Colin McRae Rally 04 - PS2

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Also for: PC, Xbox
Viewed: 3D Combination Genre:
Racing: Rally
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Codemasters Soft. Co.: Codemasters
Publishers: Codemasters (GB/GB)
Released: 19 Sept 2003 (GB)
11 Feb 2005 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 3+
Accessories: Memory Card, Analogue Control Compatible: all buttons, Steering Wheel
Features: Vibration Function Compatible


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There's certainly no stopping Codies in their quest to perfect the art of rally simulation. It seems like only yesterday that CMR3 was causing a stir, bringing the popular racing series to the current crop of gaming machines. In actual fact it was over a year ago, and the game wasn't without its flaws, so perhaps we are just about due for revision.

As usual, Colin 04 pits you as jolly Scot Mr McRae himself and sees you choose the team, the car and the championship, before getting your wheels dirty. There are 48 stages to race through, plus four shakedown stages, set across eight countries including the UK, Finland, Australia, and the United States. The amount of different terrain surfaces has been increased, giving each different location more of a unique feel, but so have the different tyre types, so you can adapt to your surroundings more easily.

So tell me about the cars, you say. Well, there are over 20 different vehicles to choose from throughout the game, including 4-wheel drive Citroen Xsara, Mitsubishi Evo 7 and Subaru Impreza, 2-wheel drive cars such as the Ford Puma and Fiat Punto, as well as an assortment of classic cars and bonus vehicles. As we've come to expect from the Colin McRae brand, each vehicle has been constructed to the most minute of details, and in each case accurate physics and faithfully-modelled handling makes for an extremely unique driving experience.

One of the new additions to Colin 04 is the ability to test out car parts and subsequently provide your team with new racing technology. The tests take place across various different countries, each one geared towards the particular technology on test, such as engine, tyres or suspension.

The main overhaul in this new version, however, has to be the new game engine. Previously the car handling employed a steering aid, which meant that the car tended to move around a central pivot point. That's now gone out of the window and, while it makes things slightly more difficult to get to grips with, it makes for an overall more realistic and natural experience.

There are a total of eight single and multiplayer modes, the option to create customised rallies, varying damage levels, new replay cameras, improved audio effects, the list goes on... All in all, Colin 04 is, as it stands, the epitome of console rally simulation. Until number five, we think.


Colin McRae Rally 04 - PS2 Artwork

Colin McRae Rally 04 - PS2 Artwork

Colin McRae Rally 04 - PS2 Artwork