Support Jon, click to buy via us...
Supercar Challenge is System 3's sequel to the excellent Ferrari Challenge. It not only promised more of the same but an ongoing PS3 platform designed with the G25 wheel in mind and a real drivers experience.
First impressions are a funny old thing in the world of 360, PS3 and Wii driving games. Time after time I find myself having to relearn how to drive with each new game. Supercar Challenge is no exception and my frustrations with the initial feel of the game are heightened by the obviously lacking graphical experience by the very high standards we have all come to accept as normal.
This slow start combined with some surround sound glitches that troubled my first play. To be honest my first 30 minutes were fairly negative. But as I have often found elsewhere even the best games take time to learn and get to know, so I put these things behind me and carried on.
And sure enough, Supercar Challenge has grown on me. Persevere and you begin to see what it is is about. This is not the usual full throttle, no brains driving experience that so many other games deliver. Accuracy is key, throttle control is required, braking sensitivity is the only way to slow you down effectively.
In short you actually need to understand how a car works in order to achieve anything like a respectable lap time. And that really connects with me as someone who likes to race in real life.
A lot of attention has been paid to the interiors and controls associated with the marques on offer and the sounds and driving characteristics are clearly not an afterthought.
But more than the nuances of braking and throttle, Supercar Challenge really excels in the world of the Supercar - as its name suggests. The cars that only deep pockets can buy, the cars that most of us will rarely get close to, let alone be able to drive - Ferraris, Astons and the like. These are the only cars available in Supercar Challenge. Forget having to work your way up, here you get straight in the driving seat and experience your digital dreams. It's a nice change from having to squeeze every inch of power out of a hatchback or people carrier before being let loose on the real toys.
A lot of attention has been paid to the interiors and controls associated with the marques on offer and the sounds and driving characteristics are clearly not an afterthought. System 3 have done their homework and no doubt they had a good time testing the cars for 'research purposes' in order to recreate them in this form.
Supercar Challenge on PS3 and 360 delivers an intense racing experience which takes concentration and determination. The downside to this is you cannot just bounce off the walls and generally drive like my eight year old son - not if you want to do well.
It certainly rewards the hard working and committed gamer and will get better the more you play.
What this game does well is create a real driving challenge within the environment of the Supercar world. It allows you to let loose with machinery you would otherwise not be able to. I am left wondering whether it would have been an interesting addition to add real world driving since these cars are designed for everyday roads and not just track racing? Steaming past regular traffic and stamping on the brakes for speed cameras might well have been an alternate reality that would have been more fun in a Supercar!
Supercar Challenge promises a lot, and delivers a fair bit. It certainly rewards the hard working and committed gamer and will get better the more you play. In my opinion it is not quite on the same level as some other games I have played recently - GRID, DIRT and the like - in terms of graphical enjoyment and glitch free online experience. I can forgive this for System 3's commitment to 'real' driving experiences and their obvious love of the genre.
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: