Colin McRae Rally 3 - PC

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Colin McRae Rally 3 (PC)
Also for: PS2, Xbox, GameCube
Viewed: 3D First-person / Third-person Genre:
Racing: Rally
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Codemasters Soft. Co.: Codemasters
Publishers: Codemasters (GB)
Released: 13 Jun 2003 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 3+
Accessories: Control Pad, Steering Wheel


Commonly regarded as the definitive rally simulator, the Colin McRae series has long reigned supreme within its genre for its faithful recreation of the popular motor sport. Now available for the PC, this third instalment of the series delivers pretty much what the recent Xbox release did, albeit with the expectedly (hardware permitting) sexier visuals.

Grabbing the wheel of the famous Focus RS WRC, players take on the role of Colin himself, alongside faithful co-driver from his Ford days, Nicky Grist. Starting the game with a three-year contract, the aim is to win a series of championships for Ford Rallye Sport. Eight gruelling international rallies make up the proceedings in the World Championship, taking players through Japan, Spain, the USA, Sweden, Finland, Greece, Australia and the UK, to experience diverse environmental conditions, including rain, snow, dirt, gravel, and tarmac.

Each rally begins in the service area, with the team's engineers performing the set-up requirements, adjusting the car's suspension, engine, and chassis for the course ahead. Each setting can also be manually adjusted in the case of anyone who fancies trying their hand at a bit of mechanics.

The rally driving itself follows suit with the series, delivering an impressive level of both technical and visual detail. The emphasis here is most definitely not on providing a simple, arcade experience, as the veritable 'Focus simulator' requires a combination of time, skill and a great detail of patience to master. Stick at it though, and an incredibly deep and authentic rally simulation is to be discovered.

This PC version of CM3 definitely benefits from the best of both worlds - featuring the same authentic and immersive gameplay as the other versions, whilst also being able to show off the game's beautifully modelled vehicles at impressive resolutions.