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March 29, 2006
V8 Supercars 3 - PS2 Review
Release Date Distributor Developer Players Rating Difficulty
23/2/2006AtariCodemasters1-2, 8 GVariable
Save Size Sound Format Vibration 60Hz Mode 50Hz Border Widescreen
210KBDolby PLIIYesYesNoneYes

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Hear the lion roar...
I am going to start this review of with a bang; V8 Supercars 3 is the best racing title I have ever played, by a long way. I know a lot of people who love Gran Turismo 4 to death, but for me I just didnít enjoy it, I found it slow going and having no online support (which was promised as one of the main features of the game!) really turned me off it. The gurus at Codemasters have a long history of creating quality titles but making something to knock over GT4 was still going to take some doing, read on to find out how they did it.

V8 Supercars 3 is absolutely loaded to breaking point with various cars, races, official licenses and classes. First up the game features 35 different racing classes including Rally, Formula 1000, GT Lights, Formula BMW, British Touring Cars and of course Australiaís own V8 Touring car series. All of these modes sound familiar to racing fans, but Codemasters have included other racing genres for you to play around with including Cart Racing, Off Road Buggys and Monster 4 X 4 races, which add something unique and thoroughly enjoyable. There are over 70 officially licensed cars to drive as well. There are 116 different championships (many of which you have to unlock) for you to win which should keep any rev head happy for months. To cap it all off there are over 100 different courses to race on including famous venues like Indianapolis, Bahrain International and of course the legendary Bathurst (it is also great to see Tasmaniaís own Symmonds Plain raceway in there as well). All of the tracks in the game have been developed using GPS technology to create the most realistic looking tracks available.

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Hitting the dirt track...
Once you have had a look around at all that is available itís probably time to jump into the World Tour Mode. This is V8 Supercars 3 story based mode which takes you through every championship and driving discipline available in the game. This mode is pushed forward by some fantastic cut scenes, though the story is nothing to write home about. The other main mode is the Pro Career Mode which sets you of on a challenge to win every single championship, which when considering the number of championships on offer is a real hardcore gamerís challenge. Of course you can always just jump into a V8 and enjoy it in quick race if that all sounds too much hard work.

Having all the cars and modes on offer still doesnít matter if the actual racing is not up to scratch; fortunately there are no concerns here as the game plays great. It is one of those great games that the second you put it on you can enjoy but will still take months and months for you to get close to mastering. Learning how the different cars handle does take some time, but when you start getting your lap times down it becomes an addictive experience. You also have the option to make it as easy or hard as you like by playing around with various options like driver aid and braking aids to get the experience right for you. So gameplay wise Codemasters have produced a game that is simple to pick up and play as well as a hardcore challenge for true racing fanatics.

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Collision detection is great.
So far I may not have done enough to convince the Gran Turismo 4 fans that V8 Supercars 3 is the new king, but there is one area where V8 Supercars 3 shines all over GT4 and that is in the multiplayer. 1 or 2 players can play the game against each other in split screen which like GT4 is a lot of fun but the real kicker here is the fact that you can go online with 7 other races and live out your Holden V Ford rivalries with like minded Australians. The game plays great and with the popularity of the sport you should have no problem finding someone to have a great game with.

To be honest I have had real trouble finding many faults worth mentioning. Probably the only thing I was slightly annoyed with was in some races the rules were unevenly enforced, for example if you give an opponent a shove sometimes you get a caution while other times you donít. The final gripe is that the damage modeling which is better than GT4ís (which had none!) could have been done a little bit better, but with everything they managed to cram into the game I am sure they probably just ran out of room.

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Booo... Ford.
Visually V8 Supercars 3 is stunning. The cars themselves are detailed brilliantly. The tracks themselves have had a lot of work done too them and look great as well. It really is the closest thing to watching a TV broadcast that I have come across on the Playstation 2. Seeing your favorite V8 car tearing up Bathurst is something a lot of gamer will fall in love with.

The sounds are also pretty darn good. The meaty V8ís are backed up with appropriately beefy sounds. Crashes and bumping into other cars also sounds spot on. The guy that gives you instructions during some races is also accurate.

As I said at the start this is the best racing game I have played ever, and is one of my favorite games on Playstation 2 period. That is a huge boast from me as I really dislike racing games in general, but this one managed to suck me in with one of the most addictive "one more go" gameplay I have ever encountered. This game will keep my racing needs satisfied right up to and probably well after the Playstation 3 gets released down under. Well done Codemasters on producing an absolute classic.

Review By: Graham Darko

Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse (PAL version) or Amazon (NTSC Version).
GRAPHICSAbsolutely brilliant levels of detail in both the cars and tracks add up to a stunning looking racer.
SOUNDThe cars sound just as they should.
GAMEPLAYGreat handling of all cars, easy to pick up and play but a game that gets even better with more time spent playing it. Great.
VALUEThis game is an absolute monster that will take months to conquer. If you can take it online then you are looking at the best value for money title around, bar none.
OVERALLOne of the classiest games ever made and damn good fun for everyone.

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