The world of racing simulators is cut-throat, so many companies
throw their hat into the ring to try for that grab for glory but few
put time and dedication in that Milestone and Black Bean have with
Superstars V8 Racing. With Black Bean having perfected their
simulation art on titles like the SBK series, they have transferred
a lot of the solid points from that offering to this one, and it has
paid off in spades.
Centered around the European V8 racing circuit (very similar to our
own V8 Supercar Series) it features the European V8 driver roster
and also features some big named engines, the likes of the BM,
Jaguar, Audi, Maseratti, and Peugeot to name a few. Being a European
series, there are also the classic European circuits, though not as
many as you would expect, only 10 tracks have made the cut though,
leaving tracks such as Monza to pick up the slack.
The gaming modes are pretty standard, you have the Quick Race,
Training, Race Weekend and Championship, as well as the Superstar
Licences. Most are very self explanatory, race weekend and
championship though cover full testing, qualifying and racing to
give you the ultimate edge in preparation and changes. Superstar
Licences mode is what is normally considered the 'Challenges' mode
as you race to achieve certain goals such as a race target or
checkpoint time. Achieving these however is a bit frivolous as you
can only unlock a few items once all challenges are complete.
The driving aspect of this title is very sharp, with accurate racing
pull and braking slips to ensure your kept on your toes at all
times. Each of the cars have their own individual characteristics
and the speed is very well represented in driving each one though
falling into the same pitfall of many racing sim titles, sticking to
racing lines removes much of the car characteristics. The physics
are exceptional and their effect on the car bouncing around the
dumps in the road are fantastic and can be mastered quiet well on a
keyboard layout instead of resorting to a driving wheel. The tracks
themselves are each challenging and unique while also giving a good
representation of their real life counterparts, with the larger
tracks boosting a large crowd noise to an already rich and detailed
audio feature of a roaring V8 and spluttering down force. The car
tuning and telemetry is basic with only a few options available
though their effect are noticeable and can shave precious seconds if
The game does how quiet a number of pitfalls though, the graphics
are certainly not ground breaking, the detailing lines are quiet
obvious on higher detail and the landscaping and backgrounds for the
tracks are well below par are give the game a much cheaper feel
overall. There are also a number of 'key' items missing such as a
cockpit view, environmental weather, a larger range of driving modes
and tracks, a well formed AI and any sort of attention to the dismal
damage physics as cars travelling head on at 200kmph simply 'bounce'
off each with a small ding in the bumper. There is also a massive
lacking in multiplayer, no LAN option is offered and the game relies
purely on a 16 player online scenario.
This is the first title in what will hopefully be a long racing
series, and while it does have some downfalls, the racing in this
game is fantastic and in the correct modes will give a brilliant
challenge, it's just missing some of the more needed aspects.
Overall if you want a good challenging racing simulator, this is
still a good buy.