Most console racing games—with the exception of the Gran Turismo series—steer clear of realism in the name of creating fast and furious, high-speed, and typically unrealistic experiences. (Case in point: Criterion's awesome Burnout series.)
With the release of the 360-only Race Pro, Gran Turismo officially has some competition.
This is not really a game; it's a simulation in the truest sense of the word. The disc's incredible depth will delight hardcore car aficionados…and will bore most casual fans to tears. Created by Swedish-based Simbin, a company well known for its PC racing sims, this is the first game the company created for a home console. While it’s not quite as deep as its PC predecessors, it's still the most hardcore home console racer to date.
The disc has more than 40 real-world cars crammed onto it, including Audis, Aston Martins, and Mini Coopers, all of which are rendered in a ridiculous amount of detail. You'll start off as a nobody who wants to make a name for himself in the game's Career mode. Beat a team's time trial on a track of their choosing, and if you're lucky, the team will invite you to join them.
From there, you and your racing team will travel the world, winning and losing races as you build a reputation for yourself while simultaneously building a stable of cars. And prior to each race, you tweak dozens of variables on your ride, all the way down to the amount of air pressure in your tires.
The Career mode is challenging and very demanding. If you're looking for a casual racing game that you can blow through in a weekend, Race Pro is not that game. Right from the opening screens, this game is all business. If you're kicking yourself for letting your subscription to Car & Driver lapse, then this game was made with you in mind.
The ultimate in reality racing.
13 real-world tracks to tear up.
Amount of realism will likely be overwhelming for casual gamers.
The occasional lengthy load time.
Spinouts happen early and often.