Jump behind the wheel of an Indy car and take a few laps around some of the hottest tracks on the Indy circuit. What? You're growing tired of the Indy circuit? Alrighty then. Why don't you crank up the stock cars and take one for a spin? That's right, folks. You read correctly. Andretti Racing not only offers Indy racing but stock car racing, all in the same game. Sounds like the public outcry for games that offer more bang for the buck is finally being answered.
The Andretti family is probably the most famous family in racing history and they've teamed up with EA Sports. We now have the opportunity to race just like one of the famous Andrettis without leaving the comfort of the couch. All three of the famous racers had input on the design of the game, and even videotaped interviews addressing some of the finer points of racing and some career highlights.
Strap yourself in for a serious racing game that throws two different racing modes, 16 tracks, multiple driving perspectives and realistic pit stops, straight to your windshield. If that is not enough, you can start a professional season that pits you against real drivers on the stock and Indy circuits. See if you can rack up more victories than the Andrettis!
I always find racing games the most difficult to review, because there is really no story to tell. There is no introduction. Basically, I feel like walking on stage (okay, so I don't have a stage. Just pretend) and saying "Thanks for stopping by tonight. What we have here is a racing game. The object is to cross the finish line before any of the other cars. Thank you and drive home safely." Now, if that was all there was to a racing game (or my review), it would not make it very far. The point is, well, the point is, ummmm, I don't really know what the point is, so let's just talk about what makes Andretti Racing worthy of the Andretti and EA Sports names.
Andretti Racing is unique in that it gives you the option of either Indy car racing or stock car racing. Each of these racing formats places you against the actual racers in the respective circuit. What this means is that what could have been packaged as two separate games are all together in one. This is a big bonus. Let me warn you, though -- although these two racing circuits are represented, they share common tracks. This means you will find yourself racing the stocks on Indy tracks most of the time. I am no auto racing guru, but even I know that stocks traditionally run on oval tracks and Indy cars race through the twists and turns. Since almost all the tracks are geared towards Indy racing, basically what you end up with is an Indy racing game with the option of racing stock cars through these tracks.
If customizing your vehicle is your cup of tea, you will not be disappointed. Before every race, you can make the necessary adjustments to your car for the upcoming track. The customization consists of the ability to select an automatic or manual transmission, soft or hard tires, the amount of downforce on the front end of the car, the amount of downforce on the rear end of the car, and the gear ratios. As you adjust each of the settings, the performance figures on the screen adjust so you can immediately determine the effect your adjustment will have on the performance of the vehicle. These performance figures are very detailed and it is important to find a good balance for each track. If you are like me, your first reaction is to crank up the top speed to max and adjust the gears for faster acceleration. You will learn, as I did, this is not a good idea because what you gain in speed you lose in steering and control. In some racing games, you can make all the adjustments you want but when you start racing, you won't notice any difference in the performance of the vehicle. Not the case here. You make the adjustments and the car responds accordingly.
Andretti Racing has a feature that I really like. It gives you the ability to select the damage. What this means is that if you set the damage to Off, your car is invincible. This, of course, is not very realistic but it gives you the opportunity to get a feel for the game when you are starting out. I hate games that throw you straight into the fire and if you so much as nick a wall, your race is over. You can also set the game to limited damage. This allows you to hit other cars and walls, sustaining only minimal damage. If you are involved in a major collision, your car will have to restart from a complete stop. This acts as a good little penalty for smashing your fine racing vehicle, but it also allows you to continue racing. For the gutsy racers, the damage can be set to On. In this mode, any major accident knocks you out of the race. If you sustain minor damage, your pit crew can repair the damages, but your car has to be in the condition to make it to the pits. All in all, this gives gamers the ability to choose the difficulty that fits their skill level, giving equal opportunity to the beginners and the pros.
The game offers two different modes of play. You can either run an exhibition race, which lets you choose the track that will be raced, or you can race a full season. The season mode is where you will spend the majority of your time. The best thing about playing a season is that you do not have to win every race. Points are awarded to the finishing positions and a running total is kept. In theory, this means that if you finish in the top batch of racers on all tracks, you have a good shot at winning the season. The only drawback to this theory is that the top cars are always the same on every race. That means if you don't finish in first, the same racer will win every time. That makes the point total system less effective because if you have one bad finish, you know you won't be able to catch up. Also, one thing that really got my blood boiling was the fact that the leaders never had a problem making the corners. It was like they were driving on a rail through the hairpin turns. I am bouncing between the walls like a pinball and the other cars are just whipping by me like they were on a straightaway.
