Support Andy, click to buy via us...
After Motor Storm PS3 showed the way forward for off road racing games - deforming tracks and disparate vehicles, many developers looked to follow suite. Whereas Pure PS3 managed to improve on many features, World Championship Off Road Racing delivers a pale imitation.
Racing although sometimes seen as a sporting sub category, are a well established video game genre in their own right.
They can feature a variety of driving styles ranging from the fantastical arcade racing focusing on thrills and spills, to the super realistic simulations that recreate every aspect of real life driving.
World Championship Off Road Racing provides an exciting looking package with its wide range of vehicles, impressive branding and a variety of game modes. Beyond this headline list though, it is hard to identify what makes the game unique.
Had this been released before Motor Storm or Pure it would have been more able to own this space in the gaming landscape. However, in their wake World Championship Off Road Racing struggles to be anything but a poor imitation. This would not be such a problem if both Motorstorm and Pure were only on the PS3, but with Pure being available on the 360 as well it has a lot of work to do.
Stop action crashes, track deformation, water, mud, vehicle collisions and competitor drivers are found in Off Road Racing. Unfortunately each and every one is a tame version of the rash brash stylings of both Pure and Motorstorm.
Players will be attracted to the game's branding and strong visual style. And the game is not without its momentary highs for the more forgiving gamer. As you swing from gravel to tarmac and the road noise drops, you get a real sense of the connection between car and tarmac. Using this to inch seconds of lap times can certainly be entertaining - albeit in the face of not a few distracting factors.
As with other racing games World Championship Off Road Racing can be picked up pretty quickly. As such you can play short sessions, extending them to help your progression with unlocking vehicles and courses in the single player.
Young players are less likely to be critical of the lack of a real physics model, or road surface deformation, and simply enjoy the game for what it is. Although not as super young driver friendly as Wipeout HD PS3 or Sega Rally PS3, with their driving assistance, a bit of help now and then with the steering and Kids of most ages should be able to enjoy.
Intermediates and experts are likely to want a bit more substance to their off road driving experience and are probably better serviced by games like Motorstorm on PS3 or Pure on 360.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: