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Colin McRae Rally 3

Developer: Codemasters | Publisher: Codemasters
Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 02/18/03 | Genre: Driving

Being a casual racing fan, it takes a special title for me to actually sit down with for more than five minutes. Colin McRae Rally 3 is one of these titles that provides fun, excitement, and challenge in over 58 racing stages. You control Colin McRae and his Ford Focus racing team. The only drawback to this is that in the championship mode, you cannot be any other drive. You can also not change the camera angle to be anything but “behind the car.â€? However, these are minor complaints.

Just as Codemasters succeeded in competing head to head with Mcrosoft’s Rallisport Challenge on the Xbox, the PS2 verison controls just as realistic and is just as much fun as the Xbox verion.

You will find two major gameplay options to choose from. Single event and Championship mode. To unlock the levels to play with a friend, you need to play through several of the two day championship modes. Each day has two legs to the race. At the end of each leg you can see how you are progressing against your competitors. This also only allows you to have two different times to tune up your car before the final leg of each race. Using great collision graphics, players can witness the damage they do to their cars. Unfortunately, this doesn’t do much to your vehicle in the race. The most you may notice are the cracks in the windshield, the lack of a hood, strange engines sounds, and crackle sounds coming out of the exhaust. However, none of this should stop your car from performing.

There are options to fine tune your car. However, I am not an expert on this and chose to use whatever default settings were selected for me. Players who have knowledge of what items to tweak will have a blast with these tuning options.

Graphically, Colin McRae Rally 3 is stunning. While it isn't quite as good looking as the Xbox version, it holds its own in the visual department. Cars kick up dirt and your vehicle will even collect more dirt and grime on it as the race continues. While the collision damage is nice to see, it can cause you to lose a good amount of time if you wreck. And just like in real life, if you get too far behind, you can probably forget about coming back to take the lead.

Controlling the game is pretty easy. However, because this is a simulation, fans of arcade style racers may have difficulty. I fall into this group. But after spending some time with Colin McRae Rally 3, I started to get the hang of the controls and leading races. I have noticed that the PS2 controller is a bit sensitive. So be prepared to spend a bit of time getting used to how the thumbstick responds to you.

Regardless of that, Colin McRae Rally 3 is a great racing title. If you are a fan of the genre, this is the next title to get for your PS2. However, if you have an Xbox, that version is slightly superior to the PS2 version. And since it has been out a bit longer than the PS2 version, you probably can find it for a lower price.

By Kaleb Rutherford - 04/23/03
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Screenshots for Colin McRae Rally 3

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