May 10, 2001
Paris-Dakar Rally - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Rating Players Price

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The game has a lot of redish dirt.
The Paris-Dakar Rally isn't very well known in Australia, but in Europe it's huge. It is among the most gruelling races around the world and is a strain on any competitor. The Paris-Dakar rally pits over 400 drivers against each other in a gruelling 17-day race over 6,500 miles. The competitors race a mixture of buggies, 4x4 vehicles, motorbikes and quad bikes across the toughest terrain and conditions! Acclaim has been developing this game for some time now and it is shaping up quite nicely. Expect plenty of thrills and spills when this game is finally release around mid 2001.

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The game includes turning guides.
While the game won't include the entire race (I don't think you will want to play a racing game for 17 days) it will include 12 stages each over 25km long. To add some excitement and variety each stage will include multiple routes, which offer the opportunity to reduce your times if you are good enough. The game begins on the west coast of Africa in the jungle, through the savannah and scrub before finishing in the sand dunes and the wonders of Egypt. The game will also be littered with dramatic highlights from previous rallies. It will be interesting to see how the frame rate holds up with such impressive graphics.

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Hopefully this is only a replay.
Naturally, no racing game, especially rally games, will be without hazards. The dirt roads are laden with potholes which will cause damage to the suspension of the cars. Tumbleweed can cause damage to the windscreen, which is vital to protect you from the sandstorms that are prevalent in the desert. Other obstacles include fallen trees, rocks, mud patches and broken parts to your car which will have to be repaired at the Way Stations. Way stations on the salt plains will allow you to effect repairs. You'll need to use the G.P.S. compass to guide you there but the plains come with the possibilities of flash-flooding. Exactly how these repairs will be carried out remains to be seen. Another thing to keep an eye on is your stamina. You will need to top up on food and water as you race.

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Dust makes it hard to see road ahead.
Paris-Dakar Rally is an fairly solid looking racing game. Acclaim's recent games have been a mixture of extremely good to extremely bad but Paris-Dakar Rally fortunately looks like a winner. I haven't seen any images from the jungle stages to date but if they are as impressive as these surrounding desert pictures then it should be a visual treat. With a release date set for late June there is only a couple of weeks development remaining on the title before manufacture. Expect the game to make a splash at this year's E3 show in a couple of short weeks time. The Playstation 2 line up just keeps on getting stronger.