but doesn’t use the real tracks. The game also has a driving school where if you get to the top level, you can have all the tracks and cars. If you have the cheats though, you can even more tracks. The game has every thing you would expect from a rally game which makes it exceptional. It has Nicky Grist, McRae’s real co-driver, as yours and he tells you how tight corners are. The game gives you a great feeling of what to expect from real rallying – a great experience.

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        17.08.2000 03:55
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        Colin McRae Rally has often been praised for its good graphics, and also the realistic and testing handling of the car, which creates a much more enjoyable game. Also, the many different stages have greated good longetivity, and the in-car spoken directions are claimed to be very lifelike. Now, as its sequel comes out, and this game is available on budget, surely it is a worthwhile investment? The answer is yes and no. All of the above is true. However there are other problems. On the recommended install, it took me 6 minutes to actually start the stage, which then only lasted for 4 minutes. I then had to wait another 2 minutes for the game to load the next stage. This is incredibly annoying, and makes you get bored very quickly. A greater installation should mean quicker load times, but unless you have 350 or 500 MB of space for a larger install, you must stick with the recommended size. Also, although the graphics are good, the tracks are very dark. On the first stage, on an open stretch of track, after spinning I spent 20 seconds looking for the track, as there was no visual indication. This is even worse on wooded sections. Attempting to alter the brightness is not allowed, and in-game graphical and audio options are extremely limited. I found this game incredibly frustrating. Although the graphics are good, I could not enjoy them because I could hardly see anything on the screen, and after 6 minutes loading time I had expected more. If you have more disk space it could make a slight difference, but quite frankly I don't think its worth the effort.

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