Excerpt: The 2005 Rally gaming season is now officially open and we’re expecting some heated competition this year. Last year’s combatants for the “Best Rally Game” title were Sony’s own World Rally Championship III and the 2004 edition of Codemasters evergreen Colin McRae series. For my money, “The Flying Scotsman” was edged out at the line by Sony’s effort in the fun stakes, but what of this year’s overhaul’ First, we’ll ring the changes.
Excerpt: The steering wheel-gripping heart of Colin McRae Rally 2005 is the all-new Career Challenge, which takes players through a full professional rally career, driving the most diverse selection of rally cars. An incredible 23 individual rally events provide a personal challenge with real progression and rewards through a non-linear series of Challenges, Cups, SuperCups, Shields and Championships as you earn the right to complete with the very best.
Conclusion: generated opponents really reduced the replay value for me. True rally fans may have a quibble with that assessment. And I use the word "quibble" because it is a word that only European speakers of English would use, and rally racing is really a European sport. European racing is really about the car and its driver versus the intricacies of the road, whereas American racing is really about drinking beer and watching cars drive in a big circle until one flips over and...
Excerpt: Colin McRae and Tony Hawk have a lot in common. Both once dominated their sport, winning championships, setting world records and endorsing various products. Their first PlayStation outings were well received, combining solid gameplay with a name that the public could recognise. From there sprouted sequel after sequel, each one building on the last, surviving the leap to the next-gen platforms and thriving on their profits.
Conclusion: The sizeable career mode and decent selection of multiplayer options (including Xbox Live support) mean 2005 will have more staying power than any McRae before it. The improved speed of the game and more beautifully designed stages (many have narrower, truly demanding technical sections) means far from being the “Colin McRae 3.2” that a lot of people were expecting, the game really flies.
Pros: Feels right., Looks good., 34 cars and a huge career mode., Xbox Live multiplayer and scoreboards., Amazing, scratch-covered damage modelling and dirt effects.
Cons: The game engine is beginning to look its age in places., Fussy “resets”., -, Silly “dazed” effect., Avoid the poo-like water at all costs.
Conclusion: The changes to Career mode will make it worth a purchase, even if you bought last year's edition. However, more needs to be done in next year's edition to keep the series not only one of the best in the genre, but also worth purchasing for long-term fans.