Product Type: Electronic Arts PC games
Newest Review: ... the racing line before blasting away down the straight you?re hooked. Superbikes is different from Formula 1 car games in that the ra... more
Superbikes 2001 (PC)
Member Name: crispy
Superbikes 2001 (PC)
Date: 01/08/01, updated on 11/10/01 (420 review reads)
Advantages: Amazing feeling of speed and 'being there', brilliant graphics
Superbike 2001 is, funnily enough, a superbike racing game, and blow me down if it isn’t a pretty darn good one! As per usual for EA racing games, you get all the different race options - from a practice run round a track to a quickie race, to taking part in a full championship. The game uses the 2000 750cc season data, with all the riders’ statistics, teams and tracks faithfully reproduced. This was Carl Fogarty’s last year of racing, so if you fancy riding Foggy’s Ducati then this is the game for you…
I played demos of both Superbike 2000 and 2001 before deciding on the second. I found the playability and the feeling of realism to be quite amazing in 2001, especially if you're brave enough to use the 'virtual helmet' view. Yes, really, it is actually scary to play in this mode, as the feeling of 'being there' is so complete and the sense of speed is terrifying!
The gameplay is excellent, and can be customised from basic arcade-style controls through to full-on simulation. I tend to leave it fairly basic, as I really bought the game for quick arcade fun – a break from the heavy-going Baldur’s Gates and Deus Exes of this world. Even at this level, it still feels ‘real’, and I guess that is the biggest accolade a game like this can get. You can customise the level of the AI, and the length of the race – I find a nice little 3-lap sprint is perfect for blowing away the cobwebs…
Crashes, incidentally, are spectacular, with bikes flipping, riders flying through the air and bouncing on the tarmac, and other riders shaking their fists at you when you nudge them. If you have realistic crashes turned on, you’re not carted off in an ambulance as I thought might be the case, but you do have to pick your bike up and gently open the throttle while hopping along the track trying to straddle it and not fall over again. It’s great attention to detail, and th
e action replay function means you can watch it time and time again, from every possible angle, and even save it to show your mates later.
As for the graphics, they are absolutely superb - although I admit I'm running the game on a relatively high-end Athlon 800 with a GeForce 256 graphics card. The graphics are crisp and clean and border on photo-realism. The sound quality is also fantastic, although I have yet to encounter any game that fully recreates the din of 20+ bikes belting round a track! The bike sounds were apparently recorded from the real machines, so maybe it just loses a little something coming through PC speakers… I should turn it up louder, but the ensuing parental grief isn’t worth it! The 3D sound is excellent though, and you can easily tell without looking that, for instance, someone is coming up behind you to your right.
There are multi-player options, but I don’t know much about them - we would have tested it out in our lunch-hour at work, but we couldn’t really justify having half a dozen joysticks littering the office! That’s another thing to bear in mind, it’s very hard to play with cursor keys. If you don’t own an analogue joystick you won’t get the same experience out of this game.
Overall, Superbike 2001 is a brilliant racing game. I have never been a fan of racing games in the past as most are formula 1, but this is refreshingly different and far more exciting. Get a copy!