Rallisport Challenge 2 Review

By on August 26, 2006

Colin McRae, eat your heart out


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First Impressions
My reaction is

Rally games have come a long way since the days of Sega Rally. There was the realistic Colin McRae Rally which was quite successful when compared to Richard Burns Rally, V-Rally and Rally Fusion. Then Microsoft dropped a bomb with Rallisport Challenge, when the Xbox hit the market. The arcade style of driving was really addictive and proved to be better than its competitors. Two years later Microsoft took the original, tweaked it, added the Xbox Live option and gives the world Rallisport Challenge 2 (RC2). 

Basically RC2 has a more arcade feel to it than the simulated feel of Colin McRae Rally. This is one of the key points because it tends to be fun as it’s easier to do power slides, catch more air and the mistakes are more forgiving. It is just plain fun. The game has over 40 licensed cars which include the likes of Mitsubishi, Subaru, Seat, Ford, etc. Some of the cars look so outrageously funny with their wide body kits and sky high spoilers, you would doubt that you are playing a rally game. Each car has a unique skin and three others that need to be unlocked by driving a fixed number of kilometers. Since this would be a huge task, the mileage is tallied as you drive the car online, on single player and career. There are even bonus cars that need to be unlocked when you finish career mode.
The core of the game is the career mode which includes four difficulties (Amateur, Pro, Champion and Superrally) which have you driving in Rally, RallyCross, Hill Climb, Crossover and Ice Racing. Yes, you read right, Ice Racing (which is loads of fun). As you progress through career you unlock new cars, tracks and face tougher AI. The whole career would take about 20 hours at an average to complete and then there’s unlocking all the unique paint jobs. The game is easy to learn and there are the tuning options which are basically there to help the driver adjust his way of driving — nothing too complex, basically steering response, brake balance, suspension, etc. 

The tracks are long and feel fun to drive on. The Ice Racing especially will have people dying to do long power slides and the Rally levels will make you try to fly with its bumpy roads. During heavy rain and thick fog, you will thank God that you have a reliable navigator with you.
The graphics are really good for a rally game. The sun setting on the horizon, the dust clouds kicking as you whiz past, the realistic car damage, all make the game even more enjoyable. The car models look good too and even the bystanders waving by look freakishly real.
Normally sounds of racing games are just high engine revs and tire squeals. But RC2 puts those games to shame with its unique car sounds, especially the sound of the changing clutches, sparks from the exhaust, the cheering crowds and the clear directions of the navigator.. Even at different views the sounds are different. You hear the engine roar more loudly when you have the hood view on. The soundtrack may not be interesting for some which is why there is the option of using the custom soundtracks.

The Xbox Live is a new feature that was not there in the original. It features 16-player races which basically is a let down since the tracks are not made for 16 cars. There is the option for collision detection to be turned off which makes all the cars wireframe which spoils the mood of multiplayer. Four racers on a track would make a more logical solution. There is a system link option too for those who want to take their Xboxes to a friend’s place.
Overall, the game with its 20+ hours of gameplay, great replay value and an online racing option makes RC2 a must have.

The Scorecard
Never a dull moment
The wireframe in multiplayer brings down the score to what would have been 9.5
Ever heard the sound of Volvo 240 Turbo changing gears?
Long hours of fun with is 20+ hours gameplay.
20+ hours of gameplay, great replay value and an online racing makes this a must have.


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