XBOX Wednesday, March 17, 2004 | 3:19 PM

First impressions of Rallisport 2

First impressions of Rallisport 2

I've been lucky enough to be invited yesterday to a presentation of Rallisport Challenge 2. I've managed to play quite a bit of the game, so here are my first impressions.



First it's important to note that the build I played was not finalized, but it was a much more advanced version than the one IGN, Gamespot or even xboxworld.nl used for their preview. A lot of small changes have been done.

The first impression you get when playing the gae is quite incredible. Graphically the game is stunning. You do not get PGR2's level of details, but such a beautiful game running at 60 fps with a 4x FSAA is a proof of the talent of the developpers at DICE. I did not detect even one slowdown during my extensive play, even with 4 cars on screen and a lot of deformations.

All the tracks I've tried were beautiful, but some more than others. There is in particular, in England at down in Autumn. You drive in the middle of a forest, with a lake on your left. Everything was so detailed, with reflections on the transparent water, trees finely modeled and dead leaves flying as you pass. It's a sight to behold !

The cars are of course very detailed, and the deformations quite convincing. After a big accident my car went flying outside the road, loosing the hood, both doors, the bumpers and even once a wheel. The car performance is of course affected by the damage.

I've not been able to play the career mode, but what I saw convinced me that it would more interesting and less linear than the one in Rallisport 1.

Now for the most important part, the gameplay. The first few minutes I spent on the game were perplexing, even disaspointing. It was almost like in a V-Rally game (eg quite bad for me). But once you get used to how the weight shifts (more convincingly than in the first RSC) while braking/turning it's finally back to the incredible sensations of the first game, perhaps a bit more realistic than before. The speed sense is as incredible as before.

I could not play on xbox live, but we got to play linked games a lot with the small tournament Microsoft had organized. It worked of course perfectly, but I'm not sure 4 "solid" players on true rally tracks will be very popular on live considering how easy to push someone out of the track with such light cars at high speed. One track for exemple starts by a very long straight where cars will top 200 km/h. One small bump from an opponent sent me flying outside the road, with no chance to win anymore. I'm sure the "ghost" feature will be much more popular on such tracks.

I can't say much on the negative side of the game. I saw very few graphical problems except some polygon sorting on trees (to be corrected in the final build), the gameplay is great. The sound level in the room was too high to hear the engine sound so I can't comment on that. I'm convinced this game will be as good as expected, DICE sure knows how to make a great rally game !

Update : I see a lot of people are talking about what I say in the second paragraph of the preview. I can say for sure the game is antialiased, and on the LCD displays used in the showroom I could almost never see any aliasing, so I said it was FSAA 4x. I have no proof it's the case, so please do not spread such a rumor based on what I said only. There is antialising that's for sure, but 2x, 4x or even quincunx I can't guarantee.

About the game


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