|Min OS X: 10.4 CPU: Intel @ 1800 MHz RAM: 512 MB Hard Disk: 8500 MB DVD-ROM Graphics: 128 MB VRAM|
Race games never appear to die out in popularity. They are one of the most common game varieties to be made and tend to inspire sequels. However, it is quite hard to add something new to a racing game, so the sequels tend to be nothing but a graphical upgrade. The question is, does ToCA Race Driver 3 add something new to the series or is it just another rehash? A good place to start the comparison is...
GameplayAt its heart, ToCA Race Driver 3 (TRD3) is a racetrack-focused racing game. However, it adds quite a bit in side races including an off-road racing style, big-wheel racing, buggies, and much much more. Each and every one of the new varieties has solid physics and feels just like their real-life counterparts. You can race using a freight truck, for example. When it accelerates to full speed it has massive inertia and is practically impossible to turn. You can use the power brakes and your fellow trucks to take the curves once you get used to it, though.
The physics in TRD3 is absolutely excellent. Every car has its own unique feel and acts almost exactly like their real-life counterparts. However, even if you don't like how they behave on the road, you can customize each respective area of performance to your own liking. The defaults tend to be pretty solid, though, so it's an option most players won't need to use.
What really sets ToCA Race Driver 3 apart is that it has racing off the solid road. You can go downhill on a dirt track and over the jumps of a four-wheel track, all with realistic skidding and damage to the vehicle you're driving. Also, if you're really annoyed by another racer, all you have to do is slam them off the track until they're forced to make a pit stop and are out of the race. You can't exactly do that while racing on the more upstanding and official tracks, but it's something that is extremely easy to do when racing on the less reputable circuits.
When you want to switch from the computer to a human opponent, the first thing you'll notice is that they are way better than you are. It can take hours to find an opponent on the internet, though. Only a few, if any, games are ever active. You'll need to download GameRanger for internet play, but the LAN games work fine without it.
As a minor note, you get a mentor for the variety of the career modes. He gives an introduction to each new race and car variety and generally just gives hints about how to properly drive on each link of the world tour. He can be a little cheesy and annoying at times, but he is often helpful and can be turned off or skipped if you want.