Codemasters has been nice enough to send me a preview of Colin Mc Rae 2005, so I just had to do a first 10 minutes about it. Watch my incredible driving skills (yeah right) and while downloading take a look at my thoughts about the game.
Now that the Colin Mc Rae games are released every year we just know that we can't expect much new features. So no one will be surprised if it's the case here. A few more cars with one new category, new tracks with one new location (Germany) and a new gameplay feature with a button on the pad allowing you to steer completely in one direction or another almost instantly. I'm not quite sure it will be really useful in the game, but it could be an interesting feature for the Rally genre.
Graphically nothing has changed except for a strange blur during the replays. The cars are very detailed, and the damage model may be even better than before. The tracks are a little bit underwhelming, and the comparison with Rallisport 2 (I just had to do it, sorry) is of course quite bad for Colin Mc Rae 2005.
The gameplay is still 100% Colin Mc Rae but the cars seem to weigh a bit more, thus forcing you to brake more than before. The speed sensation is still very good.
The preview was already well polished (except for the buggy french interface) with a good framerate. I've only detected some LOD (Level of Detail) issues and they should be corrected for the final release.
The fans of the series will like this new game, others may be turned off by the lack of new features. But full Xbox Live gameplay could very well be enough for any racing fan to buy it.