The “loose lips sinks ships” philosophy of many publishers tends to mean that many games are locked up tighter than a Quaker’s teenage daughter, developed almost in isolation from their fanbase. Which is why it’s refreshing when we see mighty teams such as Liverpool-based Bizarre Creations toil away so freely with their most loyal fans on their website, bizarreonline.net. It’s the sign of a truly passionate games development team who fervently believe in what they’re creating, and not only do they solicit suggestions from their fans; they tend to go out of their way to actively act upon them.
Number one on their fan’s agenda: a more varied vehicular line-up. Don’t get us wrong, we loved being able to get behind the wheel of the supercars from straight out of the box in Project Gotham Racing 3, but when there’s always biscuits in the tin, where’s the fun in biscuits? Around halfway through the grueling single-player system, all those red shiny cars seemed to merge into one, and it was only through sheer force of will that we managed to fill up our virtual garage.
Project Gotham Racing 4 returns to a more traditional seasonal single-player structure - starting out life with a chugged-out rustbucket and earning your right to test drive the bigger cars by proving yourself out on the track. And yes - the most requested car of all, the Mini Cooper S (a near-essential runaround for those improved games of Cat ‘n’ Mouse in the world of Xbox Live) make a welcome comeback.