Test Drive: LeMans Review

By: John Doe

How many driving games can possibly exist on one system? Infogrames tries once more, and although the game is actually pretty solid, driving titles on the PSX have pretty much reached their peak. After seeing GT 2000 on the PS2, all I can think about is wanting to play that, and right now! If you are in the market for a driving game that is more on the realistic side without the gory details of Gran Turismo, then you might be looking in the right spot. Oh and if you are shying away from this title because of the "Test Drive' attachment, don't worry; it's not really related.


The graphics in TDLM have extremely high resolution and detail, and look very nice. The cars are very colorful, reflective, and realistic looking, and the framerate is speedy and consistent. What's also very cool is that there is a real time change from night to day in 24-hour race mode, with sunsets and sunrises that look just incredible. The only complaint I have at all in the graphics department is that sometimes the track gets way too dark, which can make it hard to maneuver turns properly and see the beautiful tracks in all their glory.

Unfortunately, the great detail that so obviously went into the visuals was not applied to the sound and music. The music simply doesn't fit well with this game, and the sound effects threaten to make you want to rip this game out of your PlayStation and hurl it like a Frisbee after a short time of playing. The whizzing of cars passing you and the engine sounds are not realistic at all and really get on your nerves. And the announcer practically makes you want to throw your Playstation out the window! His repetitive quips and annoying voice is just really irritating, and doesn't really add anything to the game.

The game gives you three modes of gameplay to choose from: Arcade, Championship, and Le Mans 24 Hours. In arcade mode, you choose a car out of the many available, and compete for six different cups. Victory in this mode also allows you the option of even more cars, which can be used for this mode only. Championship mode has you join a racing team and move up in the rankings by placing in the top three for events. This mode is a hell of a lot of fun, and is arguably the game's bread-and-butter.

There is also Le Mans 24 Hours mode, where you can choose how much time you actually race, how difficult your computer controlled competitors are, and how much damage is caused by collision. The time selection allows you to make the "24 hour" race anywhere from 12 minutes to the full 24 hours (!). Why anyone would actually race for 24 hours straight is beyond me, but it definitely is a neat feature. All three modes of play offer very fast, extreme, very fun action, and the AI on the computer-controlled racers is very well done. Overall the number of options and features makes the game very exciting and varied.

If realistic, fast-paced racing games are your bag, you should definitely check this game out. If you can get past the occasionally too dark graphics and poor sounds and music, its otherwise extremely well done and entertaining.






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