Racing games for the Xbox have been quite abundant ever since the console was launched a few years ago. I really feel like the Xbox is a racing game fan’s heaven as there have just been some amazing racing titles released for it in the past couple of years. The Colin McRae series has been a very successful series that has combined great visuals and solid gameplay in the past few editions to make great racing games. Can they bring an even better racing experience in Colin McRae Rally 2005 for the Xbox? The answer can be found if you keep on reading!
For those of you who haven’t played any of the Colin McRae series it is a game takes you to a simulation of rally type racing. I know we have seen some great rally racers in Rallisport Challenge, but like most racing fans are probably saying you can never get enough race titles, and that’s why year after year Codemasters comes out with another sequel trying to get the series to a competitive level. Does it do the job this year?
One of the biggest improvements in my eyes hasn’t been the very popular addition of Xbox Live support which I will get to later on, but it’s actually to the career mode which has had a much needed upgrade. Similar though to most racing titles you start at the bottom of the ranks as a rookie with the cheap cars and the lousy competition, and it’s your job to move your way up to try and reach the top. There is just a ridiculous amount of race types to choose from in the game. So much so that you will just be overwhelmed at first. What this does it is it really lets you mix it up and not make you feel like you’re on such a linear career, instead one more in which you can choose your own path of whichever type of races you feel like participating in.
Similar to previous year’s iteration, paying attention to your co-driver is very important, and that is more so this time around. I think the developers did an excellent job of really making this more like a simulation, therefore having to rely on your second pair of eyes a whole lot more often. This becomes even more crucial on some of the harder tracks, which will prove to be much more of a challenge then the series has ever seen.
That leads me to the racing tracks of this year’s title, which have been definitely hardened up over the year. Tracks seem to consist of a lot more sharp turns and such to really make driving all that much more challenging. And this great as you will really have to work your way into this game to become good at it. This is really what a simulation type game is supposed to do, and something Colin McRae Rally 2005 does very nicely.
Still waiting on the Xbox Live functionality? Well, here you go. Yes the big news coming from Codemasters this year in regards to Colin McRae Rally 2005 was the Xbox Live support, something it had last year but without online gameplay. Last year consisted of scoreboards; this year consists of the full package. You of course have the standard Optimatch, and Quick match that allow you to up against seven other players. The other competitors show up as ghost cars as this is a rally car game, and it works pretty well actually. At least now you don’t have to worry about the jerks who tries to knock people off the road. It also has a worldwide leader board so you can check out who is the best in the world.
Overall I was very impressed with this year’s edition of the Colin McRae series, as you can see Codemasters has taken the necessary steps to really create a great rally racing game. With the addition of the solid Xbox Live support and an upgraded career mode, this is hands-down one of the best racing games out today.
The Colin McRae series has never been the graphical marvel that other racing games have been over the years. It’s just something about this series that really has never featured the presence of great graphics. They always just seem to have one or two little things that really end up bringing down the rest of the game. How do they do this year?
All I can say is wow, because they have done a lot of work to this game in only a one-year span. The graphics of Colin McRae Rally 2005 have been kicked up quite a few notches from last year’s version. The game finally gives you that sense of speed that really has been missing from the series. Also the lighting effects have been taken up quite a bit and really make the game feel so much more realistic then before. I am most impressed though with the amount of detail they have put into all of the tracks and such. The car models also have a lot more detail, which makes them a lot easier to recognize.
Overall Colin Mcrae Rally 2005 has had the much-needed upgrades in the graphical department that it has needed in the past so badly. Although the game is not even close to the Rallisport 2 graphics, they still make a name for themselves and produce a great looking racing game.
The one addition that has really made Colin McRae Rally 2005 a whole lot more fun then before is the Xbox Live support. I have found that all of my games have been lag free and all have been quite competitive. The single player modes in the game are also a step up from last year, where there seemed to be a need for more in the career mode. The graphics really close the deal in my book as the new lighting effects and upgraded car models really make this game feel a whole lot more interesting then in previous years.
Colin McRae Rally 2005 may not be Rallisport Challenge 2, but it is a great rally racing game that should not be overlooked. Any fan of rally racing should definitely give this game a try as it has all the making of a great game, at a low price tag of $29.99! If you ask me you can’t beat that with a stick.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.