Project Gotham Racing 3: Review
Polish is something that can be lacking in a launch game. Thankfully, this is not the case with Bizarre Creations’ latest effort, Project Gotham Racing 3.
PGR3 is actually the fourth iteration in the series. The first one was Metropolis Street Racer on the Sega Dreamcast console, before PGR and PGR 2 on the Xbox. With PGR 3, Bizarre Creations have evolved their racer for the Xbox 360 with great HD graphics, more modes, and a great online realm.
Project Gotham Racing 3: Graphics look best on HD
Watching PGR3 in action is truly amazing. Cars are rendered beautifully with reflections that faithfully display what is adjacent to them. The interior could pass for a virtual test drive.
The cities look great as well. You can tell they really did their homework on the tracks. Driving across the Brooklyn Bridge is simply breathtaking (especially in cockpit view). Even at night, the glow of the street lamps really makes you feel like you’re carving up the streets.
To achieve these results, Project Gotham Racing 3 must be played on a HD set. This game is meant to be played at a resolution of 720p or higher. On a standard television, the graphics aren’t as impressive.
Sound of PGR 3
The sound is nothing to sneeze at either. Cars pass by with accurate engine sounds. Tires screech during precise powerslides around sharp corners in great clarity.
However, what should be noted is the buffet that is the soundtrack. From classical to rap to techno, anything you could possibly want to listen to is here. And to be quite honest, listening to Tchaikovsky while racing is surprisingly refreshing.
The control of the cars in Project Gotham Racing 3 is for the most part really solid. Taking corners is fluid and precise, however, it’s a tad too difficult to correct yourself after oversteering.
Also, in the cockpit mode, it’s cumbersome to look in the direction of your windshield on sharp turns such as the parking lot loop in Tokyo. The driver’s eyesight remains fixated as you take turns suitable for 40 mph or less! You can change it with the right analog stick but this is not very practical in the heat of the race.
As far as the gameplay is concerned, PGR 3 stays true to its roots. The Kudos system found in previous incarnations of the game remains and again plays a key role in the game. By driving with style (drifting through turns, staying faithful to the racing line, getting air, etc), you earn points in the Kudos system. With this system, you rise in the ranks of the career mode.
With many varying game types such as Hot Lap, Elimination, and Overtake, there’s plenty to occupy your time. Honestly though, it isn’t anything that we haven’t seen in the last game(s).
In addition to the racing action, there is an awesome Photo mode where you can take pictures in game of your race. This isn’t a mere shoddy Photoshop mode either; you can adjust angle, aperture, focus, and even shutter speed to capture that perfect picture! I must admit I had quite a fun time with this.
PGR3 on Xbox Live
On Xbox Live, you will either love or hate this game – it really isn’t the game’s fault, though. Some races turn into playing bumper cars because of ridiculous players online. These inconsiderate people speed directly into you while you take a turn or take out your wheels to spin you out on a straightaway.
So far, I have only found a few human opponents that race with dignity and class! Sometime this is inadvertent, though, because the tracks are too narrow for so many racers on a screen.
If you are playing in the Playtime mode, you are able to cut collisions. By doing this, you’re essentially racing with real-time ghosts. It’s the Online Career mode where things can get frustrating.
I highly suggest you refrain from the races with more than 4 or so cars for a better Live experience. Otherwise, you might have to go purchase a new controller if you throw yours and break it in frustration!
All in all, Project Gotham Racing 3 is a great effort from Bizarre Creations, especially for a launch game. While this is a great game, there is not very much here that is totally new or fresh: this isn’t the driving game that is going to change your life.
However, the presentation is nice, the graphics are gorgeous, and the gameplay is what you’ve come to expect from the series: stylistic urban racing. Definitely give this one a shot.
Score: 8 out of 10