Project Gotham Racing 2 - Xbox

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Viewed: 3D First-person / Third-person Genre:
Racing: Car
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Bizarre Creations Soft. Co.: Microsoft
Publishers: Microsoft Game Studios (GB)
Microsoft (GB)
Released: 2 Jun 2006 (GB)
28 Nov 2003 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 3+
Connectivity: Xbox System Link Cable, Xbox Live
Accessories: Communicator Headset

Summary

In any given car racing videogame, putting your foot to the floor and tearing up the road is easy. Anyone can do it. But Project Gotham Racing 2 (PGR2) demands that you do it with style and earn the kudos of your fellow drivers. In the style of its Xbox predecessor, and the Sega Dreamcast's Metropolis Street Racer, not only do you have to cross the finishing line first, you have to have pulled off a few nifty moves in the process too.

The goal in PGR2 is to be the best driver in the world, and thanks to Xbox Live, you can prove how good you are against players from the other side of the world, not just the other side of the room. Increasing your kudos ranking is the key to success, so if you can perform sweet overtaking manoeuvres, slide through the curves and get two wheels off the tarmac for a moment, and take a perfect line when cornering, the more kudos you earn. Practice modes, or should we say modes that don't affect your ranking, are available too, with offline offerings Time Attack and Instant Action, and the Xbox Live Ghost Challenge. More kudos means tokens, which can be exchanged for more (and faster) cars to play with, from famous marques such as Aston Martin, Saleen, Koenigsegg and Porsche.

There are plenty of game modes to get the most out of PGR2. The aforementioned single player Time Attack and Instant Action are self-explanatory; get the best time and go for a quick race respectively. However, it's Kudos World Series that lies at the beating heart of PGR2's solo action. It's made up of 14 Car Series - one for each car class. Each Car Series is made up of individual kudos events - Street Race, Cone Challenge, Speed Camera etc., and you can complete the unlocked events to open more events in the same car class. Completing all the events in a single Car Series unlocks the next one. In addition to these events and your car classes, there are five difficulty levels to take a shot at, and you'll need to unlock the best cars to win at the hardest level. There is no easy way to conquer PGR2. You just have to perform to your best abilities and whup the opposition, whether it's artificial or human.

A different kudos ranking is attained when you go online with Xbox Live. This is where you get to judge your own achievements against the rest of the world. Hosting a game, or joining one hosted by someone else is just a matter of connection to broadband. If you're hosting, you get to choose race settings. Xbox Live racing uses the same kudos/rank/tokens reward system as the offline modes, and you can combine the kudos tokens you earn, despite the Single and Xbox Live rankings being kept separate. Another Live mode is Ghost Challenge, a special single-player race with specific restrictions available only if you're signed in to the Xbox Live service. There are two types of Ghost Challenge, All-Time and Rotating. The All-Time Challenge scoreboard allows anyone to save and upload a Ghost. The Rotating Challenges change all the time, and provide a fresh opportunity for drivers looking for some new combination of track, car, weather conditions etc.

The depth of gameplay in PGR2 is - cue guttural, reverberating vocal effect - astonishing! We defy you to tire of PGR2 anytime soon. It looks wonderful: the cars are accurately modelled, and the locations - Edinburgh, Sydney, Florence and the rest, are uncannily like picture postcards. We can't praise Project Gotham Racing 2 highly enough - like a Ferrari, it's brutal, beautiful. Buy it.