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Project Gotham Racing 2 Xbox Review

Project Gotham Racing 2
Bizarre Creations
Xbox Live:

Project Gotham Racing 2 
Saturday, February 21, 2004 

Project Gotham Racing is one of the very few games that was released at the launch of the Xbox console. Then two years latter Bizarre Creations released Project Gotham Racing 2. This game has only been released to the Xbox console and is viewed as one of the best racing titles for the Xbox console. As of when it was released most thought of it as the best racing game at the time. It set the standard for modern racing games and it will be difficult for other developers to top. It has the best graphics any racing game has seen and each of the 102 cars has its very own way of driving.

When you first start up the game, make your profile and get into the main menu you will see a few options. The two most important are the Single Player and Multiplayer. In single player mode you can choose from the Kudos World Series, where most of the game is played. The game will take you through different parts of the world and through 102 different cars in 14 different classes. The Kudos World Series is a number of events that you must compete in to achieve a steel, bronze, silver, gold, or platinum metal. In each class there are anywhere from 7 to 19 events.

There are a total of 7 total different events that are played in the Kudos World Series. They are the street race where you race a total of 8 cars. The speed camera, where you have to speed by a camera at a certain miles per hour. The cone challenge, where you get kudos for passing through cone gates and have to have a certain amount of kudos when you finish. The timed run, where you have to finish a track in a specified amount of time. The overtake challenge, where you are started on a track with cars scattered through the race track and you must overtake as many as you have to within an amount of time. The hotlap, where you have to finish one lap on a course within a certain time limit and last the one on one where you race one other opponent.

Also in the single player mode there is the arcade racing and time attack. In the arcade racing you can compete in street racing, timed run or cone challenges. In the time attack mode you can either do a circuit challenge or a car challenge. In the circuit challenge you can choose from any of the 92 circuits with any car and try to get the best time. In the car challenge you can choose any car but you must race that car on the track that is given in order to get the best time.

For the most part this game is based around the “Kudos” system. Kudos are awarded for style in racing. For example, if you slowly creep around a corner to avoid contact with the wall then you probably won't get much if any kudos. On the other hand if you come flying up to the curve turn sharp and tap the hand brake as your car goes completely sideways sliding around the turn you are going to be awarded more kudos for your style. Kudos are awarded for slides, overtakes, clear sections (going for some ways without hitting a wall), air, and placement in a race.

In the previous PGR (Project Gotham Racing) game there where hundreds of tracks but they were all based somewhere in the United States . PGR2 has a number of tracks in the United States as well as in Stockholm , Moscow , Hong Kong , Barcelona , Sydney , and Yokohama .

In addition to the new cities, the environment in which they are played is much more detailed then any other racing game. For instance, in one of the levels there is a carnival with a rollercoaster and if you stop your car you can actually see the rollercoaster go on a run on the rollercoaster track. It is quite amazing, also on other tracks you can see such things as birds flying through the sky, but luckily no deer will wonder on to the track.

With the new tracks and new environments there are also a bunch of new cars that are spread out in different car classes. The car classes range from Compact Sports, which has cars like the Mini Copper and the Ford Focus, to American Muscle, which has cars like the Pontiac GTO and the Ford Mustang, to the Ultimate series, that has cares like the Enzo Ferrari and the TVR 12 Speed. Each car in the game is ranked by its top speed, acceleration, power sliding, and handling.

The overall handling of the cars is much improved from the previous game however there are a few drawbacks. One of the things that I liked is that each car in the game has its own unique way of handling. For example if you get into a Pontiac GTO and drive around and then you get into an Enzo you can tell that there is a huge difference in the way each one handles not just that one of the is slower than the other.

In addition to the unique handling of the cars, there is much more realism in car damage. If an opponent in front of you slams on his brakes and you run into the back of them it will show on the front of your car, or if you end up spinning out and your back end ends up in the wall you will see it banged up for the rest of the race. This is something that was done in the first Project Gotham and I am glad that they improved upon it.

Apart from the handling of the cars you can not customize your car as much as I had hoped for. In previous games such as Gran Turismo you can put money into your car and buy new parts to upgrade it to the way you want it. However in Project Gotham you can only change the color of your car and change what your license plate says.

Aside from the single player of the game, its multiplayer is considered to be up with one of the best games for playing on Xbox Live. Some even say that the multiplayer is the best part of the game. It gives you a chance to compete against actual people instead of computers that are programmed to stay on the track and follow a certain path. On Xbox live if you are in a race and half of the people don't know there is a sharp turn coming up then they all will go colliding into the wall, which is quite funny some times. On the other hand if you were playing with computers they would know the turn is there and slow down enough to perfectly navigate the turn.

Overall this game is the best racing game out today. It has the best graphics any racing game has seen, and ground breaking for the Xbox console. Its car handling was dramatically improved from the first Project Gotham and has one of the most thrilling online game play. It will be a hard game to top but I am sure it can be done in the months to come.

Overall Score

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