February 14, 2001
World Rally Championship 2001 promises to be the most exciting rally game this year. Sony have put considerable effort into helping Evolution Studios with this title, so much so that the game has received and exclusive license from the ISC to use the actual FIA World Rally Championship driver, tracks and cars. Can this development team create a great first game, or is it headed toward disaster? Only time will tell, but early impressions are not only favorable, they are absolutely positive.
One of the biggest pluses for World Rally Championship 2001 is the history of members in the development team. Many of them worked at DID (Digital Image Design) several years ago before they were bought out and sadly destroyed by Infogrames while many others worked at Psygnosis until they merged with Sony. For those of you who are unaware DID created some of the most realistic simulators ever including F29 Retaliator, Epic, TFX, EF2000, F-22 ADF, Wargasm and Total Air War. Some of their games have even been modified for military use such was their accuracy to detail and physics. One thing is certain, these guys know how to make a game as realistic as possible, which is a great benefit when creating a realistic rally simulation such as World Rally Championship 2001.
This game includes all the setup options you could ever want. The cars will be customizable and the game will include various difficulty levels depending on your amount of skill. Gamers have several modes to choose from including quick race, single stage, full championship season and of course the head to head race between yourself and a friend.
One of the most welcome features in this game is the damage which can be inflicted on the cars. From dinted panels to smashed windows and even total destruction of cars this game has it all. The damage inflicted on the cars is dependent on the severity of the crash and the resulting damage will affect the car for the rest of the race. Each race will also include realistic weather conditions, which changes every time you race thanks to mathematical algorithms which Evolution Studios have developed.
While the gameplay is critical to any games success another factor quite often is the graphics and World Rally Championship 2001 seems to have this area covered fairly well. The game uses an amazing Evolution Studios developed custom 3D graphics engine which allows a draw distance of several kilometres as well as realistic driver and pilot in the cars. Cars also gather mud and dust as the race progresses to give it a much more realistic look. World Rally Championship 2001 runs at a blistering pace at 60fps and as a result should provide a lot of excitement.
World Rally Championship 2001 is a very exciting game. The graphics look absolutely stunning and if the car handling is as accurate and realistic as promised then this game should leave the opposition in the dust. It's no wonder Sony will be publishing this game on the Playstation 2. The potential is enormous.