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PC Reviews: RalliSport Challenge


RalliSport Challenge Screenshots

The Final Say!


RalliSport Challenge - reviewed by Andrew B
Review Date: 4 December 2002
Review Score: 9.2/10
Distributed by Microsoft 

The first rally game to grace the XBox is finally here on the PC and it's a perfect port from the XBox console. RalliSport Challenge is finally here...

RalliSport Challenge Features

  • 48 tracks across 4 different Rally sports (Rally, Hill Climb, Rallycross & Ice Racing)
  • 29 fully licensed Rally vehicles including the infamous "Group B" cars. Choose from Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI, Audi Quattro S1, Saab 9-3 Viggen & More
  • Take on your mates in network multiplayer competition. Play intense wheel-to-wheel grudge matches with up to four players
  • Experience realistic damage with deformed car bodies, damaged glass and performance degradation.

Contents of Age of RalliSport Challenge

  • 3 CD's
  • Manual


Rallisport Challenge features a variety of different gameplay modes that includes Career Mode, Single Race Mode, Time Attack Mode and Multiplayer Mode. Apart from the various gameplay modes, RalliSport Challenge features a variety of different rally racing that includes everything from standard rally driving to the extreme and dangerous ice racing. Unlike the XBox, the installation on the PC took quite some time, considering I opted for a full install and the game comes on 3 CD's. 

Once the game was installed, it was only a matter of time before I was racing along some stunningly created rally tracks that almost looked quite lifelike. RalliSport Challenge features a variety of different control configurations that range from the humble keyboard to the latest wheels and gamepads. The handling on the keyboard uses the standard racing keys and performed exceptionally well, considering this was originally a console game. Even with the ThrustMaster Powerstorm gamepad, the game performed almost identical to the XBox version with even the right amount of force feedback. 

The control system of the game was extremely easy to pick up and I was racing like a professional in no time. Although the gameplay is almost flawless, the only downside to the game is the unrealistic crash physics that was current in the XBox version. That is, sometimes you will crash your car and the vehicle will do some ridiculous spin or sometimes just sit on the front bumper bar before the car falls onto the ground. 

Fortunately, the realistic crash damage and extraordinary graphics make up for this small gameplay flaw.  The beauty of RalliSport Challenge is that their are a variety of official licensed cars to choose from that include the super fast Lancer Evolution or the well handling Volkswagen. RalliSportChallenge supports a number of different views when playing the game and mypreferred view is fullscreen where you don't see the car for that added racingrealism. The developers have done a great job in recreating the different areasyou will be racing on such as gravel, snow or asphalt and the car handlesaccordingly. The game was also tested on a LAN for some great multiplayer actionand would make an ideal addition to LAN gamers. Under Windows XP, we had noproblem connecting three computers for RalliSport Challenge. 

GraphicallyRalliSport Challenge on the PC is a mixed bag of goodies. In order tosuccessfully run the same version as the XBox, you will need a minimum of a P3with a GeForce 3 video card and the more powerful the system you have, thebetter the game will run. The game supports a variety of resolutions and threelevels of detail that range from low to high detail. With the detail on high,the game looks and performs (provided you have the system) as good as the XBoxversion. On the lowest level of detail, the graphics look a little strange andfuzzy but the speed was perfect. There are various lighting effects in the game that include shadows and reflectivesurfaces that look quite spectacular. If you pull over and just sit in the car,you will see the leaves of trees gently swaying in the wind or just look on theground to see some amazing and moving grass textures. 

The weather effects are quite extraordinary and feature variousseasons such as spring, summer, autumn and winter. Even on a clear day, you willsee the clouds gently move in the sky to help add with the realism of the game.The cars are quite detailed and feature an uncanny amount of polygons to ensurefor some very realistic car models and textures. The developers have gone to extremelengths in adding the appropriate detail on the courses such as advertising,people and quite a few trees. One of the most impressive features of the game isthat when you are travelling up or down a mountainside, you actually get quite asense of depth perception and makes you think that one wrong move will pummelyou down the cliff side.

RalliSportChallenge features all the correct sound effects you would hear from Rallyracing that include the roar of the engine or the sliding of tyres on gravelsurfaces. It's a little bit hard to add extra sounds to games like this becausethey are already their in the first place. Musically, RalliSport Challenge ismissing something that unfortunately made the jump from the XBox to the PC. Thegame really needs a hardcore soundtrack to help get you into the Rally Sportracing mood and should borrow a page or two from the PlayStation rally gamesthat feature many highly popular bands on their soundtracks. 

Minimum Requirements

- Windows 98/Me/2000/XP
- 128MB RAM
- 733 Processor or higher
- 1.5GB Hard Drive

- 32MB Video Card with hardware T&L
  support (GeForce, Radeon and
  equivalent cards)
- Online Multiplayer requirements (56.6K
  modem or higher)

RalliSportChallenge is the first XBox port to his the PC and I can safely say that it wassuccessfully ported across bit for bit. Hopefully this will pave the way forother XBox titles. Sure, RalliSport Challenge doessuffer from a few gameplay flaws but it's still probably the best damn rally gameon the PC and is graphically superior to anything that is on the market at themoment. Highly Recommended!

- Andrew B

Copyright 2002 www.impulsegamer.com