Project Gotham Racing 3 (PGR3) XBox 360 Review - -

Gameplay 9.0
Graphics 9.1
Sound 9.0
Value 9.0
Distributor: Microsoft
Review Date:
May 2006
Tory Favro


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Project Gotham Racing 3 (PGR3)

I remember initially seeing this game in some of the instore display units that Microsoft sets up around the country before the full launch of the 360 console. It was a few aisles away and I could see it over the shelves. Pausing, I thought it was a high end CGI trailer for the game until I noticed the car on screen behaving erratically. Curious, I wandered my way over and noticed a small kid playing the game. Thatís right these were in game graphics! Immediately I hip and shouldered him to one side to take a closer look. 

Now we have the finished code here at the office to check out the game properly and Iíd have to say that I am stunned at just how good this game is, in both looks and functionality. If you were a fan of the series and holding out with your old XBox, this game is a good reason to get the 360 and experience some sublime racing. 

First things first; this is not an arcade racer. This game is suited to those who want to go damn fast in realistic environments, in souped up cars that will go all the way. Looking more like a Gran Turismo experience than say a Burnout, PGR3 is a triumph both online and offline. 

Featuring about 75 different cars, this version of PGR focuses more on the racing than the customisation of vehicles. After all they are all supercars in their own right so all you can do really is change the colour of your ride. Itís all about the race and how well you handle the cars on the various tracks that you will encounter, that is all that matters here. This may put off some players who want to race everyday vehicles as there is no provision for that style of gameplay at all, but as long as you know that, PGR3 promises to reward you every time. 

Just as featured in PGR2, the Kudos system is back that rewards you with points for good driving. This is not a game of smash em ups, you can win races by driving dirty, but your overall score will be affected more by the races that you win without crashing into others. Clever manoeuvres and practical driving skills allow you to progress with better Kudos than simply pinning other cars into corners or forcing them into barriers. 

Graphically, the game is going to have you gasping if you take the time to look around when you play. Both the environment you are in and the interior of the car itself are top notch and by adopting the camera position similar to first person mode will allow you to check out the high detailed dash of your car as well as the road ahead. Simply put, it all looks as real as hell, even to the reactions of the crowd as you roar past, or worse crash near them. 

Progression through the game is achieved by earning credits through the racing which allows for the purchase of new vehicles and Kudos purchases of experimental cars. Racing is not the only way that you can win points, there are obstacle courses and time trials for you to have a crack at as well. Whether you are online or not, the game will accrue points for you to use in either environment to your advantage. 

Online, we found that you can race others of a similar skill level which came as a relief in terms of at least having a good challenge when racing. Of course itís fun to win, but even more fun to win against those who really give you a run for your money. As you play, you gain a reputation that others on the Live servers can see. On top of all that coolness is the fact that you can also watch other races on Gotham TV. The potential for this feature is endless. Watch your mates tear it up against each other, or simply watch other matches that take place around the world. To be honest the game is so good looking and realistic that I would not be slightly surprised if there are races where people can put money down on who is going to win or start race leagues etc. 

The title supports more than one player on the same machine however taking it online after that only supports one gamer profile on the Live server which could be disappointing if you both have Live accounts as no points are being racked up by whoever your buddy is. This is only a slight consideration but the ability to take multiple people into the Live system from one console would have ruled. 

If you love your racing, then this game is a no brainer; you have to own it. Spectacular visuals, audio, and a brilliant physics engine combine with stunning, challenging racing that has to be seen to be believed. Project Gotham Racing 3 is here and demands your attention. 


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