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Publisher: Feral Interactive    Genre: Sports
Min OS X: 10.1.3    CPU: G3 @ 500 MHz    RAM: 128 MB    Hard Disk: 350 MB    Graphics: 16 MB VRAM

Total Immersion Racing
April 2, 2004 | Perry Longinotti

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Racing games can get boring pretty fast. Usually, you get your pick of the current year's cars and if you select wisely you can run away from the pack immediately. Unlike real-world aspiring Michael Schumachers, you don't have to earn the best ride. Do this a couple of times and suddenly your game is relegated to the bookshelf where it will sit until someone releases a patch with next year's cars and drivers.

Recently racing sim developers, seeing this trend of boring racing games impacting their sales volumes, have begun to include RPG type elements to games to increase depth and replay value. These range from Codemasters cinematic and Wing Commaderesque Race Driver, to EA's recent F1 Season iteration with an elaborate career mode. Racing gamers are demanding more from the games, and some creative products are the product of this demand.

Razorworks has developed Total Immersion Racing (TIR) with their take on how to make a racing game last longer and provide a better challenge. You have your pick of 18 different cars spread across three racing series. TIR is licensed and based on the GT/LeMans racing series. In order to sample of the cars, you need to play out a career over a minimum of three racing seasons. Seasons are short ranging from 5 to 9 number of races.

Start with Abt racing and drive their very nice Red Bull Audi TT. If you get immediate results, you can expect to be rewarded with a seat in a more powerful team's car, or a promotion to the next higher series. For example, you might end up driving Audi's all-conquering LeMan's car or a V12 BMW.

TIR includes actual race tracks from around the world. The level of detail on the tracks is as good as you will find in any racing game. Monza is one of my favorite tracks, and I always try this out first in any racing sim. It looks very nice. There is excellent attention to detail and the track was modeled very well.


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