Project Gotham Racing 2 Reader Review
Assuming that everyone reading this review has, at some point or another, been in love with someone, Iíd like you all to cast your mind back to that first oneÖ
(Go with it for a minute)
Now if youíre as old as I am youíre in the wholesome position of being able to look back with fondness, not regret or bitterness. If itís a more recent affair youíre probably still fooling yourself that youíre better off alone.
Distance is a wonderful healer and talking about something that was so recently consuming is often painful. Still, Iím a man now and Iím willing to face my fears. One of my biggest ones (apart from that persistent fear that Iím hopelessly addicted to a medium far too unhealthy for my own good) is that there wonít be any more thrills out there. There wonít be another game that puts a heart in my throat like PGR2 did.
This is the bit where I tell you about the game, yes? This is where I lay back on youíre black leather couch and discuss my father and so on. To hell with that: itís a driving game, all right? You go forwards and backwards and steer. What more do you need to know? I mean really, what difference is there between driving games?
Iím bitter. Iím sorryÖ.
The thing is, I got too close to something that canít love me back. After 300+ hours of game-time, you eventually become consumed by faults and fall out of love. In years to come Iíll be in the wholesome position of being able to look back with fondness, not regret or bitterness.
Okay, letís restore a sense of normality to this affair and express some opinions on the game itself: Iím amazed that PGR2 is called a niche game. On one end of the virtual driving scale youíve got the ďIím designed to appeal to people who are too young to drive and who bought a game like me with a very similar name last yearĒ games. On the other end of the scale youíve got the ďWeíre serious and donít need a lengthy explanation within speech marks because weíre real driving simulatorsĒ games. Now forgive me for procrastinating but: driving is the original sin for men; video games are the devil incarnate (or so women would have us believe) and yet, apart from PGR and RalliSport, every single driving experience out there misses the point like two industrial magnets being forced together. Simplistic mechanics are an insult to the driving experience. Over complicated ones fall flat on their lifeless faces because they try too hard to base themselves on a world that is defined by gravity, friction and inertia, which are, the last time I checked, things my rumble pack canít mimic.
Put simply: PGR2 is the most Ďrealistic funí that you are going to have within the currently accepted wisdom of what a console is and how it should be interacted with, end of story. Yes, PGR3 will be more of the same and will be criticised as such, but so what. Just like that love you lost, youíll be more than happy to slip back into something that feels like home amidst a world of inconsistencies.
PGR allows you to do the things that you dream of doing in a car - a real car. Youíre not going to jump gaps, youíre not going no pimp youíre ride, youíre not going to fire rockets, adjust your gear ratio or any other garbage like that.
Youíre going to take a car that you truly admire for being what it is when it left the production line. Youíre going to race on tracks that feel imperfect. Youíre going to fly through cities that feel gritty and alive. Youíre going to have to feather the throttle and brake like a madman. Youíre going to have to learn the course to the point weíre you donít think about whatís coming next Ė you just Ďfeelí it. Youíre going to have to handle a fishtail at 130 whilst fighting off 7 opponents screaming down the headset in bitterness at the quality of your defensive driving.
Youíre going to feel as exhilarated as any driver ever has done in the history of mankind.
Youíre going to have enough adrenaline pumping round youíre system to drop an Enzo from 100 yards.
Iím still better off without it.
10 / 10