Colin McRae Rally 3
Aside from the cool music, the first thing I noticed when starting this game is the simplicity of options and gameplay. Usually these types of games have a ton of features for tweaking your car and seem to expect you to know how to do this. That's fine if you customize rally cars for a living but can be annoying for the rest of us. It was nice to just be able to hop in and race without having to mess with configurations. If you're into customizing, don't fret ' you can still modify to your heart's content in the Championship mode. The Championship mode and Stages mode play more or less the same except in the Championship mode you can customize your car, any damage inflicted will carry over to the next leg of the course, and you can unlock new tracks, cars, and items. The gameplay itself and the controls are great. I found the game to be a little more forgiving than Rallisport Challenge and it seemed like I had better control. I also really liked that the different courses are on different types of roads ' some are dirt, some paved, some are ice, etc. I didn't notice much realistic damage to the car unless you really did a number on it (say goodbye to your hood). The pace notes were written and recorded in the game by Colin's navigator and co-driver, Nicky Grist. If you don't understand what Nicky means when he says something like 'three right into four left over crest'?, the manual will set you straight and may make you a better driver for it. You can also use the visual on-screen cues to alert you to what kind of turns are coming up. The multiplayer comes in the form of either split-screen or turn based depending on the type of course you run.
The graphics seemed pretty standard for an Xbox title. Nothing jaw-dropping or eye-popping and there aren't many effects aside from your car getting real dirty and the brake lights. The video cut scenes did look a bit blurry to me. I liked the music, but there isn't much of it except on the menu screens and during the videos.
Bottom line here is if you like rally or really any type of racing games you're sure to enjoy this one. I found very little wrong with the game unless you're really a realism- or graphics-snob. I can see this game being totally awesome with a steering wheel if you have one. Even if you aren't much of a racing fan but are in the mood to race, I'd definitely recommend Colin McRae Rally 3 as a rental.