Ford Street Racing ReviewCain Dornan
Attempting to cash in on the recent street racing craze, developer Razorworks has decided to expand their Ford video game license to include one that focuses on racing various Ford vehicles on the streets. Right, the first step in advancing the rather poor Ford Racing series has been taken by labeling it with a slightly more refreshed title, rather then simply adding on another numerical figure to the end. Unfortunately, any further changes and differences from here on are few and far between, resulting in a game that both feels and plays very similar to the poor Ford Racing 3.
Featuring 18 officially licensed Ford vehicles spanning over the decades, including classic muscle cars of the 70s and 80s through to the performance monsters of today, Ford Street Racing offers a pleasing collection of accurately detailed vehicles that look close to the real thing. Unfortunately, the step of creating a true-to-life vehicle that moves and responds like its real-world counterpart appears to have been skipped, or roughly worked on, as many of the games vehicles feel far too similar to one another. Although there are noticeable variation between the classics and the high performance vehicles, the differentiation between each vehicle within each class, apart from the overall speed, is very obscure, which asks the question as to whether much time has been spent in recreating the vehicles to control realistically. Were not demanding a top-notch, high-quality simulation along the lines of the Gran Turismo series, but we would like to see vehicle representations that are superior to roughly planned arcade creations.
Attempting to make up for the lack of accurate controls is the inclusion of vehicular damage, which sees your ride sustaining damage whenever you come into contact with buildings, street lights or competing vehicles. With the complete lack of any civilian cars on the roads (bringing into question of the games street racing name), youll only find yourself smashing into the stubborn competitors and throwing your vehicle into walls when you fail to successful maneuver a sharp corner. While the damage system does see plenty of dints and scuffmarks appearing on your vehicles panel, it is impossible to sustain any internal engine or component damage, let alone external parts falling off due to excessive damage. This lowers the importance of the damage system, as youre unlikely to really care how much damage your car takes. Unless, of course, you want it looking in pristine condition and dont wish to dish out a few hundred dollars after each race to fix any panel damage.
Another problem that Ford Street Racing suffers from is the overall lack of gameplay variation. It feels like the previous Ford Racing games, which, in turn, feel like almost every other basic racing game to hit the shelves during this generation. While the developer has attempted to inject some variation by including a small add-on racing system, which sees you racing as a team of two with the ability to instantly swap control to either vehicles and issue basic commands, such as blocking competitors or using them as a wind brake to build up speed, these small inclusions fail to breath any considerable life into the game. The end result? A game that feels like so many other aged racers.
The game offers a collection of different gameplay modes, including the ability to quickly jump into a game with a randomly selected car and track through the Quick Race option. The game is then further divided into Solo Racing, which only sees you competing alone, or Team Racing, which offers a series of competition events where you must play as a team using the aforementioned team maneuvers to win. There is also a challenge mode, which offers various different objectives such as overtaking a specified number of vehicles within a time limit, battling it out with a single competitor or time trial.
An included multiplayer mode offers the ability to participate in split-screen action. After selecting your vehicle and track, you can also determine the number of competitors you wish to race against, with the maximum being twelve. Unfortunately, neither the PlayStation 2 nor Xbox versions offer any online multiplayer.
Offering improved visuals over the previous Ford Racing game, Ford Street Racing is graphically solid. The vehicles offer accurate and clear detail that will please any Ford fan, while the track scenery also offers a pleasing level of detail. The graphics arent of the standout quality such as those seen in the Burnout, Gran Turismo or Forza games, but they do offer enough detail to satisfy most graphic-hungry gamers.
On the sound side, the absence of any in-game music may annoy some gamers, as the constant and unvaried groan of each vehicle does become tiring and repetitive very quickly. It is disappointing to see no soundtrack included, but it may be better than being forced to listen to trashy, annoying music.
Although its not outstanding and is unlikely to captivate you for longer than a week, Ford Street Racing does offer an improvement over its predecessors. At the same time, however, the wealth of quality racers is of abundance, which really brings into question whether you are willing to splash down the cash, even for a budget title such as this, when many other better racers are currently on offer. If youre a true Ford fan and want nothing more than to racing your beloved machines, then Ford Street Racing may be what you are looking for. For all other gamers, it may be a better choice to overlook this one.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.