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Project Gotham Racing 4

Author: Franky Moops
Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Xbox 360
Microsoft Games Studio, Bizarre Creations

Picture this: it’s snowing, you’re in Nürburg Germany sitting in a Ferrari F50 GT with seven other cars revving like crazy next to you and you’re about to race. The radio is blaring a hardcore rock tunes so you switch to the classical station. Lights go green and before you know it you’re already sliding around your first snowy corner earning copious amounts of ‘kudos’. Welcome to Project Gotham Racing 4.

I’m not going to wait till the conclusion of this review to tell you that YOU MUST BUY THIS GAME. There, I’ve said it. It’s out of the way now, I’ll probably remind you again at the end but I can’t help it, PGR4 is just that much fun. The graphics will blow you away, all the driving environments are truly amazing. You can flick the right stick of your 360 controller and have a quick butcher’s (butcher’s hook, have a look...) at the beautiful landscapes and cities as you speed past at over 180 miles an hour.

The driving controls are a perfect blend of realism and arcade – unlike games like Forza 2 (also an impressive title), you can actually hit a wall at high speed, bounce off and still be a contender in the race. The realism comes in the form of how the game looks and feels rather than how the cars drive. Unlike the previous PGR3, this time round the vehicles are all actually unique in the way they handle and perform. Jumping into a Maserati MC12 is going to feel a hell-of-a-lot different than a Ford Mustang GT. Everything about the cars are stunning, from the way they look to the way they slide around corners.

New to this series is the always beautiful but deathly dangerous weather. All the cars actually react differently to the conditions that range from a light shower to full snowstorm. Why any one would really drive in these conditions is beyond me, but when you have the ability to just bounce off barriers and earn ‘kudos’ for your troubles, then why not. You may be asking what are these ‘kudos’ I keep talking about. ‘Kudos’ are like credits or money that you earn in-game while driving and when you win races. They can be used to buy (or unlock, since you can only really use certain cars for certain races) new shiny cars and bikes.

Yes, bikes! Another new feature are these crazy two wheel rocket machines. They are terrible to control and seriously feel like you’re riding a rocket. Maybe in PGR5 they’ll fix up how these things handle but for now it’s more of a gimmick than anything else. In fact I would have given this game a 10/10 if it wasn’t for the motorcycles but a 9/10 is still a hug rating. Anyway this is a car racing game and as a racer title it’s pretty hard to beat.

One side note, at any time during the game you can pause the race and take an electronic (in-game) photo of your car or anything else then add some effects and then upload it onto Xbox Live. Why- I don’t know, but someone has spent a lot of time making this little feature so we should all at least use it once.

PGR4 is an ultimate Xbox 360 driving experience and a must-have for any racer fan. The visuals and sounds are spot on and cars all look and feel phenomenal. You can’t help but enjoy this game. Oh yeah, did I mention that YOU MUST BUY THIS GAME-