Global Touring Challenge Africa
Global Touring Challenge Africa images
Review of Global Touring Challenge Africa
Global Touring Challenge: Africa is the latest in a slew of Rally style racers that have hit or are about to hit the PS2. Foregoing the traditional rally style of racing, GTC has gamers turning laps on numerous courses throughout Africa. The courses, and races, are broken up into divisions with progression through the game being made by winning each division and unlocking new tracks and cars.
The game is very similar to GT3’s rally stages. There are six cars that race on courses with a varying amount of laps that need to be completed (depending on the division). The control is rather loose and floaty but I definitely got used to it after some time and didn’t really have any problems…I just didn’t much like the way it felt.
There are only four licensed vehicle manufacturers in the game with several cars from each to pick from. There were some nice rally style cars to select from like the Focus and Imprezza but cars like the Ford Mustang and Pontiac Firebird’s were virtually useless on most of the courses. I found myself sticking with two, perhaps three cars at most and using them exclusively to finish the game.
Gamers can also forget about modding or configuring theirs cars for each specific track. The car selection process has been very simplified with gamers just going in, selecting from the available cars and getting off to the racetrack. There was no gear tweaking, alternate tire selections, add-ons…nothing.
The game’s courses take the gamers on a guided tour through Africa, starting on the Southern tip and progressing to the Northern most edge. The scenery is nice and varied with desert, jungle, coastal and rural areas to traverse. The tracks have loads of sharp turns, straight-aways and the occasional branched path over varying conditions (tarmac, mud, snow, etc.). I really enjoyed the diversity and the mini geography lesson as I traveled through the continent.
The racer AI was pretty good and quite competitive, especially as I progressed further into the game. Using cars as cushions to make sharp turns at high speeds is a good strategy to employ and I didn’t notice the drivers getting more aggressive towards me if I pounded them into the guard rails.
Overall, I enjoyed GTC, but didn’t come away overly impressed with the total effort. It’s not a bad Rally style game, its just not a very inspired racer overall. It seems that the developers basically striped out the GT3 rally portion of that game, expanded on it and released GTC. The only problem is that the total game is not anywhere near as good as the rally races in GT3.
Graphically, I personally found GTC to be sorely lacking in several major areas, while excelling in only a few. First the good stuff…GTC makes fantastic use of lens flare or to be more specific…sun glare! Racing through the filthy trails of the African courses, the sun plays a major role in visibility. There were often times when I came around a turn only to be temporarily blinded by the suns rays. The use of this feature isn’t overdone though…in fact I thought it was very well implemented and made the game more challenging and realistic.
The car models were pretty well done with a decent poly count but they just didn’t come across as being anywhere near as detailed as the cars in GT3. This obviously has a lot to do with the artistic direction and here is where GTC was sorely lacking.
To further hinder things, there was no environmental deformation. As I traveled through a snowy course, my car left no tire tracks, nor did it kick up any snow as I went off the beaten path. There was certainly dust that gets kicked up when going over dirt, but even the dust particles weren’t very convincing…although they did a good job of obscuring the road. The cars also don’t show any damage at all…in fact, they don’t even get dirty. After finishing a race on a muddy course, my car was still as sparkling clean as when it was sitting on a showroom floor.
While I did think that the backgrounds were nicely done and extremely varied, they were also somewhat bland and uninspired…once again, the artistic direction was sorely lacking.
Nothing too special in the sound department either. Some nice rockin’ soundtracks interspersed with some rather forgettable tunes.
The sound effects were pretty much what I expected with nice engine noises and various environmental sounds, depending on the roads. Co-pilot interaction was sparse as well.
The Surround Sound did manage to make things more absorbing with cars sounds coming up from behind players and whizzing to the front speakers as the car passes.
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'Global Touring Challenge Africa' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
This review was written by Tom Rooney © Absolute PlayStation
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