SEGA Rally

Format: PS3

5 060138 431072
Age Restrictions: 3+
28 September 2007

Put the pedal to the metal and enjoy thrilling head-to-head racing. Skilled driving goes hand-in-hand with pure luck as you hurtle around looping tracks in a wide selection of 4WD, 2WD and classic vehicles that react quite differently depending upon the racing surface. SEGA Rally offers a vast variety of environments and surfaces, from littered gravel tracks and all-weather tarmac roads to snow driven trails - no two laps will ever be the same...

Marketed as SEGA Rally Revo in America and SEGA Rally in Europe, fans of rally driving games will no doubt remember the classic SEGA Rally arcade machine.

Given an overhaul and brought to the PS3, is the finished result any good? Well yes, it delivers the goods in most aspects, but falls short on a few simple little details.

You start off with a fairly limited amount of races and cars to choose from, as you'd expect, and as you progress through the races you open up more cars, liveries for your cars and championships in which to compete.

There are plenty of nice touches as you drive around the tracks - birds flying from the ground as you thunder towards them; jets flying overhead; hot air balloons; gliders flying a little too close to the track; and helicopters sending up dust clouds just in front of you. The locations are also incredibly varied - from Safari to Canyon tracks and Arctic to Alpine courses there's plenty of eye candy to gaze at as you race.

The graphics are pretty impressive, but not as impressive as the online trailers would have you believe. The SEGA Rally ad that can be seen on most retail stores is a little misleading. While the graphics do represent the finished game graphics, the camera angles in the playback are nowhere near as impressive - in fact I'd go as far as to say that the playback of the races is one of the worst I've ever seen in a game like this. With so many cool aspects in each race, the playback switches cameras so fast it almost gave me a headache. There are so many missed opportunities. For example, one of the courses has jets thundering over your head trailing different coloured smoke. But that's nowhere to be seen on the playback as the camera is claustrophobically close to the car throughout the race.

The handling isn't very realistic either. If you play the game with the camera positioned behind the car, you slip and slide across the road like a hovercraft rather than a car. In fact, I found it almost impossible to control the car while in these two camera angles - either of the two interior camera angles were the only ones where I could effectively judge the course without sliding backwards and forwards across the road.

And finally, the lack of any damage to your car is ludicrous, especially when the developers took the time to add mud effects which change as you race through dirt roads and then water.

But, if you ignore those minor complaints (which sound worse than they actually are) then you'll enjoy this game. While single player option is pretty impressive, there's more fun to be had against a friend in two player mode, or against online friends in the online modes.

At the end of the day this is more hit than miss, it's just a shame that a few of the minor problems weren't ironed out before this was released on the market.

Nick Smithson

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