However, your success will depend on more than just your competitive driving skills. You must also keep in close contact with your team of experts. Your R&D manager will propose new concepts with different designs and driving characteristics. Some concepts will be more suitable for certain tracks than others, so the choice of car to develop will influence your ability to perform well in the championships.
The production manager will give you feedback on how your driving is influencing sales and the expansion of your factory. This is part of the original and innovative reward system that has been designed for RE. Finally your secretary will inform you of in-coming opportunities that, if successful, will get your brand into the headlines of the press.
Infogrames has licensed the real brands of 40 of today's cars for you to race against. In some cases you will even get an exclusive look at future cars, such as the Dodge Viper RT10, which will not be on the market until 2003.
The car prototype designs were created by students at leading automotive design schools, giving the player the possibility to build a total of unique and beautiful 45 cars. Each car is rendered with around 10,000 polygons and will take visible damage.
The automobile and racing physics have been inspired by the best racing products on the market and the experience of Infogrames and Milestone in this field is a guarantee of a solid racing experience. The AI will also push the limits and create opponents who make snap judgments based on the race at hand as well as mistakes. The sounds for the cars have also been handled with the same attention to detail and, as with real world sports cars, just the engine sound will be an experience on its own.
The different championships will take you all over the world. There are several variations in track style, with some taking place in cities, some in the mountains, some on racetracks and others in stadiums. There are over fifty courses in all, each with its own feel, while the type of track you are on will greatly affect the handling of your car. These tracks have been created with special attention to the architectural feel of each location and an astounding feel of realism. Up to half a million polygon sceneries have breathtaking depth, with moving billboards, trees with individually rendered branches and trunks, moving traffic on secondary roads, huge mountains to drive up, etc. The game engine, specially designed for the Xbox, will be the first to fully exploit the console's technology in a racing game.
The main mode will deliver over 30 hours of gameplay with arcade and multiplayer modes added for replay value.
Overall RE is pretty strong in all departments. Granted, the commercial elements of RE (like developing your brand) are not going to be everybody's cup of tea. Although; the racing will instantly hook any closet speed freak.
Graphically RE is no less than stunning. Every aspect of the look and feel has been painstakingly perfected (even the traditionally woody looking spectator's are great).
Sound-wise things are a little disappointing but you can easily rectify the situation with your own personal soundtracks.
RE is not as much of a stunning new concept as the developers would like you to think, but never-the-less RE is an extremely competent racing package with a bit more to offer than most.
8 out of 10