Pro Rally 2001

4When Pro Rally 2001 first appeared at ECTS 2000, it promised realism to match the best the competition had to offer. Playing the game, however, makes it clear that it falls behind all expectations. It works for the most part, but there is little shine to make anything stand out, and the goals you much achieve are rather too difficult for the game to be any fun. The driving school which sets out to teach you the basics of rally driving, for starters, is a copy of the same thing found in Gran Turismo. Steering is chaotic and taking damage is easy, and taking a little damage is usually enough to make you fail and force you to restart.

Your car’s turning ability is all over the place. Handling is brutal, since even if you drift marginally off the road even slightly, you’ll often be stopped by some really solid roadside obstacle. Walls can have little snags in them to halt you as well, and even your mirror, if caught by the right obstacle, will likely put a stop to your entire car. Several camera choices, including an overhead one, make the driving somewhat taking sharp turns, but the ballet of camera toggling is anything but fun. You might be tempted to let the overhead view on and play it like a 3D version of Micro Machines V3. And don’t think that any variation in terrain or cars will liven things up – every terrain feels about the same, and every cars have but minor changes.

Whether you’re looking for an arcade game or sim, you can probably do better than Pro Rally, which fails somewhere in between but doesn’t do anything particularly well. You can jump into Colin McRea Rally 2001 if you want realism or 4×4 Evo 2 if it’s an arcade bag you’re after, or perhaps Rally Masters for a healthy middle ground. None of the fun found in any of these games can be found in this underachiever.

System Requirements: Pentium III 500 MHz, 64 MB RAM, 16 MB Video, Win95

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