PC games: World of Outlaws Sprint Cars 2002

The racing genre in video games has all kinds of different titles to suit everybody’s needs. Some of the different styles of games include rally, street and motorcycle racing. One title that brings something new to this saturated genre is World of Outlaws Sprint Cars 2002.

Developed by Adelaide-based Ratbag Games, WoOSC2002 utilises the Difference engine developed for its first video game, called Powerslide. People familiar with sprint cars will recognise the unique car body immediately; the large wing at the back of the car is a dead give-away. For the uninitiated, sprint cars have an extremely powerful go-kart-like structure that uses fins and wings for downforce and stability in order to maintain traction on the dirt.

Several racing options should keep gamers happy for hours, including career mode, arcade mode and multiplayer. The arcade mode is best for when you need that quick racing fix and is divided into three Championship, Single and Time Trial races. The career mode offers the most realistic play as you build up your racing career from scratch. As you progress through the races and ranks, earning money as you go, your sprint car can be reconfigured with newer parts to increase speed and ease handling. Sponsorships are also included in the career mode: accepting the right deal may increase your chance of entering more important race meets and promoting your new sponsor. The multiplayer mode offers great replayability as you get a chance to race against others via a LAN or the Internet.

WoOSC2002 definitely has exceptional realism. The mud splattering from cars ahead allows gamers to use tear-off visors, the car’s physics are well tuned, and the other cars’ AI pull off some unpredictable moves. The title’s visuals are easy on the eyes but not particularly mind-blowing. The audio could have been tweaked a little to include more announcer comments, giving the full racing experience.

One con: gamers who are keen to race against their favourite Australian driver will be severely disappointed, because the title only follows the US championships. Maybe this will be an included feature in the yet-to-be-released sequel.

Publisher: Atari
Developer: Ratbag Games
URL: www.ratbaggames.com

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