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TOCA RACE DRIVER

TOCA Race Driver, it's not just about the cars anymore...
 
Publisher: Codemasters
Developer: Codemasters (Juice Studio)
Price: 39.99
Players: 1-4
Out: 23 August
Web Site: www.codemasters.com
60Hz mode: No
Widescreen: No
Surround sound: Yes
 
TOCA Race Driver is the first PS2 title from the distinguished line of TOCA games on the PSone. TOCA Race Driver still has all the elements that made the other games so successful, the realistic damage effects, real time weather and action packed racing. However this sequel has one new element that makes it stand out from the crowd, cut-scene based story line.
This narrative plot is arguably the games strong point. The start of the game young Ryan McKane (you) and your older brother see your farther killed when his car is deliberately bumped off the track by a rival. 15 years later and you are now an arrogant rookie racer looking for your first competitive drive. Your brother (also a race driver) introduces you to pit chief Bobby Scott, who in turn sets you up with a test drive for AGB Motorsport team. AGB is looking for a driver to compete in the UK-based TOCA Tour competition. If you successfully complete the test drive (which is easy) you will become the new driver for AGB.
The introductory TOCA Tour sets you up for the main career mode. Each competition is a mini season made up of 14 drivers and 6 races. Most of the races are 3 laps apart, from one longer one as it includes a mandatory pit stop. There are no qualifying sessions, the game determines your start position in each race. You prepare for each race in the team garage. Here you can adjust your cars settings, check your grid position or championship progress, then test your car in the practice run.
 
As well as the career mode there are a number of other options to keep you busy.

Pro race driver map- during the career mode drivers will challenge you to one on one races to win cars for the free race. Free race- compete on any single circuit or in a custom-built championship, here you can use any unlocked cars you have. Time trial- here you simply race against the clock on any of the unlocked tracks and cars. Standard and custom ghost cars are available. Multiplayer- Up to four players can compete on the unlocked tracks with any of the unlocked cars. You can also set up a multiplayer championship.
 
During the actual race you can chose from four main views, the classic driver's eye view, on the bumper cam, over the bonnet view and a chase car perspective. Your pit crew will talk to you during the race, telling you to drive faster or inform you when you are in the points and warn you of debris on the track. The damage modelling has to be some of the best so far seen in a racing game to date. Windows will shatter, bodywork will dent, bend and get torn away from the chassis. Hit a wall at full speed and the bonnet will fly off revealing the engine beneath. Sustained damage to a wheel will cause it to fall off leaving you with 3 and reduced handling.
The obvious aim during a race season is to gain as many points as you can by finishing in the top six. All points earned in the opening TOCA Tour will count towards qualification for the next racing tier. The TOCA Tour is just one out of seven competitions in the first tier (Super Sports). Once you complete it you can check your office e-mail to see if any other teams offering you a job. 

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