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Colin McRae Rally 3 - first impressions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by EdR, Feb 21, 2003.

  1. EdR

    EdR Second Unit

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    Well, I'm not going to be real eloquent or complete here because I'm quite tired from a busy day. My very early impression is that Colin McRae 3 is a freaking blast. Just a joy to drive, a really sweet combination of arcade and sim handling, with really nice visual feedback; from the way the car body leans and swings, the independent wheel motions and undulations, the way the car sinks down onto its shocks when you land a jump, and even the dust trail. It's all high-class and very well executed.

    So far the track design is superb, I haven't unlocked a thing. I spent the evening (when not in Apex, which I will get to later) playing the initially open stages. Lots of uneven roadway, some tracks have serious dips and trenches on or along side the road. The road can be 'read' to some extent, like in Sweden you can see the road change from dry snow cover to ice, and the car handlng changes in response.

    If you like complex, controlled powerslides, this is your game. These aren't the "high-maintenence" powerslides of World of Outlaws Sprintcars, where one false move sends you off into space...but they also aren't the more simplistic "gun-n-go" slides from WRC. The slides in CMR3 seem manageable but not totally predictable...and fun as hell.

    Damage modelling looks to be about the best I've seen (although V-Rally 3 is hard to beat in this dept). At one point (well, maybe more than once [​IMG] ) I sideswiped a tree, and sure enough the door on the side dented convincingly. I also noticed that my handling got slightly skewed after roughing the car up a bit.

    One puzzling thing is that it's not running in progressive scan on the Xbox. I looked through the settings and I don't see a setting for it. The game options (not the car setup options) are one of the game's weak points, they are quite basic.

    Overall, this game is about pure driving joy. The eye-candy is workman-like, the realism is lavished on the car and it's physics, on a few dynamic elements of the car, and not on rich detailed environments (although they are nothing to sneeze at). Personally, I don't mind this. Of course, I'd rather have a game that handled like this and looked like Rallisport. But until then, my initial impression is that this is the rally game to beat.

    Maybe the best thing I can say is that it has fully met my high expectations, which is pretty rare these days.
     
  2. Dan B

    Dan B Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the impressions Ed. I hope to get my hands on the game next week. [​IMG]
     
  3. shane_watson

    shane_watson Stunt Coordinator

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    One puzzling thing is that it's not running in progressive scan on the Xbox. I looked through the settings and I don't see a setting for it...................this would not be in the games options,its in the xbox settings menu,the xbox will auto detect proggresive scan.
     
  4. Dan B

    Dan B Screenwriter

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    IGN finally got a copy of the game & they have some hands-on impressions here.
     
  5. JamesH

    JamesH Supporting Actor

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  6. EdR

    EdR Second Unit

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  7. Dan B

    Dan B Screenwriter

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    BTW Ed, are you going to post your impressions of Apex in the Apex thread or have you just been too busy to do so? I'm just curious to see what you think about that one.
     
  8. EdR

    EdR Second Unit

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  9. DeanWalsh

    DeanWalsh Second Unit

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    I've been playing the ps2 version for the past week and am really enjoying it also. For a ps2 game I'm impressed at the texture detail on the vehicles and the racing flows along at a pace seemingly faster than gt3. Very fun gameplay also.
     
  10. Jerry Gracia

    Jerry Gracia Supporting Actor

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    I just bougth Colin McRae Rally 3 (for XBOX) and agree that it is a blast!

    I hated World Rally Championship on PS2. CMR3 is precisely what I expected WRC to be.

    I love the in-car cockpit view during a rain storm, the rain beeding on your windshield and being wind swepted away looks awesome! The windsheild wipers wipe away the rain so realistically...you gotta see it.

    Definitly a great rally game!

    CMR3 may not be as pretty as Rallysport Challenge, but it plays much better.
     
  11. Lou Sytsma

    Lou Sytsma Producer

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    Good to hear Jerry - can't wait to pick up my copy!
     
  12. EdR

    EdR Second Unit

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  13. BrianS

    BrianS Stunt Coordinator

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    I will definitely have to check out this game!

    Just curious but did you own Rally Fusion? I saw you said that you are disappointed with it and I wanted a more detailed opinion if you don't mind. I love Rallisport and was thinking of picking up Rally Fusion since it has gotten so cheap lately. I played the very short demo but it is hard to judge a whole game by the demo. Thanks!
     
