After forgetting that I had pre-ordered this game from a online store pre-Christmas. Imagine the surprise when it finally was released and turned up on my doorstep today.
I've been playing this game for the last 5 hours. My first impressions left me wondering how I could get my money back, but after playing it for this long it's starting to grow on me.
The graphics whilst not exactly state of the art, are not to bad. And I didn't suffer from any slow ups or low frames per second, even with the graphics levels on high (I have a fairly high end PC though).
The cars look great and have most of the correct sponsors, paint, etc. On a major down side, you can tell that this is a game made for Holden/HSV. The game box even came with a HSV merchandise brochure. :crazy2: You get the impression that they chucked in the the odd Ford just to please us few Ford fans. Basically there's the Brigg's motorsports cars, the Oz-Email car and one or two others. No Lowdes. :sad: A good thing is that the cars can be damaged (I took great pleasure in making Skafe's car look like a red brick). :s3
EA V8 Challenge has 4 real life tracks, being Melbourne (Sandown), Adelaide (Street), Queensland Raceway (yay!!) and Bathurst, with the rest of them being made up ones. The tracks themselves are not to bad although if your an ardent V8 Supercar fan you will be able to pick the faults quite easily. Bathurst is quite good, but as with all the tracks, doesn't have much track-side eye candy.
Handling physics are quite bizzar. Sometimes it feels pretty good and at other times it's shocking. If your looking for major car setups to play around with, you'll be disappointed. Just the basics, and correct me if I'm wrong, but don't the V8's have a rule about not changing gear ratios in the gearbox? I thought it was diff ratios only. If thats the case, in this game you can set different gear ratios for each gear. :oo1:
Opponent AI is another weird deal. You have 6 choices of opponent difficulty, but you could beat all comers on the first 5 levels... in reverse. "Very High" is the only one that gives any kinda opposition. Opponents do try and block, but also spin out at most corners if pressured a little. Also every now and then, they seem to do a "HSV" and look like they have traction control out of corners, as they can sometimes launch out of them faster than Skaifey with Craig on his butt.
Controller setup is a bit weird to get set up iniatially, but once set also has "range" adjustments for left/right, throttle, brake, etc which makes it very good to get a set up to suit you. ( wanted to see how many times I could get the word "set" in this sentence. :s6: )
Sound is... ummm.... crapola. The gear changes sound like some programmer grabbed a hammer and a piece of tin, and recorded it. Engine noise.... they don't sound like V8's. About the only thing that sounds a little like the real deal, is backing off and downchanges.
Anyways, it isn't the best driving game I've come across, but it's not the worst either. If your looking to rip it around bathurst, it's pretty good value. On the other hand, if your looking for the Aussie version of NASCAR 4, or Grand Prix 3 or EA's F1 Championship 2001/2, you'll be disappointed.
For mine, after saying it was complete crap originally, I'll give it some small dues and say it's average to goodish.
After all it's going to be good therapy when Ford gets it butt handed to them again in the real life V8's, to crank the game up, get in a Ford and after hitting and driving the HSV team off the road, scream, "take that Skaife you fool!!". :s3
If you can hold out until this gets discounted, do, but if you are like me and had a desperate need to drive "the mountain", then pick it up.
Out of a scale of 10, I'll give it a
Grunter thumbs up rating. :s5