XBOX 360 REVIEW: PROJECT GOTHAM RACING 3
Project Gotham Racing 3
5 Difficulty levels suitable for all
Great visuals and audio
Online Career & Online play
Route Creator
Difficulty toned down
Load times
Paint color option MIA

Feels more like PGR 2.5 but it's still a wild ride brimming with almost neverending replay value. by Vaughn

November 21, 2005 - Bizarre Creations is hoping to own the Xbox 360 launch much in the same way they did four years ago during the original Xbox launch. Their first entry on the Xbox 360 will be snapped up by fever-pitched racing fans who have spent the better part of 2 years honing their skills on PGR2. But is PGR3 deserving of a "buy it before you try it" game?

PGR3 purists know what to expect from the series, thanks to countless hours spent honing their skills both offline and onlne playing the unsurpassed genius of PGR2. The wheel hasn't been reinvented with this current iteration, but rather refined and tweaked a little bit to provide the next step for hardcore racing fans. I wouldn't go out of my way to say that PGR3 is miles ahead of the last game - in terms of difficulty it might be a step backwards - in fact the entire game feels like PGR 2.5 to me, which is a slight disappointment; although more PGR is never a bad thing.

Featuring 80 real world cars that most of us can only dream of driving, nevermind owning, PGR3's career mode will keep you coming back for more as the tightly designed tracks beg for another powerslide, another combo and more kudos. The heart and soul of the series remains almost entirely intact rewarding only those with the skill and precision necessary to dominate the streets (on the harder difficulty levels). Like its predecessors, even going as far back as Metropolis Street Racer on the Dreamcast, PGR3 can be a cruel mistress, dismissing you almost instantly if you choke during an important turn or fishtail out of control and lose too much ground. It's not that the game will force you to quit and restart if you blow it early, you're welcome to give it the old college try, it's just that vets know when they're past the point of no return.

"I wouldn't go out of my way to say PGR3 is miles ahead of the last game..."

As I hinted at earlier, inexplicably PGR3 actually feels much easier than PGR2. Most of the races I played on Medium difficulty and was able to ace them on the first try (coming in 1st place no less) without prior knowledge of the course. That's almost unheard of in terms of the series. Perhaps it's because I've been prepping with PGR2 in anticipation of this new release, perhaps it's because I'm just really awesome or more realistically, perhaps it's because Bizarre Creations toned down the difficulty level. I find this kind of perplexing since the game already offers 5 difficulty levels per race there was no real reason to make the game any more accessible. I'm definitely not crazy - I was an 'okay' PGR2 racer but this game makes me feel like I could go online and kick everyone's ass and I know that's definitely not the case. So with that mind I'll just say that PGR3's Medium difficulty feels very much like PGR2's Novice and/or Easy difficulty while the Hard diffiulty now feels like PGR2's Medium. The Hardcore difficulty (Platinum) is hit and miss. Sometimes it's fiendishly insane, especially on those gosh darn Cone Challenges which I fully admit that I suck at, and other times it's just only a little harder than going for the Gold.

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System: X360
Dev: Bizarre Creations
Pub: Microsoft
Release: Nov 2005
Players: 1 - 8
Review by Vaughn
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
4.6
GRAPHICS
4.8
CONTROL
4.4
MUSIC/FX
4.5
VALUE
5.0

Review Rating Legend
1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor
2.5 - 2.9 = Average
3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
3.5 - 3.9 = Good
4.0 - 4.4 = Great
4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
5.0 = The Best