The last cool little detail is the pit stops. First, when you need to make a stop, your pit crew will radio you and let you know that you need to stop. When you do decide to pull into the pits, you have four options for services to be done to your vehicle. You can change tires, fill up the fuel tank, adjust your front end downforce and adjust your rear end downforce. This gives you the ability to make adjustments to your car during the race. But remember, everything you have done to the vehicle takes time. If you are in the pits too long, kiss the race goodbye. One last note: all cars must pit at some point during the race. This is not one of those games that makes you pit, but lets everyone else keep racing forever.
All the tracks are very detailed and the background cityscapes are well done. The cars themselves are fairly average-looking, but do get the job done. I did have some problem with breakup when I was on the wall in some places (believe me, I was on the wall in quite a few places). The crash scenes border on exaggerated, but not in a bad way. This is a video game, so some things need to be magnified to keep people interested.
I am going to mention this in the graphics section although I'm not sure that it is the best location: There is a racing tips option. This allows you to watch a segment of a videotaped interview with one of the Andrettis. The recording is crystal clear, but the information contained in the videos is not particularly helpful to the game, and if you are not an avid Andretti or racing fan, you will tire of them quickly.
Andretti Racing is a good combination of arcade-style racing with some simulation aspects mixed in. The large number of tracks (16) will keep you playing for quite a while, because none of them is easy to master. Controlling the car is a breeze and the steering is very responsive. I only wish that they would have spent a little more time separating the Indy tracks and the stock car tracks. Had this been done, this would be a must-have game. As it stands now, it is a good racing title that should give hours of fun gameplay.
Download Andretti Racing
It’s two, two, yes, two games in one! Not only do you get a NASCAR game, but you also get an Indycar game FREE! EA Sports has been one of the best, if not the best, sports games producers and publishers in computer gaming history. Their latest try at a racing game, Andretti Racing, is consistent with that trend. It is solid in both the NASCAR and Indycar portions of the game and provides hours of fun. The game does have a few shortcomings, but if you enjoy the speed and excitement of professional racing, then Andretti Racing will give you what you’re looking for.
The control and interface in Andretti Racing take some getting used to; particularly when jumping from one type of car to another. The Indycars are lightning-fast and respond very quickly. They make sharp turns and corner like a dream; which is a good thing, because some of the tracks you race on are extremely windy and turn-intensive.
On the other side of the coin, the NASCARs seem sluggish and unresponsive by comparison. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, in fact, it’s exactly how things should be. NASCARs are much larger and heavier than Indycars and that should be reflected in their handling. However, if you’ve been driving an Indycar for two or three hours, then switch gears (no pun intended) to a NASCAR, you’re going to have to readjust to the performance of the NASCAR.
The interface of the game is fairly simple, but it’s very important that you have a controller with enough buttons. Things in this game are fast and you need to have all the important commands, such as gas, brakes, shift up, shift down, look left, and look right, at your fingertips. The cockpits of the cars themselves aren’t very realistic. The indicators don’t look as they would in a real car; they look sort of computerized. I didn’t like that at all. I would have preferred they try to make the indicators as realistic as possible.
The one other small problem I have is that there seem to be many more Indy tracks than NASCAR tracks. Most of the tracks in the game are very twisty and turn intensive which doesn’t lend itself very well to NASCAR-style driving. There are some NASCAR tracks, which are basically just large circles. I would have liked to see more tracks and more variety for the NASCAR portion of the game.
As should be expected, Team Andretti almost always winds up in first. The game does offer excellent competition, as well as Multiplayer.
The graphics in Andretti Racingaren’t anything spectacular. The game does support 3Dfx, but I’ve seen the chip set utilized much more effectively. The graphics aren’t bad, but there is most definitely room for improvement. The cars seem somewhat blocky and crude, and events like skidding aren’t as crisp as they could be. More detail could have been put in the surroundings also. The graphics are good, but not great; and you won’t find yourself playing the game just to see them. Fortunately, the game relies more on the breakneck speed of its gameplay and not on its graphics.
The audio in this game isn’t anything great either. The Indycars sound rather whiny, the NASCARs don’t rumble at all, and the crashes sound somewhat dull. The music is at best benign; you don’t really notice it once you’ve begun the game. However, once again, the game relies on strong gameplay as its hook; not its music.
And now for the part more and more of us are beginning to dread: what’s it say on the bottom of the box? Fortunately, this one’s not too bad.
Windows 95, 133 Pentium or faster, 120 MB drive space, 16 MB RAM, 2X CD-ROM drive, DirectX 5 (provided). 3Dfx and NIVDIA Riva 128 chip sets supported, for those of us with 3D cards.
