IndyCar Series 2005 review

One of the greatest things about being British is seeing just how twisted and strange the American way of life is. I’m almost ashamed to admit we speak the same language, when their racing looks like IndyCar. Yes, racing in ovals, again and again.

For some reason the Americans decided that the best way to race cars was in circles, and that’s what this game is all about. Yes, you can cut your controller in half because you’re never going to turn right - all you need is straight and left, unless of course you want to go backwards. Perhaps I have some issues about driving in ovals, or perhaps this game is just the worst thing that ever appeared on the PS2?

Right, let’s start at the beginning. From the outset, this game looks terrible. The user interface/menu system is lifeless and boring - it’s painful to navigate. The actual racing is not such a bad thing - you get the token settings on the car to change, but only the most anal will notice any difference and have their subsequent enjoyment affected.

The graphics are bland and unexciting, and not dissimilar to something I once wrote in basic on the BBC Master (I exaggerate, of course), but to be fair, there is little in the way of eye candy here. The sound mostly consists of the high-pitched squeal of the engine as you lap at 225mph over and over again. In fact, you hardly have to break or ease off, so the whine is pretty much it. There is also the token guy talking through an earpiece to you “Glitter coming up behind you” and so on.

They are pushing the game with the high speed as the fun side of things, but to be fair, its all relative, and doing 15mph would be exactly the same on a smaller track; in short, the speed is a non-factor. You really have to ask yourself what justification there is for an update to a game like this - surely driving is about using the car in challenging ways. Even though I didn’t like the game, it wasn’t too hard to do well. To be fair, the handling wasn’t so bad on the cars, so a bit of thought to slipstream and ‘go high’ to pass your opponents will soon have you winning.

Perhaps you have to be a fan of the IndyCar race series (at last he gets it - Sub-Ed). There are a number of drivers, cars and tracks to go in ovals around. Of the few tracks we used, the differences were superficial - bit of colour, but otherwise identical. In summary, its not fun, its boring - at least you can turn off your PlayStation with the press of just one button. You can also bore your friends to death via network play - but don’t expect them to speak to you again.

Verdict

This is without a doubt the worst racing game I have ever played. To think that they want £40 out of your pocket for this most unpleasing of experiences - I’d rather stick pins in my eyes.