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Project Gotham Racing 2

Preview By: Siou Choy

Developer:   Bizarre Creations
Publisher:   Microsoft
Genre:   Racing
Est. Release:   Nov. 17, 2003
Date Posted:  

11-2-03

When the Xbox, to quote Yeats, first slouched its head towards Bethlehem to be born, as it were, among the initial spate of releases in its wake was the excellent Project Gotham Racing.  Bizarre Creations’ answer to the PS2’s over hyped Gran Turismo series, Project Gotham Racing proved to be an excellent racer, leaving fans panting thirstily, waiting with baited breath for the next installment.  Well, guys, you won’t have to wait much longer because Project Gotham Racing 2 is expected to be released this fall.  And wipe that drool off your chin, that’s disgusting.

This time around, PGR2 comes with an improved “Kudos” system.  As in the original version, you earn Kudos by performing various tricks and slides to show your mastery of the road.  Thankfully for those of us into realism and road dynamics, this time around, they acknowledge simple laws of automotive physics.   To wit: Bizarre has finally come around to the realization that cornering at these speeds does not allow for precision – in other words, this time around, you won’t lose all your Kudos every time you smack into or scrape alongside a wall; just a small percentage.   That said, if you slam into a wall head first, you lose all your Kudo points, and realistically speaking, independent mobility (if not your life).  This go-around, there’s also more ways to accumulate Kudos, whether by overtaking other cars, drafting a rival racer, or pulling a 360.  Fans of the original will be well aware that Kudos need to be earned in order to unlock extra vehicles, skins, and tracks.

On the flipside, while we’re talking realism, here, while your car will take on damage as you brush against other cars, walls, and game environments, said damage will not affect said car’s performance.  All you gear heads out there may be interested to know that included in PGR2 are the Ferrari Enzo, Porsche GT2, BMW Z4, Pontiac GTO, Mini Cooper S, Pontiac GTO and Trans-Am.  Naturally, all cars will be given a higher degree of detail than displayed in the original PGR.

Barcelona, Spain; Edinburgh, Scotland; Moscow, Russia; Italy and beautiful downtown Newark, NJ (just kidding) are among the sundry locations you’ll be given the opportunity to race through the streets of.  Over 5000 reference photos were used in the creation of the game’s highly detailed cityscapes.  PGR2 is expected to run at a constant 60fps.

Fans of online gaming should be ecstatic over the fact that Xbox Live will be utilized.  Not only will you be able to race against up to eight people online, but also you’ll be able to train for the big match by downloading ghost cars of the current record holder to test your skills against.  New cars and locations are expected to be released for download as well (well, they had to dangle some kind of carrot, didn’t they?).

As in the original, PGR2 will feature licensed music tracks and DJs from around the world.  Let’s just hope they pick better stations this time around.  Of course, you’ll still be able to customize the soundtracks to your liking, with track changes and volume adjustment done on the fly.  But this presupposes there’s something worth switching to in the first place…

Project Gotham Racing 2 is expected to be released on November 17th.

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