First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
- — 01 May, 2000 16:06
Real-world course, riders and teams from the 1999 racing season, along with the game's truly impressive graphics, help rocket Superbike 2000 off the starting line and into high gear - and for those unfortunates who wipe out, into some of the most spectacular crashes ever displayed in a racing simulation.
While the average gamer probably doesn't follow the SBK circuit and might not even know the difference between a Honda and an Aprilia, the bikes included in this simulation have been painstakingly detailed, so much so that hardcore fans will see - and perhaps even feel - the differences. A full selection of rides is included from Ducati, Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Yamaha and Aprilia, in conjunction with courses from England, Germany and Japan, among others. The courses feature appropriate banners - including ads, so don't worry if you start to think about motor oil - and often in the language native to the course's location. In addition, real-world riders like Eric Bostrom and Carl Fogarty make an appearance, right down to their team uniforms.
It is the game's highly detailed race settings, breathtaking graphics and rider assists that make Superbike 2000 a very playable and accessible racing sim, one that even those without knowledge of the sport can still play well and enjoy. The AI will help riders slow and brake in those sharp turns that are one of the key elements to SBK courses. Players can also set the bikes to manual or automatic transmission but, as in most racing sims, it helps to go it manual for more precise control, especially when coming off a series of tight turns.
On the downside, the game can be a bit tough with all the real-world damage and physics turned on and the assists turned off. Even experienced racing sim fans might find the game a bit too challenging - unless those dramatic crashes are your kind of thing and you don't mind being in them! Furthermore, while Superbike 2000 can be played with just the keyboard, a joystick or gamepad is highly recommended!
If this title was just about stunning visuals and realistic physics, it would be a solid game, but Superbike 2000 also offers one of the best multiplayer elements in any racing game. Developer Milestone took the normally console-centric two-player split-screen mode into consideration when creating this game, and the results are impressive. The high-resolution visuals hold up quite well and add an element of two-player gaming that is seldom seen on the PC.
Product: Superbike 2000
Publisher: EA Sports