Colin McRae and WRC sucks! That's the message that SCi are shouting from the bleakest, windswept Welsh hillsides via their first foray down the well-travelled road to rally-dom. It's big, it's hard, but does it have the goods to go? Y'know? Yo, ho, go wit da flow?
So... they took a long hard look at Colin and deduced that the former king of the dirt has been getting soft in his old age: physics tweaked to feel less like driving and more like a driving game. Graphics that look bright and shiny instead of wet and wild. Courses that you could get a bus down instead of feeling like you're trying to park a Subaru in a gnat's arse crack. Y'know?
The result is 'The Burns' - a game that looks real, plays real and, at present, is about as difficult as driving a real rally car along a cliff edge at 100mph - ie really bastard nails.
Blame the physics engine. Rather than anchoring the car to the track about a single point, this monster balances the weight of the motor on all four wheels. The result is total flippetty carnage should you clip a bit of trackside scenery. OK, take it easy, step on the gas... watch out for the... WATCH OUT FOR THE ROCK! [minor tap of a rock] HOLY MOLY! [multi-stage spinnage before parking upside down in a ditch].
We're told that the crashes need a little work but - hey - they look good to us. And the way the car starts to feel lighter and less likely to make that sharp right-hander looming out of nowhere is enough to scare you into driving like Miss Daisy. Good job spectators will help you roll your car back over and Mr Burn's co-driver, Robert Reid, is on hand to keep you - literally - on the right track.
Richard Burns Rally is currently scheduled for release in March for PS2, Xbox and PC