Richard Burns Rally - Xbox

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Richard Burns Rally (Xbox)
Also for: PC, PS2
Viewed: 3D First-person / Third-person Genre:
Racing: Rally
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Warthog Soft. Co.: SCi
Publishers: SCi (GB)
Released: 28 May 2004 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 3+
Accessories: Memory Unit


While for many, Colin McRae may still carry the crown of king of rally sims, there will always be contenders for the top spot, each boasting its own roster of noteworthy features. This latest release from Sci comes complete with its own celebrity driver endorsement in the form of Richard Burns, and with it come promises of a strong emphasis on realism, which subsequently requires tactics, intelligence and perseverance, as well as the usual speed, aggression and risk-taking prerequisites.

The game begins at the Forest Experience Rally School in North Wales, where Burns and co-driver Robert Reid give you a little tutoring in the ways of the tactics, skills and preparation required for rally driving. Following this it's time to embark on the usual career mode, in which you attempt to leave the opposition in the dust and climb the ranks of the world rally championship. In addition, the game also sports a mode known as the Richard Burns Challenge - where you get to go head-to-head with the man himself - as well a four-way multiplayer option.

As far as game stats go, the selection of cars on offer includes the likes of Peugeot 206, Citroen Xsara T4 and, of course, everyone's favourite, Subaru Impreza. Each of the cars boasts realistically simulated handling and also benefits from accurate damage modelling, which can result in such afflictions as engine fires, fuel leaks, brake loss and bodywork damage. The game also features official rally circuits, offering such locations as Britain, Japan, Finland and the French Alps across which you can burn it up.

As mentioned before, the emphasis throughout Richard Burns Rally is clearly on realism. At the heart of the gameplay lies an impressive engine simulation system, modelled on genuine automotive information and individual car specs, and playing host to the action is a rather unique 3D track generation system, incorporating potholes, rocks, puddles and ruts, with realistic depth and effects on the tracks and vehicles.

Aside from one of those expensive days out you can buy from Argos and the like, Richard Burns Rally is one of the closest we're likely to get at the moment to experiencing a bit of rallying for ourselves - consequently, it's not the easiest thing in the world.