TOCA Race Driver 3 review

The hit racing series returns once more with feeling

Pros

  • Smooth handling
  • Practically every motorsport is in
  • It looks beautiful

Cons

  • It's current gen's last racing hurrah (sniff)
  • Some racing series are poor
  • Slightly conservative CPU racers

TOCA Race Driver 3 was always going to run the risk of being all wheel trim and no tyre.

One of the few criticisms of TOCA 2 was that at times it spread itself far too thin. The gameplay was generally tight, but it tended to fray at the ends when it plunged its dipstick into less familiar turf, the rally sections being particularly offensive.

Keeping this fresh in mind, TOCA 3 could have taken the easy option and streamlined the series into a few specialisms, ramp up the visuals and sell itself to racing game-starved Xbox 1 owners who, after watching Gotham 3 and Test Drive from a distance, are hungrier than a Pac-Man version of Pavarotti.

Yes indeed, they could have done that. But moderation has never been the TOCA way.

TOCA Race Driver 3 is the most diverse racing game any of us can remember, and we've been gaming for longer than we've actually been alive.

The game covers six disciplines: oval racing, open-wheel, off-road, GT, classics, and - wouldn't you believe it - TOCA's even managed to cram in some touring cars.

With over 80 tracks on offer - including Silverstone and Brands Hatch, the longevity of TOCA 3 is never in question. Far more likely to send inquisitive minds in a spin is the Eagle-to-Turkey ratio of the vehicles featured within.

TOCA 3 continues the series' tradition of emulating the handling of its cars perfectly. Each car has its own unique feel about it; from the smooth road-hugging of the Renault Clio V6 to the bouncy chaos of the off-road buggies, each car feels so natural, so right.

Naturally, with so many cars encompassed on one disc there are bound to be a few turds; karting is irredeemably dismal, while Monster Trucks may very well handle like space hoppers in real life, but a pleasant driving experience it ain't. On balance though, TOCA 3 offers more than we could possibly have hoped for.

More Info

GenreRacing
Description<p>TOGA! TOGA! TOG - oh wait. This is TOCA, a perfectly average driving sim.</p>
Franchise nameTOCA
UK franchise nameTOCA
PlatformPC, PS2, Xbox
US censor ratingEveryone 10+, Everyone 10+, Everyone 10+
UK censor rating12+, 12+, 12+
Release date:22 February 2006 (US), 24 February 2006 (UK)
Available platforms:Xbox
Genre:Racing
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