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Race Pro is a racing simulator game, however I feel it fits into a more arcade racing game than a racing simulator, due to it's arcade feel. Race Pro is made by Simbin Developments and is published by Atari, who also published games such as Mirrors Edge.
There are 7 modes which you can play on Race Pro, which may sound like a lot but in reality, the modes are very similar, and you will probably only use a couple. The modes are as follows:
Single Race - This is a single, one-off race, where you choose the conditions, and rules.
Career Mode - You play through the career of your fictional driver, signing contracts for different teams, and completing these contracts to earn credits.
Multiplayer - This is the online/system link mode for Race Pro
Championship - You play through one specific championship of your choice.
Hot Seat - An offline multiplayer mode.
Time Attack - Race round a track on your own trying to set fast laps.
Open Practice - Drive around a track of your choice at free will. Practice bends, gear changes, or even, crashing.
I have had this game for over a month now, and I can safely say that I have and probably never will use the Time Attack, Open Practice, Championship, or Hot Seat modes. They just add nothing to the game in my opinion. For example, Championship is the same as the career mode championships, and racing around a track on your own like you do in Time Attack is rally style gaming, which if you like, you should buy Colin McCrae: Dirt 2 and not Race Pro.
My biggest experiences are in Career Mode, so I will go into more detail on this part. There are 8 different classes in career mode, A-H. Each one consists of between 3 and 8 championships. The only difference between these championships is the higher lettered championship, the faster the cars you drive (H being the fastest). You start off with around 1000 credits and then, must do a time trial (one lap around a random circuit) for each championship. If you pass the time trial, then you may purchase the rights to drive for this team, in that championship. If you fail to pass the time trial, you can still purchase the rights but it will cost you triple the amount. When you complete the championship, depending on where you finished in the races, you get given around 2X your signing fee back in credits. My main gripes with the career mode, when compared with say, Forza 2 (not even the latest Forza) are that there is no customization or owning of cars, and having a credits system to pay for contracts (when they would in reality pay for you to race for them) just seems nonsensical. For these reasons, if I was to give the career mode a mark out of 10, it would get a 5. It is fun, but poorly though out, repetitive, and no ranking, or customisation system really spoils it.
Now, onto the difficulty. There are three settings of difficulty for Race Pro; Amateur, Semi-Pro and Professional. On Amateur, you could travel in reverse and still win. Also, on Amateur, you have all off the driving aids on full, the race line on, and the damage is turned off. On Semi-Pro, all of the driving aids are on medium, which is a good setting for them, but the opposition drivers are just not very competitive; you will cruise to victory by between 5-20 seconds every race, even with a couple of crashes. Whereas, on Professional, all driving aids must be turned off, and the opposition difficulty is on very hard, which for all but the hardcore drivers is too difficult. A poor set of difficulty options in my opinion.
Other problems with the game were the lack of tracks and cars. As Forza is my racing comparison game, I will continue to use it......there are over 30 different tracks on Forza easily, whereas there is a measly 12 on Race Pro, with two street tracks which I especially liked. And, on Forza, there are over 200 cars, compared to the 35 cars offered on Race Pro. On the back of the box, it does say '350 ultra realistic car models' but don't be fooled by this, there are about 10 paint jobs for each car, which you unlock in career mode.
Well, after that tirade of negatives, I bet you really are thinking that you should never ever buy this game. To try and balance your opinion, here are some of the positives.
The graphics are above average. They're not amazing, but they're definitely not terrible and they're certainly not bad. Not up to the standards of say Forza 3 or Race Driver: GRID but better than Forza 2's graphics. The sound is also quite good with varying options in 'Audio Options' which lets you tailor how you listen to the sound. Ie, you could just listen to your wheels and tyres to listen for them locking up.
Another feature which I liked is that whilst the race is loading, it shows you a large scale 2D map of the track, with useful information about good overtaking spots, and a rundown of all of the main corners. A great feature which newbies will love as they get to grips with the tracks. However, I did find the writing a little too small for easy-reading, as it is on all of the menus.
If you're someone who loves earning those XBOX achievements and racking up the gamerscore, then this is a good title for you to pick up on the cheap, as you can easily rack up around 500G in a few hours of gameplay.
Overall, Race Pro isn't a good game, but it's not a disaster, and if you see it for around £5 then by all means, pick it up, it's worth a play through, but maybe not a second. I picked it up on Ebay for around £5 so, you should be able to get it for that or a bit less now. Alternatively, it can be picked up at Amazon for £9 at the moment.
When I saw Race Pro being advertised back last year I was looking forward to it. The game looked very good and the graphics were looking very impressive. I thought I would buy the game as soon as it came out, so I pre-ordered it and got it a day early. When I first played it I was a bit disappointed as all the things that got me excited wasn't the same.
The graphics were quite poor and could've been improved a lot, as could the gameplay. The gameplay drives like a cheap option of Forza. The only thing that impressed me was the wide selection of vehicles available. I carried on playing otherwise it would've been a waste of money and it started to grow on me. I was starting to get used to the arcade style of the physics and started playing it more. There were some very nice features like the co-op modes which was very interesting.
The achievements for this game are average, some are hard, and some are easy. It would be achieveable to get about 500 in about 2 hours. For this the game was worth it.
Although, I believe this is no where near the quality of Forza or even PGR, I believe it's still a good game. I would give this a 3/5 because it is average at best.
Back before I had my XBOX 360 I was looking to get a racing game for the PS3 and remember seeing this one advertised and was disappointed to see that it was an XBOX 360 exclusive so when I spotted that I could pick it up on the XBOX 360 for only £15 the other day I decided to pick it up and see if this was worth the wait.
The game is based around a variety of different racing cars based on street circuit racing and offers up a simply amazing amount of cars and tracks to choose from for a game so well priced.
This is one of the racing games that seems to be aimed more towards those of us who used to enjoy playing the likes of TOCA back in the day as the cars on this require extreme concentration and effort to control making it feel realistic in its difficulty. If you overdo the throttle or underdo the braking then you will find yourself off line and easily off the racing line for the next corner so it is really down to focus for you to ensure you are able to keep up a good position on the track to stop others gaining an advantage.
The sound is good but not excellent with the likes of Forza 3 and Race Driver Grid being much better for me and unfortunately the graphics are a severe let down for a high definition console. I tried racing the Lola racers and found that it reminded me of a mix between Indianapolis 500 on the Amiga and the F1 games of the playstation which for me was a shock to the system having got so used to high end graphics.
Sticking with this game is important as looking beyond your initial thoughts is important to get a real feel for the game and what is good about it.
- Good control system which is difficult to master but easy to get used to
- Good variety of cars and tracks
- Fast paced action
- Poor graphics
- Not the best sound
- Takes a lot of patience to stop cars from spinning at every corner
Overall this game feels like a let down for me with the obvious merits being outweighed too easily by the numerous negatives.