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PC Reviews: V8 Challenge


V8 Challenge Screenshots

actual in-game screen shots

The Final Say!




V8 Challenge - reviewed by Andrew B
Review Date: 19 May 2002
Review Score: 9.1/10 
Distributor: EA

"One of the most realistic car racing games to hit the PC. With the roar of the V8 engine, this game almost makes you feel like you are racing on Bathurst."

Motor heads, petrol heads, racing fans and the like will get a blast from EA's latest offering, V8 Challenge. The game itself lets you play the top Australian teams such as the Holden Racing Team and the OzEmail Racing Team on authentic Australian and international tracks such as Sandown, Queensland Raceway and Bathurst. With beautiful track design and weather effects, accurate and realistic car damage, V8 Challenge is sure to be one of the most popular racing games for 2002.

Installation of V8 Challenge was a breeze and took less than two minutes to install. There are a number of resolutions to choose from, depending on your computers specifications ranging from 640x480 (16 bit) to the astonishing resolution of 1280x1024 (32bit). With full detail turned on, that is triple buffering, true colour textures, trilinear filtering,  the graphics are amazingly realistic. You actually feel like you are racing around Bathurst or Melbourne. The review machine is a Pentium III 1000Mhz, GeForce 2 MX with 320meg of ram and the game ran perfectly with full detail on a resolution of 800x600x32. The programmers have done a great job to make sure this game works on a variety of systems with the base specifications being a Pentium II 300Mhz, 8mb 3D graphics card, 64meg and 500meg of spare hard drive space.

The graphics of V8 Challenge are easily as good as any game on the market, whether PC or console. The attention to detail is quite simply amazing. The developers have gone to extraordinary detail to making sure the tracks look and feel how they should. One could be forgiven to think that they are actually racing on Bathurst because this will be as close as us non-professional racers will get. Apart from the awesome in-game graphics, there is a variety of official advertising around the tracks from Holden and Victorian Bitter advertising. Even the cars have their official racing advertising on them. 

Game-play modes range from Championship, Single race, Time attack and Multiplayer modes. To get a good feel for the game, I would suggest to choose Single race. This allows you to quickly choose a car, track and begin racing straight away. 

For the diehard V8 racing fans, Championship mode lets you race an official V8 season with over 9 tracks and 18 races. As with the real V8 series, this is a point based system. The multiplayer aspects of the game, whether connecting to a server on the internet or playing on a LAN will really get the old debate going of Holden VS Ford. Surprising enough, this game played extremely well on a 56k modem. All these game-play options ensure a very long replay value.

With most of the good car games available, V8 Challenge lets you change and setup your car before the race starts. Car setup lets you change the brake balance, different tyres, gearbox settings, wheel suspension and various of other mechanical car settings. Thankfully the computer can also handle this operation and sets your car up perfectly before the race starts.

The game-play was extremely easy to pickup and supports a wide variety of input devices, such as the gamepads, joysticks, wheels and of course the keyboard. The steering of the game was exceptional and I only lost control of the car on a few occasions but that was due to driver error. After the first few races, you will definitely get the hang of the controls and will be racing like a professional in no time.  The sound effects are top class and you really feel the V8 grunt. Unfortunately the music seems a little uninspiring and I would highly recommend that PC developers get some garage bands to help with the soundtrack. Many console games have some awesome bands doing the music for the game which is highly lacking on the PC. 

This game was exclusively designed for the Australian market and because it has the EA brand name behind it, everything has been professionally done. An extra bonus of this game is that there are two unlockable bonus series available in the game, they are the HSV Maloo and the Falcon Ute series. You can also visit www.v8challenge.com to read about the latest news and information about V8 Challenge. The web site also lets you download new car skins for the game. Hows that for customer support?

I highly recommend V8 Challenge to any racing fan because this game has something for everyone. Amazing graphics, playability and sound, V8 Challenge is probably the best racing game on the PC market at the moment. You can't go wrong with this one. Highly Recommended! 

- Andrew B

Copyright 2002 www.impulsegamer.com