The documentation here is exactly what it should be: informative, but not overbearing. The game comes with a booklet that gives you a good idea of what to expect and some basic support scenarios. Nothing fancy, but it does its job.
Simply put, this game is fun to play. It keeps you interested and challenged and provides hours of gameplay. If you’re looking for a good racing game or are just a really big Mario and Michael Andretti fan, then this one is definitely worth a shot. So have fun and don’t forget to buckle up.
Strap yourself in and get ready to go up through the gears. The Andretti family will provide expert racing tips and pointers to help you improve your times and capture the checkered flag.
Jeff Andretti serves as the in-game expert to help you improve your racing skills.
Fox Sports anchorman James Brown introduces the racing action while Derek Daly and Bob Jenkins, the ABC Sports and ESPN racing broadcast team, offer up-to-the-minute race reports on the starting grid to the race results.
You can go head to head in a Split-screen Mode or you can link up and go at it with up to four players. Twelve custom-designed courses await you on world-class street and oval tracks. If you lose control, you'll fly through the air as EA and the designers of the game have included dynamic car crashes where cars will flip and the parts will really fly.
You will take part in two different kinds of racing: Stock car and Indy Car action. You can take to any one of 16 different tracks including three licensed street tracks and one licensed oval track. You will also be able to race from any one of three different racing perspectives.
When this game comes out, we'll take you on a guided tour of the courses and give you some strategies on how to improve your lap times.
- MANUFACTURER - EA Sports
- THEME - Racing
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1-4
With EA Sports' customary class and quality, Andretti Racing peels out on the PlayStation with adrenaline-filled Indy and stock car action. This early version sizzled with just the right blend of heated arcade-style gameplay and realistic sim elements. In Exhibition or Career mode, the green flag drops, on 16 real-life, tracks from around the world. Before each races tune yotir tires, front air dam. rear spoiler, and gear ratio, and the responsive controls perfectly reflect each minor 'adjustment. But Andretti's definitely not one of those pokey, detail-overloaded sims: Winning demands taut driving, smart strategy, and fierce bump-and-grind bullying. Sharp graphics, thumping sounds, and cameos from the Andretti family complete this sweet package.
Slap on them driving gloves--Andretti Racing's blazing toward the PlayStation with superb gameplay and controls. The graphics and sounds straggle a bit, but you'll be having way too much fun to care.
Needed for Speed
Andretti roars across the starting line with both stock- and Indy-car action, 4 real-life tracks, and 12 fantasy tracks. Before the flag drops, you customize each car's tires, gear ratio, and front and rear wings.
Exhibition mode poses the standard single-race challenge, while the sweet Career mode lets you accumulate points through an entire season, then accept offers from better teams before moving on to the next season. All three Andrettis even show up in decent full-motion video clips that provide tips and info on racing.
Both types of cars handle spectacularly well. The taut sim-style controls remarkably reflect every adjustment to your car's setup, and you can even regulate how hard you steer into a turn right from the directional pad.
The stock cars supply frenzied bumper-car mayhem, while Indy car races demand methodical strategy and skill. But to win in either, drivers have to qualify well, time pit stops precisely, and hit turns from the right line at the right speed. The result is enjoyably deep, addictive gameplay that challenges far more than your twitch steering skills. Fiercely tough courses and a cagey A.I. round out this impressive game.
Andretti's not without flaws, though. The game doesn't deliver a tight sense of changing speed--150 mph feels pretty much like 200 mph--and the weak rolling starts drop you into races too suddenly.
Graphically, Andretti doesn't fully live up to the PlayStation's potential. While the courses show off impressively detailed, authentic backgrounds and even small trifles like ad banners, the cars could've looked snazzier and more realistic.
As far as sounds, both vehicles rumble with smokin' tire and engine effects. The music's pretty solid, too, but the announcer chimes in too infrequently.
If you're addicted to racing games like Need for Speed, Andretti's gonna blow your doors off. It's far from perfect, but it delivers the kind of sizzlin' action that instantly ensnares racing fans.
- In stock cars, send opponents into the walls by nudging them from behind and at an angle or by sideswiping them on a turn.
- Always slow to the correct speed before you enter a turn, then accelerate as you begin the turn.
- If you're at the back of the pack, hit the pit early and try to recoup the time on an empty track while everyone else is languishing in the pit.
- Indy cars are faster and more fragile, so focus on setting up good lines through turns not fender-bending.
- On tracks with king straightaways, high gear ratios help you reach top speeds for longer periods of time.