  14. Daniel Becker

    Daniel Becker Second Unit

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    I've really been looking forward to Colin Mcrae 3 for the past year but recently I heard the championship mode can only be played with Mr. Mcrae's Ford Focus. IMO this sucks and really takes a lot of the replay value out of the game. I would love to be able to play the championship mode with various cars over and over again. From what i've been told this just isn't possible. [​IMG] However, all the information I heard was based on the Japanese and European versions. Can someone tell me if the Australian or other region releases have changed anything? I'm really hoping for the U.S version has been modified in the championship department. I still plan on getting the PS2 version regardless.



    Dan.b
     
  15. EdR

    EdR Second Unit

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    Yeah, I bought RF. I played it off and on for two weeks and then returned it to EB...sort of an extended rental. I don't remember in detail now why I didnt like it, but I'll try and recount what i do recall.

    Overall several things felt a bit off, slides were simple, you were either sliding or not sliding, and you could basically floor it most of the time...I seem to recall that you could brake during a hard corner and yet keep control, which doesn't feel right to me.

    The physics were weird. You could hit a small protrusion in the ground, and the car would go flying up the air...descending slowly like a baloon.

    The cars you get initially are really awful...slow and clunky. It doesn't take long to unlock better cars, but it's painful to play at first.

    I should say that it wasn't an entirely bad experience. I did have fun, the road courses were enjoyable...but it wasn't engrossing enough. It's a decent game, but I was looking for a fairly hard-core rally experience and RF didn't give that to me. I'd rent it. If you truly need a strongly arcade oriented game, then you may like it more.

    V-Rally 3 was better, as long as you stick to the 1.6 Liter cars, it's close to CMR3 in terms of physics...although not as good looking. VR3 has superb damage modelling (although a bit more 'canned' than CMR3). But I'll be damned if the 2.0 Liter cars weren't the twitchiest things. Keeping the car under control is a major hassle, which means I got to see the damage modelling a LOT. I'd frequently finish a stage with no bumpers, no hood, doors that don't stay closed, smashed up windows...sad. I really enjoyed the 1.6L cars, challeging to control, but not wildly furstrating like the 2.0s.
     
  16. Daniel Becker

    Daniel Becker Second Unit

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    Could you answer my questions about Colin 3 EdR? Thanks. [​IMG]



    Dan.b
     
  17. EdR

    EdR Second Unit

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    Daniel,

    I'm pretty sure it's identical to the Euro version, Championship is McRae/Ford only. This very well may limit the longevity of the game.

    Other cars are available, but only in the stages mode.

    I'm about 85% sure of all this, but I haven't explored a lot of the options, so i could be wrong.

    At least, it would have been nice if they had an option for playing as McRae on the Citroen team, since that where he is now. But I suppose that would have made the game even later to market...and now they have something for CMR4.

    I'd suggest that you rent it, see if the driving appeals to you enough to warrant a purchase. Right now, I'm not too concerned about replayability because the driving is so fun and satisfying, possibly my favorite racing game ever.

    And of course there's WRCII to look forward to. It has more stages than CMR3, and more options and modes, and revamped physics and graphics engine form the first one.
     
  18. Dan B

    Dan B Screenwriter

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    I picked up CMR 3 today & played through the first rally. (Australia) I really like it so far - it's just what I was looking for which is a simulation of rally racing. The in-car view is great & the physics seem good so far. The sound is well-done also. So far so good!

    It's pretty much convinced me to also pick up Codemasters' Pro Race Driver for Xbox when that comes out next month, unless the reviews are really bad - I've heard some complaints about the PS2 version.
     
  19. EdR

    EdR Second Unit

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  20. EdR

    EdR Second Unit

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    Well, instead of blabbering on about it, I just took a short video of a Spain stage, one of my favorite parts. It's not exactly an example of the best driving, but I had some good moves...on the plus side, you get to see sparks fly at one point as I bash into a wall.

    http://www.phosfor.com/cmr/cmr3.mov

    320x240
    30fps
    6.5MB
    1:14 long
    QuickTime format.

    Yes, that's the controller sticks you hear clicking away [​IMG]
     

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