Original URL: http://www.psxextreme.com/scripts/previews2/preview.asp?prevID=193
Pro Race Driver
Scheduled release date: TBA 2002
Publisher: Codemasters
Developer: Codemasters
Genre: Racing
Number Of Players: 1-2

The PS2 has seen a whole horde of racers despite its short time on the market. While most of them are very similar, referring to the overall concept of the game, Pro Race Driver brings a very fresh, innovative experience to the PS2. The main reason for Pro Race Driverís noticeable distinction from other racers is the fact that Pro Race Driver actually has a strong story replete with characters and movie-scenes.

As the story begins, you are given control of a racecar (read "racecar" backwards!) driver named Ryan McKane. The story will revolve around your goal at becoming the best racer in the world. However, youíll have quite the way to go because as you initially start youíre a nobody. The story will progress around your family -- who have had an illustrious career in the sport -- and friends 

Pro Race Driver sits in the simulation basket of the abundance of PS2 racers -- boasting real cars, real drivers, real tracks, and real times. This alone helps it stand strong as a simulation. However, in addition to these real-life elements, PRD also features real-time damage, which is the last piece in the puzzle of a true simulation.

Unlike GT3 and the such, your main goal isnít to tweak-out and augment all the various parts in your car, but to, instead, focus on the racing aspect of the game. While this may seem somewhat disappointing at first, Codemasterís main intent is to deliver the most realistic, natural racing feel to date. Helping to pull this off will be their incorporation of FEM, or Finite Element Modeling. What this does is deliver one of the most genuine looking wreckage and damage marks that any video game has seen. Additionally, the AI and physics facets of the game have been amply worked on to help deliver one of the most realistic driving experiences.

Codemasters has added a plethora of cars to choose from, 42 in all. Only 24 have been disclosed, however:

  • Alfa Romeo 147
  • Alfa Romeo GTV
  • Audi TT ABT
  • Chevrolet Cavalier 724 Coupe
  • Chevrolet Corvette Z06 (2000)
  • Chevrolet Monte Carlow 2001 +Stock Car Body Kit (NASCAR)
  • Daimler Chrysler Eagle Talon (Turbo)
  • Dodge Neon Highline Sedan GT-R
  • DPRS T-230
  • Ford Falcon
  • Holdon Commodore SS (VX)
  • Lotus Sports Elise (NB Racing Exige)
  • Mercedes CLK
  • MG ZS
  • Mitsubishi Mirage
  • Open Astra Coupe
  • Peugeot 406 Coupe
  • Proton Satria Gti
  • Saab 95 Aero
  • Subaru Impreza WRX Type-R STI Version 6
  • Toyota Chaser 2.0 (EFI 2500)
  • Toyota Lexus IS200
  • Toyota Supra Mk4 93-98 Turbo (2001)
  • Vauxhall Astra Coupe

There are also a plentiful amount of racing events -- all real-life ones too! Hereís the list of events, which span all around the world.

  • Alfa GTV Cup 
  • American All Stars
  • Americas Series
  • AVESCO V8 Supercar
  • Deutsche Tourenwagon Masters
  • Elite championship - class A
  • Elite championship - class B
  • European Tour
  • Lola World Championship
  • Northern European Challenge
  • Pacific Challenge
  • Southern European Challenge
  • TOCA Tour

Pro Race Driver also features a whole slew of circuits -- 38 in all. These tracks are organized in sections:

Americas

  • Charlotte
  • Mexico City
  • Vancouver
  • Bristol Speedway
  • Searspoint
  • Las Vegas

United Kingdom

  • Brands Hatch (Indy)
  • Oulton Park
  • Silverstone
  • Donnington
  • Knockhill
  • Brands Hatch (GP)
  • Rockingham Motor Speedway (International)
  • Rockingham Motor Speedway (Oval)

Germany

  • Hockenheimring (Short)
  • Nurburgring (Long)
  • Oscherslaben
  • Norisring
  • Zandvoort
  • Hockenheimring (Long)
  • Nurburgring (Short) 

Australia

  • Phillip Island
  • Oran Park
  • Adelaide
  • Eastern Park Raceway
  • Canberra
  • Bathhurst
  • Sanddown 
  • France
  • Magny Cours
  • Dijon Prenois 

Europe And Elsewhere

  • Monza
  • Vallelunga
  • Catalunya (Spain)
  • Fuji (Japan)
  • TI Circuit AIDA (Japan)
  • Mantorp Park (Sweden)
  • Zolder (Belgium)
  • A1 Ring (Austria) 

Pro Race Driver, as far as visuals go, is quite impressive. The cars themselves are complexly detailed from head to toe, err...hood to wheels. Each vehicle features over a whopping 15,000 polygons, how 'bout them apples? In addition, Codemasters has also rendered some very impressive skids, complete with tons of smoke and dust as your car burns rubber. The sky's look has a very genuine look, showing some excellent clouds and impressive looking beams from the sun to boot.

Thatís all for now. Pro Race Driver is slated for a release later this year, at a currently undisclosed date.


3/20/2002   Joseph Comunale