Colin McRae Rally 2004

Racing 2003 Windows Codemasters Rally

Colin does it again!

While it's pretty much business as usual for this entry in the long running rally series, that's no bad thing as the games are all first rate driving sims that offer plenty of down and dirty action. The game offers the usual array of options for players, including the opportunity to take on 2WD, 4WD and Group B cars (which were banned after 1986 due to their insane potential) in championship mode and with eight international rallies to take part in, including ones in the US, Australia, Finland and Japan. These all feature varying types of terrain and offer their own unique challenges for players to test their skills on, while there are also over twenty different cars to choose from, again with their own distinct driving characteristics. This does actually represent a significant change over previous games, as by this point McRae had split from Ford and which allowed the developers to let players drive a complete range of cars, rather than restricting them as before. This version also features much improved graphics and an all-new physics system which allows for much more realistic handling and which is really noticeable as you take to the wheel. In most ways, this is a damn fine racing sim and any flaws with it are pretty minor. There's the occasional bit of slowdown and pop-up but this really is being picky and everything is else is just as it should be. There's a great sense of speed, the new physics system really brings things to life and there's an excellent range of options. If you're looking for another game in the vein of Screamer Rally or WRC, then this has to be top of your list.

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