Ridge Racer 7
Ridge Racer 7 returns on the
next-generation of consoles with Namco once again going back to their
gaming racing roots that gives players the tasks of building a fictional
machine and becoming the most well known racer in Ridge State. There are
a variety of game modes on offer including single race, online play and
an arcade mode but the main mode is of course the career mode where you
travel the globe gaining new cars and talking to manufacturers while
competing in races.
For those of you who may have played the
PSP game but none of the others, this game is actually quite different.
First of all there are races where the aim is to simply race against
eight cars instead of overtaking a set amount before the end of the
race. Those overtaking races exist but they are not the main game mode
as with the two PSP titles. Secondly, you don't just earn upgrades and
cars from winning races, this time around you earn money and it has to
be spent to build upgrades and get new cars.
The interesting twist is that to buy parts you need to have a
relationship with that manufacturer and to do that you have to take
place in trials with that team. This can be a little annoying. You get
to a particular point in the game where the car needs upgrading and all
of a sudden you need to go do a single race for a team to progress
rather than move through the tournaments which make up most of the game.
The game itself looks and plays beautifully. It's typical Ridge Racer
fare with high speed racing and drifting turns. Despite this it is a
little disappointing on the PS3 that the developers have not gone out of
the comfort zone and tried something new.
The physics engine hasn't changed all that
much and surprisingly, aside from graphics, we could be playing this
game just as easily on the PSP as the PS3. To be honest, if you've
played Ridge Racer before, you've played 7 and while the mantra is if it
isn't broken don't fix it, this is a brand new high tech console where
gamers will be expecting more and Ridge Racer 7 doesn't have it.
Where the game does differentiate itself from the competition however is
the environments. Set in fictional areas, they take inspiration from
places such as jungles, urban areas, and beach side villas. This leads
to some fantastic visuals and the game is in high definition 720p
resolution but when you move from other PS3 games to this it does
disappoint. The sense of speed also feels a little lacklustre when
compared to other titles such as Formula 1. The developers claim it is a
sixty frame per second game, but it just doesn't feel like it to us.
There is also online multiplayer which is handled via the PSN network
and offers racing against up to eight other players - the same number
which is present in the main game races. You can also play on the same
console split screen.
Ridge Racer 7 is a game that was expected with the PS3 system launch and
is an entertaining racing game that is definitely a must have for newbie
gamers or for those wishing for a fast race without the rig moral.