The blurb says that you get "40 exhilarating courses filled with nitrous filled straight-aways and hairpin turns", but unfornuately for Sony we have yet to find anything "Exhilarating" about yet another version of Ridge Racer.

While Virtua Fighter from Sega might be the only fighting game in the launch titles in the UK, the same can't be said for Ridge Racer which goes up against Motorstorm and Formula 1 (also from Sony) and Full Auto 2 from Sega.

With such a crowded pack it's not surprising one has to come last and in this case it's Ridge Racer 7.

It's not that it is not a polished game, far from it, the cars look lovely, the screnery picturesque all running in 1080p high definition video at 60 frames per second, it's just that the gameplay is brain-numbingly dull bringing nothing to the PS3 from previous editions.

The format is the same old same old with you completing in a series of races, winning points that eventually can be turned into buying body kits for almost any area of the car to make it look good or enhance performance. Kits include lowers, lifts, airflow and even major body modification.

What is new is a new nitrous system. Nitrous boosts have always been a central part to any racers' strategy, but before Ridge Racer 7 there wasn't any control over the type or amount of gas. Now, you have total control over such minutae as the number of tanks, charge rate, even total boost limit. If you prefer to have more control over nitrous while racing, consider the new "flex nitrous", which can be turned off or on at the driver's discretion.

You might be able to play up to 14 players with Sony's new online service but we're not sure we'd really want to.

Like previous titles such as Project Gotham Racing on the Xbox 360 you'll earn nitrous through power drifting around the corners, the more you do it the more you earn. Get enough and you can speed past the competition, not get enough and you'll be lagging in 14th place.

But once you realise that as long as you drive like a mad man drifting as much as possible even on the straights nitrous becomes pretty much on tap and speeding around the course something of a chore.


For us Ridge Racer 7 is not a disappointment, but just a title that has played it so safe that you'll either buy it and play it for days on end or have a couple of goes and be wanting your money back.

It's like replacing your car with a brand new version. It's nice, it's clean, it probably comes with some new features, but it's still the same car that you were driving yesterday.