IndyCar Series Review

All right, before I get too far into this review let me come out and say I just donít get auto racing. Iím not saying itís bad or stupid or a waste of time. Far from it. Iím just saying I donít see the excitement, be it NASCAR or Formula One or IndyCar. I know a lot of people feel the same way about my favorite sport of football. So with that I mind I am going to try and keep an open mind as much as possible for Codemasters newest racing game IndyCar Series.

As I warned Iím not huge into racing games. Yet sometimes a game comes along that is just plain fun to play no matter what type of game it is. For instance, Iíve really had fun with the Daytona games from Sega and a couple of the NASCAR games. There was just an overall feeling of fun with those games. Unfortunately I didnít have the same experience with IndyCar. While there were parts of the game I really found of high quality there were also low points. Iíll cover bothÖ

Racers jockeying for position.

First a little bit about the game. IndyCar has a few different gaming modes to choose from. There is the ďQuick RaceĒ which is basically the arcade version. In this mode you donít have to concern yourself with pesky little things like car damage, fuel, and realistic physics. Another mode is called the ďIndy 500.Ē Here you can go directly to the biggest race of all, the Indy 500 for those not keeping notes at home, without driving through an entire season. Think of it as going straight to the Super Bowl without the regular season getting in the way. However the biggest part of the game is the ďIndyCar SeriesĒ. This is a series of 15 races where you develop your career. Here is the heart of the game where you can really tinker with every detail of your car and get a very good feel for the complexity of the sport. You can choose from just about any of the major Indy drivers such as 2001/2002 Champion Sam Hornish, Al Unser Jr., and even Sarah Fisher. If none of the real drivers are what youíre after you can always create your own. Along with a ton of real drivers you also have 14 real speedways. Some of those include the California Speedway, homestead-Miami Speedway, and, of course, Indianapolis Motor Speedway which can seat more than 250,000! Thatís a lot of people watching cars make nothing but left turns.

Looking at IndyCar is nothing special. Truth be told, itís rather disappointing and resembles a PS2 game from a couple of years ago. The tracks themselves could be very realistic but when you get down to it there canít be that much you can do to make the tracks look a whole lot different. I mean you are just going around in a big oval. Sure some ovals are shaped a little different but theyíre still just big ovals. The cars seem to be very crude and lack detail. There are a lot of the jaggies on display and thatís too bad. I was a little disappointed in the lack of a true feel for the danger and speed of racing. Maybe itís due to the type of tracks but I never felt that I was hitting speeds of over 230 mph and controlling a car with over 650 ponies under its hood.