Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends Review


Player(s): 1
Extra Features: Online Multiplayer (2-8 players), Leaderboards

Test Drive Ferrari Racing Legends is a racing game developed by Slightly Mad Studios and published by Atari. The game focuses on the history of Ferrari from the years of 1947 to present. A player can choose from over 50 different Ferrari cars that are all designed very well from the interior to the exterior. Each car also has several shades of color that can be chosen.

The main modes of play are Campaign, Quick Race, Phantom Race and Xbox LIVE. Campaign focuses on the Golden (1947-1973), Silver (1974-1990) and Modern (1990-2011) age of the Ferrari vehicle. Events range from the usual race onto events such as elimination or making a certain time limit in order to win. All the time you'll be racing against a clock or opponent car in campaign basically. The main events are Checkered Flag (race), Time Trial, Head to Head (beat an opponent car), Overtake (overtake position of opponents), Follow (stay in a certain time gap), One (elimination). The Campaign mode is very tough on a player and doesn't allow you to coast through any events. All events for each group of years must be completed in a specific order. Failure to complete one single event means that you are stuck in that year gap and must tough it out and finish the event you are stuck on to go further.

The majority of Ferrari car models must be unlocked through campaign mode. Each event will give you a specific car to race in. Steering and overall control of your car can be quite hard at times. Ferrari Racing Legends does not have easy controls like a standard arcade racer. The game is a driving simulation with racing, so the controls are very different for each car that a player chooses. Some cars have tighter steering than others making them easy to drive but each car takes a good bit of dedication to master how to control it on the racing tracks. If you speed toward a turn and fail to slow down a great deal, you're going off the shoulder for sure!

The overall driving is quite nice, but you really have to have patience and dedication at times to stick with some events. I often found myself doing extremely well in an event then a car would suddenly drive up behind my car and slightly bump my car making it go fully out of control, causing me to crash. It's moments like these that made me hate how the game will not let me advance to other events in each event group.

Quick Race is basically a standard race for the best time. You can customize options such as the car model, event and time of day before starting. Phantom Race challenges a player to make a good time in one lap then try to beat the best time on the next lap by racing against an actual ghost version of your car. Phantom Race can be a good mode to use in order to get the feel of each car. Your best times can be saved in Phantom Race and viewed again through the game's Replay Theater. Xbox LIVE will allow a player to race against up to 7 other players, so long as you can find other players that have the game - I couldn't find many other players when I tried to play online.

The Ferrari cars in the game look fantastic. They are all shiny and full of detail from the interior to the exterior. When you switch views, like in the seat of the car, even the internal look of the car is quite nice. As already mentioned, the game offers over 50 different Ferrari cars to choose from that span a 65-year period. There is a BUNCH of variety in selectable cars and colors so long as you can unlock them all.

The detail for the actual drivers and many of the backgrounds are not really up to par with modern racing games however. The driver seems so stiff in Ferrari models without a top on the car. When the car crashes and rolls over the driver remains stiff even then. Backgrounds range from average to spectacular views of scenery. I did have moments where I was totally caught up in the view in front of me while driving. In the 1947 period, the surroundings will actually start out in a yellowish color resembling an old film then switch to normal color shortly after control has been given to the player. The announcer always remains calm and serious and the sound of burning rubber all sound realistic.

Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends is a decent driving simulation racer for any fan of the Ferrari brand of cars, but it requires much dedication and patience in order to put up with the game's torturing campaign mode. The game does not help or offer hints to a player in any way. It will just set your car in front of a course and tell you to win that race. The only ways to practice are through Quick Race or Phantom Race.

It would be nice if the game had some sort of free ride mode that allowed a player to drive around and get the feel of each car. For a name like Ferrari, more effort should have been put into modes where a player could enjoy driving the car instead of being pushed into meeting a certain agenda constantly. There really is no break from the standard racing in the game. It's not a bad game, but you really should know what you're getting yourself into before you buy it - a challenging list of events with hard controls to master.

The Good:
+ Tons of variety in Ferrari model cars spanning several years
+ Every car has its own unique feel

The Bad:
- So much is locked from the start and requires a lot of play to unlock
- The campaign mode is quite and doesn't allow a player to skip events

Final Rating: 65%. Ferrari Racing Legends is more of a game for the true hardcore fan of Ferrari cars rather than a player looking for a good driving simulator.