|System: PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Eutechnyx||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Activision||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Aug. 26, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The multiplayer components are sure to deliver a more authentic racing experience, depending on the skills of the other drivers. Up to 16 players can be accommodated online. I was unable at the time of this review to find more than five other players online, but hopefully that will change. There aren't a lot of options available online, but technically it was sound. The framerate was smooth and there was no latency with the controls. The lack of a leaderboard, championship mode, and split-screen is going to limit the long-term replay value, but hardcores that can continually round up a full 16-player competition will think they've died and gone to heaven.
As to be expected, the vehicles don't ever become heaps of twisted wreckage. Regardless of how hard you hit the wall, the vehicles will display little more than a crumpled fender. Ferrari doesn't want their vehicles to look bad under any circumstance. This is not from lack of ability by the developers, who do an amazing job of making the cars looks, well...amazing. They are almost over-the-top with nary a sunbeam reflection out of place with rich, deep, high gloss paint that looks positively liquid. The environments are good but not as excruciatingly detailed as the vehicles. There are 16 tracks located throughout Europe and the U.S. Although I couldn't tell if every track is identical to the ones they are intended to replicate, I have been informed that they are exact replicas, though the names of some have been changed due to copyright and licensing issues.
Everything looks better in the rain. The cars and tracks positively glisten with bright colors and light reflections. However, the weather effects are more than cosmetic. Driving in the rain will present you with more of a challenge, putting your skills to the test as you compensate for the slick track. It's like learning to drive all over again. It's incredibly frustrating at first, but with a few more weeks of practice under my belt I'm sure I would welcome the added challenge.
Ferrari Challenge is an accessible racer. It will lead beginners by the hand and allow them to take the training wheels off when they are comfortable. Racing enthusiasts with a penchant for expensive cars will drool over this offering. The lack of good racers on the PS3 puts this one on the top shelf for the time being, so you might want to grab it while it's hot.
CCC Senior Writer