|System: X360||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: SimBin Development Team||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Atari||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 4, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-12 (Online)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Pending||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Joseph Catalanotto
August 13, 2008 - There's no shortage of racing games on the Xbox 360. From simulation games like Grid and Forza to less realistic racing experiences like Burnout Paradise, there are driving games on the system to satisfy all types of taste and preference. Atari is entering the racing game fray on the 360 with the coming release of RACE Pro, one of the most realistic racing simulations that we've ever seen.
RACE Pro is a title that prides itself on adhering strictly to real-life racing, and that aspect to development is visible in so many different aspects of the game. From the variety of different play modes (all of which are modeled after real-life events) to the plethora of licensed cars, RACE Pro is a highly realistic hardcore racing sim.
It's a title that's clearly geared toward a certain group of people; just because you've enjoyed racing games in the past doesn't necessarily mean you'll enjoy RACE Pro as well. Instead, it's a game that's for those who enjoy and can appreciate a realistic racing simulation. It's going to feel like you're actually controlling a car; if you can appreciate the title for its impressive attention to detail and can get past the steep learning curve, it's a game that you'll probably want to check out.
From the very beginning, you'll realize that RACE Pro is not a game for racing newbies. The huge selection of cars and sheer amount of things that you can tinker with, from simple color to more important aspects like engine, tires, and suspension, can be overwhelming. But once you get the hang of it, RACE Pro promises to be great fun; subtle differences between a wide variety of cars and the ability to customize virtually every aspect of your vehicle allows you to tailor the game to your driving preferences.
Hardcore fans of racing titles are definitely going to enjoy this title, and the first thing that'll appeal to them is the variety of cars - RACE Pro boasts more than 300 different vehicles, as well as some 15 different real-life tracks on which to race. There's also a significant learning curve; you can't expect to pop in the disc and have mastered the game after a few races. But if you devote enough time to become good at RACE Pro, it is sure to be a fun, rewarding experience.
There are a variety of different play modes in RACE Pro, but the most interesting one and the one that you'll spend most time with is surely Career Mode. In Career Mode, you'll win as many races as possible in an attempt to gain different contracts. Each contract has certain terms revolving around winning a set number of races, and you'll be paid for each contract that you complete. By making money, you can upgrade your vehicles, unlock other features of the game, or, most importantly, purchase new cars to use during the races.
RACE Pro is still in development, but developers SimBin promise one of the best-looking racing experiences in this generation of gaming. All the cars are modeled after their real-life counterpart, of course, and they all look really great. The tracks and cars are surprisingly detailed and animation is smooth, even while whizzing around the track at high speeds. It's a nice-looking game, and with a title that's all about making the racing experience as realistic as possible, the visuals certainly go a long way toward achieving that goal.
Finally, RACE Pro will also include an online mode where you can race up to 11 other players via Xbox LIVE. Here you'll be able to test your fine-tuned cars against those of other people, and the feel of driving in a professional race paired with the robust Xbox LIVE community should be really interesting. RACE Pro is certainly not a game for everybody, but if you've enjoyed racing titles such as Forza, you should definitely give this title a look when it releases later this year.
CCC Freelance Writer