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Colin McRae Rally 2005


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I've just started getting back into CMR04. I'll pass on 05. I dont think its worth it to get one every year. Besides I saw someone post something about Richard Burns rally racer that is coming out that looks to be even more realistic. If I buy another rally game it will be that one. Considering the amount of time I put into rally racers (hardly any) CMR04 will keep me satisfied until that one comes out.

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I'm all over this as soon as I find a copy (probably Wed.) - I love the sound of the new expanded career (300 stages!!) that takes you through a variety of racing types.

 

And it's finally on Live!

 

And they finally added a new venue, Germany.

 

Richard Burns does sound nice, but I'm not sure if it's destined for North America. A lot of rally games never make it here (WRC 2, and 3 for example)

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Originally posted by Cyberwoo@Sep 27 2004, 08:50 PM

I've just started getting back into CMR04. I'll pass on 05. I dont think its worth it to get one every year.

Certainly, other than the addition of Live support, there really doesn't seem to be a lot new since last year - the reviews I've read have said its not worth it unless you missed 04.

 

As for Richard Burns, there's challenging and realistic (WRC 2 is wonderful), and then there's viciously jittery to handle and horribly, impossibly hard. Edge's Richard Burns review admitted that at the time of writing they had yet to win even a single full stage, and my brief attempts suggested its just too sensitive. Even reaching the finish line in one piece is an achievement.

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Got it and tried it out. It is identical to CMR 3 and 4, which is fine because they're solid, capable, and competent games. However the only improvement is the online mode, and oddly enough I actually noticed the framerate chop up, which is very odd considering the graphics really haven't improved.

 

I haven't decided whether or not to keep it... I might try it a few more times before i decide. The online mode and the fact that this game supposedly has 300 tracks is weighing in its favor. However I was expecting more in the graphics department.

 

I admit I've also been spoiled by more arcadey racing games like RalliSport 2 and BurnOut 3 and I need to knuckle the hell up and get serious when playing this one.

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I've raced through Finland and a couple of Greece stages in Championship mode, and I also raced a little "Career" mode in 2WD cars.

 

The handling has been tweaked, and unlike when I first played CMR4, this one doesn't feel as instantly comfortable. Some of this is probably due to playing RSC2 in between. But they have made the handling more complex, slides and drifts are harder to control (especially on the Finland gravel surfaces), you have to take more care entering a turn because correcting in mid-slide is tricky business. Losing control is easier as is spinning out.

 

I disagree with Anthony, the graphics have been bumped up, it's not RSC-level graphics, but it's also a lot grittier and less dreamy than RSC. The textures are still about the same size, but there are more of them, more variety in road surfaces. The lighting is better, shadows improved. There are more roadside objects with more detail (like buildings, etc).

 

The sound is also better. There's more feedback from the wheels on different surfaces, excellent sounds from bashing into objects and landing jumps. And in particular there's a nice 'shudder' of the tires as you slide on different surfaces.

 

I briefly considered staring my first championship in "Advanced" mode, which has more realistic damage...but I'm glad I didn't because I nearly destroyed my car in Finland.

 

However the times set by your opponents are still quite easy. I won Finland by 30 seconds.

 

In short, I think this game is somewhat harder than CMR4, it looks somewhat better and I'm relishing the challenge of mastering it.

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Thanks for the impressions, Ed. One question: does the game have the Peugot 307 in it? I seem to remember that one of the other games had the license exclusively...World Rally Championship 04 maybe?

 

Hmph, IGN's review seems to indicate that the online play is rather laggy & the voice is broken.

 

I guess I'll order it online, since it isn't showing up in stores locally.

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Changed my mind. I'm keeping it.

 

Played through Finland and Greece as Colin and had just as much fun as I had playing 3 and 4. The more I played it, the less valid my previous gripes were. The physics and realism more than made up for any shortcomings I may have mentioned.

 

Career mode seems a bit arduous but I'm sure I'll jump on it after I'm done as Colin.

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Career mode seems a bit arduous but I'm sure I'll jump on it after I'm done as Colin.

 

I gather that it gets better (and harder) as you go. I started there too and the 2WD cars you begin with are not the bullets that the 4WD ones are. They are sluggish off the line and don't handle as well.

 

The Championship (where you are Colin) is the 4WD powerhouses, which are pure fun!

 

Dan B.

does the game have the Peugot 307 in it?

 

This review lists the cars, and I don't see that one on the list. I haven't actually looked through the cars in-game, I was too anxious to get on the road ;)

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Merlot, I haven't played online, so I'm not sure.

 

How are the graphics compared to Rallisport 2? The screens I looked at did not impress me at all, but I'd like to hear from someone who's played it.

 

Overall the graphics are not as good as RSC2, the main problem is that the textures are bigger in CMR5, which you will notice mostly when you are stopped (like at the starting line, or after a crash).

