World Racing 2 Review
Now that the the Xbox nears the end of its life cycle we can look back and somewhat safely judge some best of category games. For example Halo 2 as best FPS, an argument could be made for Morrowind as best RPG, and maybe a Madden game for sports. But what about racing? There have been some gems. Project Gotham Racing 2, Burnout, and Forza Motorsport come to mind. So with such great games as those is there a place in the Xbox legacy for World Racing 2? Let's see...
World Racing 2 (WR2) was developed for the Xbox by Synetic, which I mistakenly thought was a type of automotive oil. As the title would suggest this is the second WR game and from what I experienced it should probably be the last. It's not the worst racer I've played but that's kind of like saying a needle in my eye isn't the worst pain possible.
Right off the bat I knew I was in trouble when I was consistently getting lost in the menu system. Can't say that instilled a lot of confidence. But they do have a lot of options once you figure out where you're at. WR2 states over 160 tracks worldwide that including street and off-road courses. Sure it sounds impressive to say you have over 160 tracks but when you count some tracks at because you can run the course backwards well maybe it's not cheating but it is a little misleading. Also the huge amount of cars available is a bit misleading as there doesn't seem to be much of a difference expect for color and some advertising labels. There are a lot of manufacturers including well known ones like Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, and VW but even more car companies that I've never heard of like Rinspeed, Irmscher, and Wiesmonn. I do admit that I always like seeing “supercars” in a game and there are several here for the driving.
Speaking of driving, that is what the game is about after all and I felt that the feeling of control could have been much better. The driving experience is somewhat arcadey at times and realistic at others and this is unfortunately during the same race. Through a series of adjustments you can fine tune the controls but it just never hit a sweet spot for me. The game takes points off for doing really stupid things and that's fine but there were situations where I seemed forced to make mistakes and that seemed unfair.
The graphics are a mixed bag as well. They don't come close to a Forza or Gotham in smoothness or style, but some of the car are modeled nicely and several of the courses have great looking backgrounds. Unfortunately there is way too much pop up going on, and I'm talking about a car popping up right in front of you that was certainly not there a moment ago. There was also too much clipping with the environment going on, although you could run into cows and that's always fun. The cars do take damage that affects both the appearance and the performance. Where the graphics were mixed the audio was consistently bad. The techno soundtrack just didn't work for me and the car sounds did not sound very authentic.
Strangely WR2 decided not to include any online racing although there is some split-screen action.
In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 49%. With many other much better racers available World Racing 2 should stay in the garage.