Andretti Racing is a detailed Indy racing simulation that puts players behind the wheel of a mean machine. Sixteen tracks are available for play, featuring some of the finest competition the sport has to offer. High speed thrills are part of the simulation and the game benefits from the support of a wide variety of 3D accelerator cards. Cars, tracks, and game play are fully customizable as well, giving players the freedom to tailor the game to their needs.
A career mode lets players pick a driver and race with him for multiple seasons or they can hook up with their friends using a modem or network and enjoy head-to-head play. Derek Daly and Bob Jenkins cover the action and provide the background commentary that makes the game seem even more authentic. This realistic simulation forces players to think like a driver, making strategic moves and taking pit stops when necessary instead of encouraging them to hit the gas and forget about reality.
It's two games in one! Not only do you get a NASCAR game, but you also get an Indycar game. Andretti Racing is solid in both the NASCAR and Indycar portions of the game and provides hours of fun. The game does have a few shortcomings, but if you enjoy the speed and excitement of professional racing, then Andretti Racing will give you what you're looking for.
The control and interface in Andretti Racing take some getting used to; particularly when jumping from one type of car to another. The Indycars are lightning-fast and respond very quickly. They make sharp turns and corner like a dream; which is a good thing, because some of the tracks you race on are extremely windy and turn-intensive.
On the other side of the coin, the NASCARs seem sluggish and unresponsive by comparison. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, in fact, it's exactly how things should be. NASCARs are much larger and heavier than Indycars and that should be reflected in their handling. However, if you've been driving an Indycar for two or three hours, then switch gears (no pun intended) to a NASCAR, you're going to have to readjust to the performance of the NASCAR.
The interface of the game is fairly simple, but it's very important that you have a controller with enough buttons. Things in this game are fast and you need to have all the important commands, such as gas, brakes, shift up, shift down, look left, and look right, at your fingertips. The cockpits of the cars themselves aren't very realistic. The indicators don't look as they would in a real car; they look sort of computerized. I didn't like that at all. I would have preferred they try to make the indicators as realistic as possible.
The one other small problem I have is that there seem to be many more Indy tracks than NASCAR tracks. Most of the tracks in the game are very twisty and turn intensive which doesn't lend itself very well to NASCAR-style driving. There are some NASCAR tracks, which are basically just large circles. I would have liked to see more tracks and more variety for the NASCAR portion of the game.
As should be expected, Team Andretti almost always winds up in first. The game does offer excellent competition, as well as Multiplayer.
The graphics in Andretti Racing aren't anything spectacular. The game does support 3Dfx, but I've seen the chip set utilized much more effectively. The graphics aren't bad, but there is most definitely room for improvement. The cars seem somewhat blocky and crude, and events like skidding aren't as crisp as they could be. More detail could have been put in the surroundings also. The graphics are good, but not great; and you won't find yourself playing the game just to see them. Fortunately, the game relies more on the breakneck speed of its gameplay and not on its graphics.
The audio in this game isn't anything great either. The Indycars sound rather whiny, the NASCARs don't rumble at all, and the crashes sound somewhat dull. The music is at best benign; you don't really notice it once you've begun the game. However, once again, the game relies on strong gameplay as its hook; not its music.
Simply put, this game is fun to play. It keeps you interested and challenged and provides hours of gameplay. If you're looking for a good racing game or are just a really big Mario and Michael Andretti fan, then this one is definitely worth a shot. So have fun and don't forget to buckle up.
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