Replay Value: 8.1
A game that has been awaited by the public for about a year and half has finally made its way here to the US. Colin McRae Rally has been one of the most popular racers in England since '98. The US Playstation community demanded for Colin McRae Rally to hit shelves here, but Sony and Codemasters unknowingly decided not to port the game over. Until the day finally came, when Sony announced that Codemasters will bring Colin over to the Americas. See if this game is the Gran Turismo of rally titles or is it just a bland rally experience.
The visuals seem somewhat dated in Colin McRae and it shows. The car detail is solid, but there is no polish to them. No chroming kind of makes the cars seem a little stale, I understand that the game is almost 2 years old, but hey I'm a critic and my job is to base a game on its performance. Anyways the backgrounds look pretty good, with little to no pop up in the scenery. The game runs at a smooth 30 FPS and can also be upgraded to 60 FPS with a code, but resulting in heavy clipping and pop up. What I liked the most about the visuals was the cool intro I was greeted with, the quality of the CG was very nice, perhaps on the caliber of Square's work.
To sum up the gameplay in a few words is an impossible task. Colin McRae Rally truly is the Gran Turismo of rally racers, the game spans over 10 cars (11 to be exact), 8 different countries with over 50 tracks and an excellent Rally School mode. Rally School is where Nicky Grist (the voice you hear in the game) teaches you how to drive a rally car, what to do in a certain track, how to maneuver your car in a certain situation, etc. There are three levels in the Rally School, you start out on Beginner which is extremely easy, then you progress on to Intermediate and Expert. You should not take this game for granted, because as you make progress in the school, the events become more and more challenging. The Championship Mode is the games main area, and the Rally Mode is more like a single player mode. Colin McRae is not just for one player, it also has a two player option where you and a buddy can go head to head. I have to admit one thing, the GT series has really spoiled me due to its extreme amount of cars and options. To be honest if Colin McRae was not a game that was around 2 years old then I would have given the game a lower score, but its rally realism is very high and that's what keeps the game really going. The only biggest flaw is that Colin McRae now drives a Ford Focus and not a Suburu Impreza, so Colin McRae Rally may feel somewhat dated.
Although don't get completely discouraged from purchasing Colin McRae (especially if you are a rally fan), because the codes that Sony and Codemasters provided us with are some of the best yet. Codes such as the Micro Machines code, and the 60 FPS code is something pretty cool and something that will give the game a bigger life span. Oh and if you want the codes just click on the link, insert link here, (but you better finish reading the review!).
There really isn't anything revolutionary about the sound, but it still sounds pretty damn good. Car engines may not be as realistic as GT2's but for a 2 year old game it's not bad. The music isn't anything special, perhaps if they had some talent behind the soundtrack, I would have been more interested in listening to the game but I just usually mute it or turn the music off. Nicky Grist's voice sounds pretty clear, but you may have to deal with the accent though.
Rally fans and racing fans should definitely pick this one up, if you are one of those people who has been waiting for Colin McRae Rally you better run to the nearest videogame retail store and pick a copy up for yourself. Mixing, an excellent amount of tracks to be raced on, 11 cars, a very intuitive Rally School Mode and many more Colin McRae is one for the record books.