Yet another racing game hits the PS3. Sega Rally Revo brings us beautiful scenery and muddy cars. But does it stand up to the others?
When you start the game, you are greeted by an interesting main menu. You navigate the entire menu by Polaroid photographs. You flip to the next one and it gets tossed to the side, slightly off screen. It’s stylish and different from any other menu I’ve seen.
As I said before, this is a great looking game. Screen shots don’t really do it justice, as you rarely notice flaws as you’re racing at such a fast pace. The environments just look impressive. You play on tracks that take you to the beach, snow covered roads, muddy off-road areas and everything in between. And as cool as these tracks were, I couldn’t help but notice the details that helped provide more realism. The skids that other cars made on the ground didn’t go away the entire race. If you slammed into the fence that defines the track, you took several boards of wood with you. When you drive in mud, your tires and bumper get muddy textures to it. But that’s not all. The ground you are racing on alters how you drive. You’ll be sliding in mud one second and then end up on the road with a little more traction to help you turn. This really helps to break up the action because, as you’ll read later, this is a very slippery game.
As far as sound goes, it’s as good as it should be. Nothing spectacular or horrible. Although I really liked the the sound of the engine as you drive, it didn’t exactly blow me away.
Online play was very smooth. Smoother than I thought it would be. In the few games I played there was no lag at all. Admittedly, I came in last, but there was a period of time there where I was bumper to bumper with my opponent’s. The PS3 handled it smashingly. Mud, tire tracks and all. Waiting for people to sign up to the match before the start was rather….. un- interesting, but I guess it’s a necessary evil for a racing game.
Unfortunately, those are the only redeeming attributes. This game has a lot of irritating issues, in my opinion. I’ll start with the major problem: Difficult opponents. Now I’m not stranger to challenges. In fact, I love playing games that force me to try and better my playing ability. However, that’s usually towards the later levels or higher difficulty settings. This game has insanely ruthless AI right out of the gate. It’s unforgiving and way too tough on beginners (such as myself). That’s just not cool. Next is a problem that’s somewhat related to this one: Steering controls. I’m sure it’s super fun to slide around when you can actually control your car properly, but how can you expect to win a race when you have trouble straightening out your car after a turn? Either the game is too slick, or the controls are too responsive. Either way, it sucks for the newbies.
It also doesn’t help when the tracks are extremely restricting. The roads are almost always claustrophobia-inducing, which gives no room for error when taking turns. I hugged the walls harder than a tree hugger living in a wood cabin. If you can’t provide a more realistic layout for your tracks, at least try to make the gameplay more forgiving towards the early stages. NOBODY WANTS TO BE STUCK PLAYING THE SAME FEW TRACKS MULTIPLE TIMES WITH LITTLE CHANCE OF PROGRESSION.
And finally, to add insult to injury: There is no car damage. Shouldn’t that be one of the standards of Next Gen car racing games? Motor Storm had pretty good graphics and great car damage effects. Why can’t you do the same, Sega? I just don’t get it. Awesome crashes are the one thing that could have made me like this game better without improving the controls. If you’re going to suck at the game and crash, it should be spectacular and entertaining to watch.
In conclusion, I’m sure that fans of the series already own this game…. but let this article be a word of warning for those who are new. Expect a fairly frustrating learning process before the fun begins.