This simulation-style sports car racer features both on- and off-road tracks, in six environments. Vehicles are upgradeable and customizable. Artificial Intelligence causes computer controlled drivers to react emotionally, with fear or vengeance. The game is built on a version of the developer's "Invictus Engine."
Cross Racing Championship 2005 is fun - it's a game that can be tailor made - on its easiest difficulty you can pretty much glide around a track in a "floaty light" and win every race you take part in. Start increasing the difficulty though and the game starts to feel more (and I can only guess at this) real. The handling of the vehicles feels very good, certainly as good as any of the big 2 console racers I have played in the last 12 months - but a lot more fun.
I was rather sceptical of CRC when it arrived - it's a game I had never heard of, it's certainly seems to have been missing from the previews sections of the magazines I have read. The scepticism continued even once the game was installed. The menus, and front end graphics are very basic, but don't let this or the simple start put you off. When you get racing and spend some time with the game it's obvious where the design time has been spent.
The game seems to have tons of vehicles, many of which are unlocked as you progress, and all of them handle and perform differently and depending on what track you are racing on and weather conditions, it's a tactical decision which vehicle you pick. CRC does a good job of balancing being a serious simulator or a fun racer and as mentioned you can configure it towards the side that you prefer.
After a few play races I headed for the career mode of the game. It seems very simple and easy at first, but all the game is doing is getting you ready for what lies ahead. The races are fast and furious, you start as a lowly stock car racer with very few cars to choose from and work your way up. The races get tougher, the choice of cars larger but the fun never ends, if anything it just grows with each unlock.
Idiots like me can keep the game more towards the non-serious side but those petrol heads out there get to tweak cars and look at deciding what chassis and tires are going to be best for the upcoming courses and races.
Graphics-wise the game looks fine - ok it's possibly not up there with some of the big name releases but it certainly does what it does well. It has a huge array of display options even widescreen ones (which are missing from many of the 'bigger' games) and moves along at a great speed - always important for a racer.
Sound wise is possibly where the game lets itself down the most. The engine noises just about do their job along with the other effects, but the one thing that really disappoints is the commentator. Possibly the WORST commentator ever in a game - however the game redeems itself by allowing you to use your own MP3 music to replace him with and so everything balances out nicely.
CRC deserves to do well - its cheap and cheerful but in a very good way - if this was from a big name publisher and on all the major consoles I can't help but thinking it would be mentioned alongside the other great racing titles, and as I said, I have certainly enjoyed it more than the others.
Explore photorealistic sceneries, ranging from icy mountainous regions and lush countryside to parched desert areas and beaches. Start out as an amateur Autocross racer and race in 65 breathtaking racing events, upgrade and improve your vehicles and aspire to become the ultimate "Cross Racing Champion". Do you possess all the skills needed?
CRC 2005 features single- and multiplayer action and extensive set-up options which are an integral part of the game, along with accurate and ultra realistic car handling, detailed car components including articulated suspension systems and even glowing disc brakes! The many vehicles are fully user-customizable, both in their appearance and performance, using an intuitive interface.
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Ducati World Championship, F1 Racing Championship, F1 Challenge '99-'02, F1 2002, Links 2003, Colin McRae Rally 04, Need for Speed: V-Rally 2, Moto Racer 3: Gold Edition
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