Ford Bold Moves Street Racing may tempt you with its low retail price of $19.99, but racing fans should steer clear of this clunky lemon. You can’t expect the best from a bargain title like this, but the game still fails to deliver any bang for your buck with clumsy controls, poor damage detection, repetitive gameplay, and generic tracks.
Bold Moves lets you drive 18 licensed Ford vehicles. However, your driving experience will be equally bad no matter which car you choose. You’ll be using the arrow keys to control steering and acceleration and the right CTRL key for your handbrake.
Light as a feather tapping is a must if you don’t want to end up spinning out every few seconds. But whether you’re pushing 90 in a classic Mustang muscle car or 200 in a high-performance Ford GT, it still feels like you’re only cruising at a leisurely 60 as your car slides out of control on what should be easy turns.
The game also sports a wonky damage detection system. As you crash, your car will take damage causing a negative effect on performance… in theory. In practice, damage taken is mostly cosmetic and has little effect on your car’s top speed and handling.
After spending one lap purposefully smashing our Fiesta ST into as many telephone poles as possible, we were still able to finish at a reasonable third place. The damage system will also have you scratching your head as you wonder why your tail lights exploded when you rear-ended an opponent with the front of your car.
Bold Moves advertises 24 tracks for your racing enjoyment but don’t be fooled. Half of these tracks are just reversed versions of previous ones bringing the actual number down to 12. Also, most of these 12 tracks run through a lot of the same areas and streets, making it feel like you’re driving through the same 6 tracks over and over again.
This wouldn’t be that bad if the tracks and areas weren’t so boring. Besides the occasional hair-pin turn, you won’t find anything exciting in terms of short cuts or even a hill where you can catch some decent air.
The Team Racing mode is the meat and potatoes of Bold Moves. You have the option to race with a team of two or three cars for cash which can be used to repair your vehicles and purchase new ones for your garage. Unfortunately, you’ll have to use the WASD keys to switch cars and issue commands to your teammates which is about as difficult as sending a text message while driving home from work in the fast lane.
It’s pretty sad when switching between your team’s cars is the best part of a racing game - time slows down to a Matrix -like crawl while the camera quickly pans over to your teammate with a satisfying “whoosh.”
You can also assign orders to your teammates to have them Block your opponents from overtaking them. However, the command rarely works and you’ll soon tire of seeing your team randomly swerve to the left and right in a vain attempt to block an opponent.
Fortunately, at least the Drafting command occasionally works. Drafting, allows you to ride the slipstream of your teammate’s car ahead of you providing you with the aero dynamical equivalent of a nitrous boost. Never mind the iffy physics that allows you to ride your teammate’s slipstream from a block away with other cars between you. Using the Drafting command to slingshot car forward feels great. Unfortunately, even this aspect of Bold Moves feels broken as your teammate will often smash into you while riding your slipstream causing both of you to crash.
We know it can be hard to find racing games for the PC but even with its reasonable retail price, Ford Bold Moves Street Racing just isn’t worth it. Don’t bother with this title unless you love the idea of playing an interactive commercial for Ford Motors.