TOCA Race Driver
TOCA Race Driver images
Review of TOCA Race Driver
Can Ryan McKane go from lowly test-driver to World Champion? Only you have the power to decide as you put on the fire suit and assume the identity in Codemasters cinematic racing experience.
Experience? Yes – you can’t call this a “game”; it’s much to humble a word to describe ToCA Race Driver.
The opening movie shows you a race from 15 years ago and you soon learn that the man at the head of the pack is daddy, ah.
Next it is present day and your name is being bandied about as a possible driver for the forthcoming season. Just one minor problem though, you have to prove yourself worthy!
And you have to do this nearly everytime too. Win a championship with max points? Well the nice little office computer gets an email telling you have to test before your get a seat the one of the next destinations.
The cut scenes set the tone in this fantastic racer. Its more like a racing movie than a video game. Like Days of Thunder without the cheese, or more like Le Mans but with better crashes.
The game is based out of Ryan’s office – the filing drawers are the options, the computer is your career – simply agree to race for whoever from the series of emails you get sent, the display shelves fill up with your trophies. And you can go out the door to the free time section. Here you get to free race (up to 4 multiplayer) and time trail – plus the TV shows are quite interesting too.
The graphics are fantastic – not GT3 perfection but pretty damn close – a remarkable feat considering there are 14 cars on the track and all can be totally destroyed!
There is some slowdown in the difficult corners when there is a lot of action happening but it does not detract from the driving experience. The cars look amazing too – a huge step forward from the last ToCA outing on the PSone.
Just one little thing though about the visuals that bothered me – when you are getting ultra realistic faces in video games forgetting about the eyelashes is really freaky.
The handling is a dream with both analogue sticks used for control (steering and brake/accelerate) it just lends itself to total car control but without the need for expensive wheels. One of the best experiences I have had in a racing game was going around Rockingham oval in the Corvette in full opposite lock drift. You really have to try it :)
If you have ever driven a Codies racing game before the controls to ToCA Race driver are second nature and if you haven’t – well what the hell have you been at?!
The car feels alive and you feel every bump in the road and every thump of the bumper through the vibration of the controller. The racing itself takes a bit of getting used to as the 4WD cars aren’t exactly the easiest things to drive.
You have to remember that hard braking locks up the wheels so you cant steer, and flooring the throttle too early on corner exits will leave you facing the wrong way.
I have to say that this ToCA game is probably the most fun racing game there is from a handling point of view – with a bit of tweaking you can easily get them to shake their tail for you.
The downside to all this fun is that the other guys on the race track just don’t like Daddy McKanes little boy – and you better make sure you are well strapped in because its gets nasty out there. Take Australia for example. You don’t want to be going there needing many points to progress – its more like banger racing than supercars. Once, at the second corner on the Canberra track I got hit in the tail, somersaulted through the air and gained 9 places – only to find that the landing had removed both my front wheels. It’s not racing, it’s a blood bath – COOL!
The only saving grace is that altering your car’s set-up can improve your times around the track – but if any one out there has won Fuji in the wet in the Supra – you have my ultimate respect.
The sound is excellent; the throb of the big engines at idle to the scream of the bewildered motor as it redlines on the main straight. The other drivers vocalise their unhappiness with you as you cut them up and the voice acting itself is much better than you would expect in a video game.
The music is all good – some old tunes on there – but its done very movie soundtrack style in that you only get to hear a few lines – bit disappointing really. Would have been cool if you had an option to play the tunes when sitting in the office. Well they have a TV – why not a CD player too?
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'TOCA Race Driver' 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
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