 

But there are several stages (so far, I'm not far into the game) where the visuals are impressive enough to make me take notice.

 

IMO, Codemasters has aimed for realism at al levels, so the color palette of CMR5 is quite accurate, the gamma is pretty much dead-on. In RSC the colors are more saturated and 'dreamlike' - it looks fantastic but it doesn't look real, if you know what I mean.

 

In any case, the driving gameplay in CMR5 is stellar, and it's clearly the physics and overall feel (and look) of the cars is where Codemasters have focused their efforts.

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Speaking of crashes, I really like the 'dazed' or 'stunned' effect when you bash into something. It effectively and viscerally communicates the feeling that you have hit something solid and done damage to the car, and even yourself, as I find myself wincing a little when it happens. I do think they over-use it in some cases when you haven't hit something very hard, but they have smartly varied the strength of the effect based on how hard you hit...so if you tap a tree, it's less pronounced than if you hit it at 60MPH.

 

I also like the damage diagram of the car, I've always wondered (in CMR3 and 4) exactly when I've done damage to the car. Landing a jump hard? Hitting a berm from the side, or dropping two wheels off a raised edge? Now you can see when and where you caused damage.

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I've moved into Spain in my championship, in the previous two CMR games Spain has been my favorite country, and it's probably where I've raced the most stages, so I figured the Spain stages would make a point of good comparison between CMR5 and 4 (and 3).

 

But after running a few Spain stages,I still couldn't tease out the differences. So I put in my CMR4 disc (for the first time in 6 months at least) and the difference jumps right out...CMR5 is much faster. The cars accelerate faster, the sense of speed is greater (if I was more patient I'd actually measure the speed of the cars to see if they are actually measurably faster).

 

In CMR4 it felt like driving through molasses, everything was slower, which makes it easier to prepare for turns and make corrections. The regular 4WD cars in CMR5 are more like the Group B cars in CMR4, only with much better handling.

 

I still think there may be tweaks in the handling, but a lot of the difference I noticed initially is due to the greater speed of CMR5. I also noticed that my skills have deteriorated quite a lot, my times in CMR4 were at best 15 seconds off time I'd set when I was playing it a lot.

 

CMR5 makes a white-knuckle driving game a little harder on the knuckles. ;)

 

A couple other things:

 

In Championship mode, the UK is traditionally (in CMR3 and 4) the pinnacle of the game, it's the final country with the hardest stages (which typically feature very narrow roads and lots of mud), and the best looking stages in those games. This time around the UK is the 4th country (Finland, Greece and Germany precede it). It still looks great and is difficult, but it makes me wonder what they have in store for the finale.

 

In Time Trial mode (time attack), you can now set time of day, and weather conditions for each stage which is a very welcome addition. Before, each stage was married to a particular time and weather, no more.

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I played some online races, it's great fun, but I'm having disconnect issues...almost always right at the end of a race, and frustratingly usually when I place highly. I just won a 7-car race but got disconnected at the end so my stats won't reflect a win :bang: Same thing happened a few minutes before with a 2nd place finish...but another race I finished 4th and no disconnect. Doh!

 

The game uses a rating system like TOCA 2, you place highly and you get points added to your rating, finish low and they get subtracted.

 

There are two main Live modes, Rally and Stages, Rally is a series of stages (in a single location, I believe) like you'd expect, stages is individual stages chosen by the host. The host can set time-of-day and weather conditions. And the host can constrain races to certain classes or open it up to any class.

 

The game also lets you race any car (unless it's a class constrained by the host), and a host can choose any stage, even one's not unlocked yet in single-player.

 

Racing is against ghost cars, each color-coded to different players, the progress bar along the top has indicators for each driver using the same color as their ghost.

 

The ghosts do move around a bit indicating lag, but it's not too bad. The challenge is to ignore them and focus on the road. Oddly enough, there are no co-driver calls during online racing! Which ups the ante quite a bit, you have to really pay attention to the road.

 

So far almost every online race has been full of Europeans, particularly French players, and some others that I can't recognize from the language, but it sounded Czech, or somewhere from eastern Europe. Kind cool, actually, I'm not used to playing on Live with players from that far away.

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Grr, the disconnects are officially annoying. I'm going to have to do some investigation to see if this is widespread or just my connection. My only evidence that it's me is that when I jump back online, I see the same people still racing.

 

I verified that my Xbox is DMZed on my router. I checked the cables...I don't know what else to do.

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I need some friends to race on Live, so go get it! That is if I can stay on Live, damn this is frustrating. I swear every single time I'm in good position in a race I get disconnected.

 

I looked over at Codemaster's forums and I don't see any complaints about disconnects. This is ridiculous, almost as bad as Burnout 3!

 

I would think that my router is flaking out on me, except that neither of the computers connected to it have any problems.

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