- Title: Project Gotham Racing 4
- Platform:Xbox 360
- Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
- Developer: Bizarre Creations
- ESRB Rating: “E” for Everyone
- Genre: Racing
- Pros: Great graphics; good car list; improved career mode over PGR3; solid gameplay; in-car camera still rocks
- Cons: First-person camera + motorcycle = nausea; the weather effects look good, but don’t really make the races more fun
PGR 4 is all about changes and improvements over PGR3. One of the first things you’ll notice is that the car list is greatly improved. Instead of just focusing on exotics and supercars, there is a much more varied list of cars to choose from this time around. Another major addition is that you can now ride motorcycles, which add a nice added layer of depth and fun because, obviously, motorcycles and cars handle rather differently. Another significant new feature is that there are now dynamic weather effects such as rain and snow that can actually change in intensity over the course of a race. When you add all of these improvements onto an already great foundation, you end up with a very solid game in Project Gotham Racing 4.
Project Gotham Racing 4 has the modes we have come to expect from the series such as arcade and career and online. Career mode has been given a makeover and now seems more realistic as you have to choose race events or accept invitations for special events throughout a calendar year, and anything you don’t do now will have to be completed next year. Online play is just as deep as ever and a definite high point once you finish with career.
The motorcycles add a fun twist to the experience because they use that same type of hybrid handling as the cars, so they are very easy to drive and fun to use. The difference with the motorcycles is that they accelerate much faster than the cars and generally don’t have to slow down quite as much as the cars through corners (assuming you take the right line through a corner), which makes them pretty tough to beat despite the fact that they aren’t usually faster in the straights.
And, finally, we have the weather effects. Rain will collect into puddles which make that particular part of track especially tricky, and snow will coat the track and make it absolutely treacherous. The weather is a nice addition and you basically have to re-learn how to drive in it, but I’m not sure if it makes the game any more fun. The whole point of PGR is to slide around anyway, so what does the weather really add other than frustration?
Graphics and Sound
The sound is also very good in PGR4. The soundtrack is extremely varied and has a ton of different types of music from a lot of different bands. More importantly, the sounds of the cars and motorcycles are spot on and sound just like they should.