Microsoft Game Studios Project Gotham Racing 4
- Beautiful weather effects, over 120 vehicles, lots of tracks and offline events
- Lousy collision and damage models, unconvincing motorcycles, dearth of online events
All in all, PGR 4 is enjoyable enough that it warrants a look but it just doesn't play to its strengths well enough to stand toe-to-toe with the current champions of the next-generation racing world.
Price$ 99.95 (AUD)
With automotive monsters like Forza Motorsport 2 and DiRT nicely filling their respective niches, you might wonder what there is left to do with the racing genre.
As fun as it can be, Project Gotham Racing 4 doesn't seem to know either.
Making an impression
At first glance, every race in PGR 4 is a stylish mix of simulation precision, arcade excitement, and egomaniacal showboating. Showing skill on the asphalt in any form earns you Kudos -- everything from peel-outs and powerslide drifts to expert cornering and air time can be strung together as long as you don't tag a wall too hard in the process, and each sequence is rated from one to five stars so you know precisely how cool you really are.
The Kudos you earn in every mode can be spent on a range of unlockable goodies such as unlockable cars and tracks but they can also make the difference between winning and losing a championship series in the long Gotham Career mode. Style is almost as important as form as you claw your way up from the amateur ranks, and the historically conservative AI has finally learned to express itself a little bit.
Mix and match
What's most unusual about PGR 4 is that the physics engine is strangely uneven. Slam into the right rear corner of an opponent's sled and he'll barely flinch, let alone spin into the wall as you'd expect. Contrast that to the fact that if you fail to feather the throttle as you come out of an arcade-style drift, you'll spend precious seconds just spinning your wheels.
Some racing enthusiasts will love the atypical mash-up; others, especially car tweakers and purists, will probably find it maddening. The disappointing audio is also lamentable as is the damage modelling that appears to be merely cosmetic. Still, once you wrap your head around the quirks, the game does deliver some thrills. The unfortunate thing is that the whole experience never truly comes together.
There are plenty of offline modes to keep you entertained but the online mode is rather lacking, despite some bells and whistles like the ability to categorise and upload photos for others to vote on. There are only four rather unimaginative event types, and one of those starts off locked.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 2 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 3 Parrot Mambo Drone review
- 4 Evapolar USB air conditioner review
- 5 Hisense Series 7 ULED 4K UHD TV review
Latest News Articles
- The Nintendo Switch is a radical mash-up of consoles and gaming handhelds
- Tobii's new eye tracker adds head tracking with an emphasis on PC games
- Halo Wars 2 hands-on preview: Blitz mode's thrilling twists could trigger an RTS revival
- The Xbox One's first email app is here, and it's not Outlook
- This week in games: Tyranny snags a release date, polygonal Lara Croft returns
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: The new best Android phone
- TV buying guide: What to look for when buying a TV in 2016
- Best iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus plans: Optus vs Telstra vs Vodafone vs Virgin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCL1 Desktop Support - 3 days a weekNSW
- CCHead of Digital (Technology Manager - Digital Transformations)NSW
- FTCustomer Solutions Engineer | Voice | Data | TelcoNSW
- CCSenior Consultant, Enterpreneur in ResidenceVIC
- CCSenior Business Analyst - experience in IDAM a MUSTNSW
- FTWeb DeveloperNSW
- CCSnr Business AnalystVIC
- CCQA Test Lead- Digital, Mobile, UX, AGILE, CloudNSW
- CCStrategy AnalystVIC
- CCContract Management SpecialistNSW
- FTEmbedded Software EngineerSA
- FTBusiness Analyst - HKMAAsia
- FTNetwork and Security Engineer - Checkpoint, Firewalls, VPNNSW
- CCContract IT Assistant (Office Automation) 161031/ITA/541Asia
- CCPerformance AnalystNSW
- CCE-Commerce - Senior Web DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Architect | Perl | Linux |MySQL | Infrastructure | TelecomNSW
- CCSenior Business AnalystVIC
- CCInformation Security Consultant - RSA ArcherNSW
- CCInfrastructure ArchitectNSW
- CCCloud Security Services SpecialistVIC
- FTIncident & Problem AnalystVIC
- CCSAP Release & Deployment ManagerNSW
- CCContract IT Assistant (System Backup Operation) 161014/ITA/523Asia