WRC II Extreme. A Review.
Etienne gets all worked up over a game. Can you blame him?
Before I start I need to take a deep breath because I get very stressed when talking about this game and I don't want to be banned from the site (that is what happened last time) and I don't want the site getting blocked in certain countries (you get the idea).
Well a good starting point would be the name of the game, which is "WRC II Extreme", and this is where I shall start my rant (uh, I mean, review). My first point is the way game designers appear to randomly add the word 'Extreme' to game names for no apparent reason (they never really say what is 'Extreme' about it, perhaps 'Extremely poor' would be appropriate). The back of the box quotes 'co-drivers recreated using groundbreaking facial technology'. I have yet to see this groundbreaking technology, the lip sync is non existent (no really the head just wobbles to give the appearance of talking) and the texturing on the faces is awful and makes me want to throw the game on the floor (perhaps the meaning of 'groundbreaking').
The second area of ranting would be the car handling. It is supposedly unbelievably realistic. I would like to point out the creators that, however realistic a game might be, it really really really helps the game sell if you can actually control the car without being a genuine rally driver.
One of the things I find most infuriating is the fact that you accidentally scuff a small weed on the side of your car and the car flips and spins and lands in a nearby lake (in the desert) which I would defiantly not call realistic or fun and would therefore defeat the point of a driving simulation and a driving game. The cornering on ice mainly consists of sliding the car side to side in the vain attempt that you will eventually find a road (if you accidentally slide off you are screwed because there are no little signs telling you where the road is). The co driver is even less helpful, driving a car at about 50mph on ice and trying to comprehend a Scottish accent just do not work at all well together so it is best to concentrate on driving because that is easier than trying to understand the Scottish (and maybe welsh accent). Even if you happen to understand any of the Scottish/Welsh (maybe Irish) accent then it will be of very little help because most of the instructions are either 10 turns too early or 12 turns too late with the result you end up in a lake (in a desert). The artificial 'intelligence' is another point. The other cars appear to move around the track more like a train and never appear to even slip slightly whereas I am quite busy scraping my car off a barrier (usually a barrier around the lake I nearly drove into). Oh god this paragraph is getting quite long so I had better start a new one.
My opinion up until now has been somewhat one sided and there is a good reason for this; the reason being there is very little good to say about it. The cars seem to be quite realistic, with the exception of the odd hole in some cars. The cover on the box is quite nice looking and promises loads of 'groundbreaking' features which is what originally inspired me to buy the game (oh god why did I fall for the 'pretty cover' trick again). The tracks seem quitewell made with the exception of the odd hovering tree.
The Playstation 2 Official Magazine game it a 9/10 (but I get the feeling they may be slightly biased on the subject). I would give it around 3/10; the good points being the case, the cars and the third being the ability to throw my controller distances hitherto unachievable with other games. If I was asked 'should I buy this' I would say no unless you are in need of a doorstop.