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Jan. 28, 2002

GW Xbox > Xbox Previews > Preview Page


Colin McRae 3.0



Rally Racing


One of the few publishers to get the genre right bring rally racing to the Xbox. You know it's going to be good.

Codemasters' rally series has already become one of the markets most critically acclaimed motor sport franchises, and the Xbox is beyond doubt keyed up to receive its latest edition, Colin McRae Rally 3.0. The company's racing series has shipped an astonishing 4 million copies over the PlayStation and PC platforms. Thanks to Microsoft's Xbox video game system, Codemasters looks to reach new heights and seize a broader audience with its upcoming title.

Racing has always been a broad genre, with many sub-genres vying for attention, ranging from street, course, rally, kart, bicycle, snowmobile, jet ski, truck, demolition to even foot (Mad Dash). Together these names make up one of the biggest video game genres of this generation. Even though RalliSport Challenge is out there to compete with, the fear is only slight competition when it comes to the masters of rally.

This well-known studio received Edge Magazine's "Publisher of the Year" award in 1998, and has developed such wonders as the previous Colin McRae titles and Blade of Darkness. Along with Colin McRae Rally 3.0, Codemasters is developing Pro Race Driver, Prisoner of War and Mike Tyson Heavyweight Boxing for the Xbox video game system throughout the coming months. This serves to show how intimate the company is with the hardware. You don't get to be developing that many games for a system and not have something special planned.

In order to truly deliver the most down-to-earth racing experience, Codemasters and Ford Racing have teamed up to combine vast proficiency and passion for a comprehensively tense motor sport, with the intention of expanding the overall fun factor of the studio's upcoming title. Together, both big name companies plan on developing what has already the potential of becoming the greatest rally game ever made!

In terms of visuals, Colin McRae Rally 3.0 already looks stunning to say the least. Even in its early stages, the game looks to compete at the same level as other platform racers such as Sony's Gran Turismo series. Colin McRae Rally 3.0's spotlight car, the Ford Focus RS WRC, has been designed to the smallest inch of detail. Associate Producer for the title, Rich Nath, has already mentioned that the game's Focus model is up to 16 times more realistic then in Colin McRae Rally 2.0, and that it would feature a staggering 13,000 polygons as compared to the 800 some in the previous title. From the car's interior, to its engine bays and chassis, Codemasters has just about every possibility with the Xbox's Nvidia hardware.

Players can expect to see parts actually functioning on their car not just painted to help look genuine. The wicked next-generation damage engine has also been enhanced from previous games of this series. Panels, doors, tailgates, bonnets, bumpers, and windows are fully detachable and breakable. Another cool additional feature is that both Colin McRae and co-driver Nicky Grist have been fully animated to react depending on the car's movement. Expect them to hold the sidebars when turning and actually hold the handbrake when taking a tight turn. All in all, from what has been released to the media so far, it is safe to say that rallying has never seemed so realistic. Let's just hope it comes through.

A dedicated team of technicians in charge of researching for data and detailed information regarding how changes to the performance take effect with the different car set-ups, how vehicles react to specific hits on various parts, plus how they handle throughout vast icky courses. The data will then help redefine Colin McRae Rally 3.0's in-game car physics, yet another reason why this could quite easily deliver the best racing experience!

With the Xbox's custom-soundtrack feature and hard drive, rallying should really hit its boundaries. If Codesmasters takes advantage of everything the Xbox console has to offer, Colin McRae Rally 3.0 may just become every racer's fantasy.

Looking at the game's release date, the Xbox's online network isn't totally out of the question just yet. On top of that possibility, a system link feature would certainly extend the fun. Just imagine a team of racers playing against each other, either across the world via the Internet, or side by side thanks to the glory of LAN. The possibilities are all in reach this time around.

Colin McRae Rally 3.0 will race its way across entertainment retailers around the globe during the upcoming autumn season. Rev your engine and fasten your seat belt, the thrill is only beginning!

Matt Thomas
Hates playing in the mud but likes mud pie - go figure.

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