TOCA Race Driver 3

  • Smooth handling
  • Practically every motorsport is in
  • It looks beautiful
  • It's current gen's last racing hurrah (sniff)
  • Some racing series are poor
  • Slightly conservative CPU racers

Organising your progress through the almost farcically large roster of cars in TOCA can take shape in one of two ways. You can plough through a particular class in pro career mode, starting off with some rust-bucket go-kart, for example, if you want to make it as an open-wheel racer.

If that sounds a bit one-note, then you can always opt for the World Tour. This takes place over 32 tiers, each supplying you with a choice of mini-championships.

Fulfilling criteria in one of these will open up the next tier, meaning that you could be zipping around in Japanese Works cars one second, and entering a rally the next.

It's a fast-paced championship which skips all the practising and qualifying and just dumps you on the grid, and is the most accessible way to see every little thing that the game has to offer you.

Each aspect of TOCA (such as rallying, NASCAR or customisation) has been bettered elsewhere, but TOCA does so much, so right, that in a straight one-or-the-other scrap it's difficult to imagine any other racer coming out on top.

Under TOCA's bonnet is a powerful combination of handling, speed, variety and a complex damage system that will prove difficult to upstage, on this or any other console.

Naturally, a game of such ambition will have its faults. The drama of the AI balancing has gone on for even longer than The Archers, with early builds featuring overly-aggressive opponents clipping your heels and spinning you off-track with alarming regularity.

Now the AI is far more sedate, happy to follow the line and pecking order that the Codemasters gods have bestowed upon them. A problem that plagues pretty much all racing games, in fairness, although it's slightly disappointing here, all the same. Especially given the fact that everything else in the game hits home.

All in all, however, this is essential stuff. All we're hoping for is that there are enough people still on Xbox Live to fully enhance the experience. And we know there will be, as you'd have to be some kind of demented loon to pass up this opportunity. And is that what you want your legacy to be?

Both you, and your wonderful little Xbox, deserve a far grander send-off than that.

More Info

Release date: Feb 22 2006 - PC, PS2, Xbox (US)
Feb 24 2006 - PC, PS2, Xbox (UK)
Available Platforms: PC, PS2, Xbox
Genre: Racing
Published by: Codemasters
Developed by: Codemasters
Franchise: TOCA
ESRB Rating:
Everyone 10+: Language, Suggestive Themes
PEGI Rating:
12+: Bad Language

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