4 Solid Rallying Fun With a Spicy TwistFleedleflump | 18/06/2007 | See all Fleedleflump's reviews (58)Top 100 Reviewer Top 100 Games Reviewer Top 100 Music Reviewer Top 10 Books Reviewer Okay, let's get the basics out of the way first. The graphics in this game are nothing short of breath-taking, with foliage looking genuinely real as it zips past your view on either side. Lighting is a little OTT at times, but it nicely shows off the game engine. The sound is equally impressive in its detail and helps immensely with the feeling of immersion. One small thing to be aware of: if you're running this on Windows Vista you can't put the shadow detail on ultra, as they go haywire, so use High instead. I'm sure this will be fixed with a patch soon enough though.So all that eye-and-ear candy certainly helps, but variety is the spice of this rally's life. Rather than reel out another update like they have previously, Codemasters have taken the Colin McCrae series in the same direction as they did TOCA when Race Driver hit the scene. Hence, instead of just racing standard rally stages against the clock, you also get to race in rally cross, hill climb, rage rally, and crossover events. This also means you're driving huge dust buggies as well as multiple variants of the usual FWD and 4WD rally cars.The career mode is another addition, and takes its place as the main mode in which you'll be playing the game. It's a tiered affair, whereby you start on tier 1 with 10 events to choose from, then unlock tier 2 (with fewer events) by scoring points in the tier 1 events, all the way up to the final championship on the top tier. You also win money with podium finishes, allowing you to purchse new cars (to compete in new challenges) ands new liveries for your existing cars. You're also free to replay any challenges you like and try them at higher difficulty levels (which garners more cash) if you need more money, or try for a higher final position if you didn't win first time.So it's all good, but there are a couple of reservations. Firstly, you do need a monster PC to run this at high settings (especially if you use a large, high resolution monitor), although it does still look good at lower graphics settings so you're only losing out on the more extreme lighting and particle effects. Secondly, this game can be very annoying. I know this is subjective, but I reckon most people will find themselves cursing the other drivers the first time they try a wet-conditions rally cross event, and get clipped off the track on the first corner every time they start! Finally, if you're a sim-head, this wont suit you; some attempt is made a realism, and you'll certainly have to brake properly and learn the right driving techniques to do well, but Richard Burns Rally this is not; it's aimed at a wider audience, and fun was a higher priority than simulation.However, these are small niggles, and do not detract from what is a great racing game, and certainly the best Colin McCrae, for me, since the first one was released, all those years ago!