539th played so far


Genre: Racing
Platform: Playstation 3/Playstation Portable/Xbox 360
Year of Release: 2008
Developer: Rockstar San Diego/Rockstar London
Publisher: Rockstar Games

Rockstar made a racing game! You know, the group probably best known for the Grand Theft Auto series (once it goes third person).

Racing games are always a mixed bag for me – some work well, some not at all, just as often depending on the difficulty as anything else. Even so, this game at least add some GTA and open world elements, so we’ll see where that goes.

Our Thoughts

So as this is Rockstar games, we really get an open world racing game – and with street racing like this being a felony, one with at least some criminal elements involved. The cut scenes this involves are mostly small, GTA3 style, rather than the more involved cut scenes of later games. It still feels like it’s there just to tie things together, too insignificant to make it connect everything.

Still, the racing is good. I’m not great at it myself, but even that was taking care of: Even when losing, you earn some XP and can make some progress. It’s slower, and I’m sure it changes, but it didn’t feel like I came up to a wall as much as in other games, and it encouraged me to try different races.

These are fairly varied, one on one or with a group, with a set route or just telling you to go to an endpoint. The latter especially makes use of the large open world, but all of the races do to an extent, sometimes showing you through familiar areas, but also taking you through distinct areas.

The game does some fancy things with the map too, zooming in and out while it moves around landmarks. As a small 3D model (it seemed) it adds a real helicopter view. The game does look good, even beyond that, and it’s clear Rockstar pulled out all the stops on this one for looks – even if you just race past them once.

Final Thoughts

It’s difficult for me to get too enthusiastic about a racing game. It is executed really well here and the open world adds a lot – especially as the systems set you up to always be moving forward. The world is big and fun. It does everything well enough – with far more real elements than you would expect to see – but of course, having never visited LA, that doesn’t have quite as much of an impact…