Paris Dakar Rally
Review of Paris Dakar Rally
Each January over 400 of the most insane people in the world spend a month risking life and limb in a range of vehicles to race from Paris (France) to Dakar (Senegal). It is the ultimate endurance event for man and machine and only the maddest can apply. So if you have ever thought about taking a 4x4, motorbike or quad across 10,000kms of Europe and Africa then this may interest you.
So what do you get for you hard earned cash?
Well on starting the game you get a choice of one vehicle from each of the four types: 4x4s, buggies, motorbikes and quadbikes. Performance can be tweaked by altering the shocks, suspension and ride height, but it would have been nice to see various gearing options included too.
Once you start the race it becomes evident that the entire European portion of the event has been completely missed out; leaving lots and lots of desert to traverse, but little else. So you look for the 25km monster stages only to discover it has been split down into 4 sections (a,b,c &d) and you begin to wonder if the developers completed the game before releasing it..!
Forgiving these oversights you begin your transit across Africa (after waiting over 30 seconds for the level to load), hoping that the graphics and the handling are on the money. Sadly the 4x4 seems to have a life of its own, bearing no resemblance to anything from any other game (well maybe its only a little worse than the dragsters in GT2) and the graphics are so bland you could be forgiven for falling asleep at the wheel or taking the disk out to check its actually a PS2 game.
Navigation is very difficult due to it being hard to see the roads and everything looking so similar. Pick the 4x4 and you at least get someone to call out directions; unfortunately they seem to be unable to read a map and frequently send you hopelessly off-course. If you get too lost the game resets your position, but often on the side of a steep hill (that has to be reversed back down in order to generate enough speed to climb to the top of it), or facing the wrong way.
A spanner in the upper left corner of the screen shows how many rolling repairs are available (these can used during the race), but as there is no indication of how damaged the vehicle is, your first hint is often noticing one of the wheels rolling past the car.
I could go on about the dubious AI which can drive over anything including you, about the fact that its not possible to cover 25km + of some of the most brutal terrain in the world in 12 or 13 minutes as you can do in this game, about the fact at the 12 stages are really only 8 with 4 short liaison stages but to be honest this game isn’t worth it.
Everything about it is bad: The handling, the pace notes, the bland scenery (which has some astonishing pop-up), the shockingly long load times – much longer than Quake 3.
Then there is the sound; you never really notice the in game music until it runs out during the load times – TWICE!
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'Paris Dakar Rally' 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 Rory Kelly © Absolute PlayStation
Click here to view our 8 Paris Dakar Rally in-game screenshot slideshow
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