Project Gotham Racing 3 Reader Review
Project Gotham Racing 3 was released last year along with the Xbox 360 as a launch title. The Project Gotham series of games have always been good with great looking cars but the game is actually fun to play too. This most certainly is one of Microsoft's jewels in its crown. So with that in mind is it any better than the last outing?
Project Gotham Racing 3's main mode is the career mode. In this you play races and win credits and kudos as you move along. With this you can buy shiny new cars for your garage. As your garages fill up you will be rewarded with more. One of the first things that will strike you is the lack of cars. In total there's about 80. Comparing that with Gran Turismo's 400+ and it looks exceptionally weak. Plus the fact that the cities in the game have been cut-down aswell. You get five cities including New York, Las Vegas, Tokyo, London and the Nurburgring and that's your lot. The cities have different courses but in all fairness their just longer tracks than the one you just finished.
This is obviously dissapointing. The only licensed track in the game is the Nurburgring which is great but I for one think it's about time Microsoft emptied its pockets and tried to secure more tracks next time around. To add insult to injury while the cars look amazing the actual scenery isn't all that great. You have 3d fans at the sides of the track but you barely notice them. The road that you're racing on dosen't look like a road with all fuzzy and bland textures especially in the in-car view. Actual buildings look blocky. Microsoft may have put a lot of detail into the cars but the same can't quite be said about the locations. The career mode can be taken online but you'll have a really hard time finding a match which makes it pretty much pointless. Offline, the career mode is solid if short. Going round and round the same locations will begin to grate on you eventually. With the career mode being easy and short that immediately takes longevity out of the game.
If you want to race virtually any car in the game then the Playtime mode is for you. Here you can race for the fastest time on a chosen track via Live or you can play fellow gamers which you'll find a lot more of in this mode. This mode weakens the desire to play through the main career mode although you will get gamerpoints if you decide to plod through it. The Live mode in itself unfortunately is not as good as that found in Project Gotham Racing 2. The actual interface is less user friendly and although a lot of work has been put into the career mode nobody seems to be playing it over Live. With the tracks and cars being cut-down it means you have less options which makes it less fun.
The control system is one of the highlights of the game. To accelerate you pull the right trigger and the left to brake. This is so much better than that of something like Gran Turismo where you have to hold down the X button for extended periods of time and get a sore thumb in the process. The handling of the cars is also realistic but at the same time forgiving. Gotham tv is a new addition to the series but one that turns out as nothing more than a mere gimmick. I don't know about you but I'd rather be out there racing myself than watching someone else. I thought that was what we all played games for, not to watch but to participate.
Project Gotham Racing 3 is a solid racing game make no mistake. But it has glaring shortcomings that are hard to forgive. The lack of cars and tracks is dissapointing along with the Live mode that somehow regresses from its preddecessor. It's not all bad the in-car view is fantastic and has detail like no other from badges to switches on the dashboard it's easy to get distracted. The control system is the best system ever concieved, the Xbox 360 controller suits racing games to a tee. However you do feel hard done by when all is said and done especially if you have played previous games. The career mode as always is short and because the Live mode is not on a par with the previous game you have a shortlived experience on your hands. It's fun while is lasts but to me this seems more like 2.5 than a full on sequel.
7 / 10