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Platform

Xbox 360

 

Genre

Racing

 

Publisher

Microsoft

 

Developer

Bizarre Creations

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

November 2005

 

 

- Very good looking game with an eye for detail

- A real sense of speed

- Online racing is very fun

- Being able to just watch pro racers

- Good soundtrack selection

 

 

- Solo career might put you to sleep

- The more hardcore will lament the inability to tweak the cars

 

Review: Need for Speed: Most Wanted (360)

Review: Project Gotham Racing (XB)

Review: Project Gotham Racing 2 (XB)

 

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Project Gotham Racing 3

Score: 8.3 / 10

 

If Project Gotham Racing 3 didn't feature a great online mode, the overall score would have been a lot lower.  So, be warned right from the start, if you're not signed up on Xbox Live the solo career might put you to sleep with its lack of imagination and fun.  The solo career's definition of fun is driving through a series of gates and possibly racing against CPU opponents every sixth "race" or so.

 

project gotham racing 3          project gotham racing 3

 

Project Gotham Racing 3 throws challenge after challenge at you like the aforementioned "slalom" races, earning a specified number of kudos in a time limit, overtaking a number of opponents, and generally racing, when you're not actually racing.  My definition of racing is competing against opponents, which is approximately seven and a half times more fun than running through another friggin' slalom course.  Of course, the payoff is acquiring a lot of kudos and credits to put toward some wickedly cool cars.

 

Many games have paid much attention to detail.  The Gran Turismo series, Forza Motorsport and the previous Project Gotham Racing games have lavished their content with attention to detail but with the extra "oomph!" of the 360 we now have an extra "wowness!" factor -- wowness being a word I just invented -- that'll 

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basically make people seeing Project Gotham Racing 3 in motion say "wow!" or something to that effect. (Provided you have a sweet hi-def TV.)  In a word these cars are awesome!  Not only do these cars look fabulous the environments you zoom through are particularly amazing in their attention to detail.  In a side-by-side comparison to the actual places... well, there's a certain wowness about them.  It's pretty darn close to photorealism but not quite.

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However, if you're not a "graphic whore" and want more gameplay with your gaming, online Project Gotham Racing 3 is practically an addiction. Not only does the game provide a rock-solid online experience against some extremely accomplished racers you don't actually have to race.  You can just watch racers on Gotham TV to pick up pointers and chat with other gamers about the best racing strategies and the ins and outs of the various cars.  The competition is fierce and everything is tracked so there's never any doubt about who is best out there.

 

project gotham racing 3          project gotham racing 3

 

With a force-feedback steering wheel, Project Gotham Racing 3 would be quite the immersive experience (the driver's seat view does a good job of creating a driver's seat bob and weave, and the feeling of "being" on the road).  As it is, the controls are good.  While there is a bit of a learning curve if you're unfamiliar with the previous two games (available on Xbox) it doesn't take long until you're sliding around corners or using your opponents as a bumper to get you through a tight corners and take the checkered flag.  I can't point to any really obvious cracks in the control scheme -- it just works and well.

 

One of Project Gotham Racing 3's real highlights is the stellar soundtrack.  And while it does sound cliche to call a soundtrack "stellar" it's an accurate label in this case.  There's something for everyone, including me.  The selection of classic music is great!  But for everyone that's not me there there are eight other genres of music and mixes up the popular with obscure indie artists.

 

As a launch title, Project Gotham Racing 3 does the 360 system proud with its good looks and competent racing thrills.  If you're a racing fan, Project Gotham Racing 3 comes with a slap-on-the-back recommendation even if the solo career is rather weak.

 

- Omni

(January 16, 2006)

 

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