Previews

TOCA Race Driver 3

We TOCA look at number three in Codemasters' excellent driving series - and come away with rubber burns

If all the content and features of TOCA Race Driver 3 were ripped out of the game and laid out in a long, oily line, they'd stretch from here to Venus - twice. If the game were turned into a fun run, you'd probably wear your legs to bloody stumps before reaching the end - fun, it would not be.

The actual title itself, however, looks like it will be fun - and if you're the sort with petrol running through their veins, make that a lot of fun. Far from shaping up to be a merely decent racing game (there are plenty of those already), TOCA Race Driver 3 has clearly been conceived as something far greater. Like its forebears, it combines all the best bits of motor racing - the cars themselves, the spectacular pile-ups and the sheer speed. Countless vehicles and driving disciplines are represented, from sprint cars and DTM to rallying and even monster trucks. And with one of the best damage models in the business, there's no skirting around the issue of beautiful cars being smashed to bits for fear of upsetting manufacturers - no siree.

Zoom

So far, so massive. And once you get out onto the racetrack, it's clear that the game is going to look even better than the girls draped over the cars on the starting grid. Everything is sharp and detailed, with the vehicles themselves looking and feeling so real that you can almost smell the skid marks (on the track, that is).

Then there's the impressive sense of speed - the biggest turn-up for the books in this third outing. The cars in previous instalments were somewhat cumbersome animals, as realism was religiously aimed for, and consequently, races tended to feel slow and lack excitement. This time, that philosophy has been tossed out the window - cars have had their rev limiters removed, and now they go like the proverbial bodily waste off a stick.

So, it's all rather splendid. With vehicle handling having been given a kick up the backside, TOCA Race Driver 3 looks like it'll fuse its renowned attention to detail with
some truly pulse-quickening race action. And that's got to be a good thing.

The verdict

All the amazing attention to detail of the previous games is still there, but it's now married with a real sense of speed (and an even greater variety of vehicles). Promising, to say the least.

Format
PlayStation 2
Developer
Codemasters
Publisher
Codemasters
Genre
Racing / Driving

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