R: Racing - PS2

Also known as: R: Racing Evolution

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Also for: Xbox, GameCube
Viewed: 3D First-person / Third-person Genre:
Racing: Car
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Namco Soft. Co.: Namco
Publishers: Electronic Arts (GB)
Released: 2 Apr 2004 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 12+
Accessories: Memory Card, Analogue Control Compatible: all buttons
Features: Vibration Function Compatible


Although not being purported as any kind of official sequel, this latest racer from Namco is born of the company's long running and successful Ridge Racer series. And the reason you're not now reading about Ridge Racer 6 is that the team behind it wanted to explore new territory this time around, shying away from the simple, arcade-style of yore to bring us something a little more akin to Gran Turismo. An evolution of the series, if you will.

Consequently, R: Racing features much more of an emphasis on realism, the inclusion of a host of licensed cars and tracks, and also a range of different game modes, the main one being a narrative-driven story mode. Entitled Racing Life, this mode sees you step into the shoes of a rookie race car driver by the name of Rena and embark on a cut scene-filled adventure of some 14 chapters, which ultimately boils down to a series of different races. As well as this, the game also offers the usual, self explanatory Time Attack and Arcade modes, as well as the obligatory split-screen Versus mode, which gives you the chance to take on one of your mates.

A rather novel element throughout R: Racing can be found through the tailing of your opponents. Driving in the wake of competing cars brings up a meter that gradually fills up before beginning to flash, at which point the car in question is said to be under more pressure and subsequently more likely to make a mistake. As such, a certain amount of strategy is brought to the game, as well as a tactic that can prove quite crucial in later races when more is at stake and you have a desperate fight for pole position.

With the inclusion of all the usual elements we've come to expect from a contemporary racer - such as upgradeable vehicles, real world locations and realistic AI - R: Racing makes for quite a comprehensive game. It may not quite achieve the depth of its inspiration Gran Turismo, but until that game's next instalment, it makes for a good filler.


R: Racing - PS2 Artwork

R: Racing - PS2 Artwork