When I was growing up, we owned a seemingly endless stream of cars. I can remember at least 10 different vehicles with clarity, and many others that are but mere shadows on the highway. While there were many different types through the years, one thing was fairly constant: Ford was by and far the most common maker of our many cars. From the venerable Ford Pinto to the Escort to the Taurus, we have owned a number of them. With my wife and I looking to invest in a Ford Focus, it looks as though the tradition will continue.
It was my long history with Ford cars that first drew me to look at a sleeper title on the PS2 called "Ford Racing 2". Developed by RazorWorks (who are currently working on Ford Racing 3) for the PC, PS2, and Xbox, it's the highly superior sequel to the much-maligned Take-Two budget release "Ford Racing" for the original PlayStation.
Having enjoyed it on both the PS2 and Xbox, I was pleased to see that our friends at Zonic and Feral Interactive (Enemy Engaged, Worms 3D, Total Immersion Racing, and many more) were bringing it to the Macintosh.
Now, if you haven't tried this game yet on the consoles, let's get one thing straight. You won't be racing your Festiva against an '80s Pacer. You will, however, be racing Mustangs from all eras (including the 2005 GT), Crown Victorias, Thunderbirds, Cobras, custom and concept cars, and many off-road Ford brands including the F-350 and Explorer Sport Trac. RazorWorks succeeds by sheer number of vehicles alone.
Of course, what good are all those cars without some tight, killer courses to race them on. There are six areas, or "themes", each with two or three unique tracks a piece. "City Limits" tracks take place on the outskirts of the big city, featuring an impressive expansion bridge across the harbor, and a railway running through the logging country. "Big Country" are off-road tracks running through a military base, ghost town, and railroad. "Spring Break" takes you to the south of Florida, with beautiful palm trees, and a gorgeous sunset that just won't quit. "Lost World" consists of some of the most picturesque tracks of the entire game, taking place in the ruins of an ancient temple, an active volcano, and a huge Amazonian waterfall. "Ovals" and "Race Tracks" are standard racing fair, with two NASCAR-type ovals to race on, and two circuit tracks to challenge.
The core of Ford Racing 2 is the Ford Challenge collection mode. This is where you will unlock vehicles and tracks to use in the single races and multi-player racing. Within the collection mode, you will have to complete races in a number of different modes. There are Standard races, Elimination, Duel, Drafting, Driving Skills, Seconds Out, Racing Line, and Time Attack. As you complete the different challenges, you will eventually unlock all of the vehicles, tracks, and modes to setup your own races.
For those that just want a quick fix, there is the Quick Race option, which chooses a car and track at random from what you have unlocked, and throws you in a standard race.