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PS2 - Housearrest Kill Time Killing Everything

Dec 11, 2006

Rating:TOCA Race Driver 3Genre: RacingConsole: PS2, Xbox, PCPublisher: CodemastersHot: 35 different motorsports, graphics, and tracksNot: arcade racers might not like it

For racing simulator fans and car enthusiasts, a new game hits Xbox, PS2 and the PC this winter with the release of TOCA Race Driver 3 from Codemasters. A decent selection of vehicles combined with nearly 100 tracks and 35 different types of motorsport racing make for months of gameplay guaranteed to keep players challenged throughout.

Gamers are going to have to use more than just driving skills to stay in the number one spot--strategy is key, too. Since TOCA RD3 is a racing simulator, it's more than just getting behind wheel and punching the gas; gamers must watch the gauges on the bottom of the screen to make sure tires don't wear out, the engine doesn't overheat or that the gas tank doesn't hit "E" before the end of the race. Each track has a pit area for quick maintenance, and using those pit stops wisely keeps gamers competitive and in the front of the pack.

A unique aspect of TOCA RD3 is that the cars will show damage, which affects both the looks and the handling of the vehicle. Damage can include little dents to busted-out windshields, spoilers breaking off, smoke from under the hood and sprays of sparks when cars bottom out-all adding to the "real-life" feel of TOCA Race Driver 3.

Car enthusiasts who enjoy tuning and upgrading vehicles can use the built-in controls to make many adjustments, including licensed products and parts that are available for additional fine-tuning and power. Overall, TOCA Race Driver 3 is a nice addition to the TOCA racing series with excellent racing on tracks from around the globe, photo perfect graphics and tons of different types of racing disciplines to check out.

Rating:Condemned: Criminal OriginsGenre: First-person Psycho ThrillerConsole: Xbox 360, PCPublisher: SegaHot: intense gameplay, great visuals, cool forensic gadgetsNot: Might be too brutal for someGame companies have lined-up to produce new titles for the Xbox 360, and gamers are already the big winners as more and more titles become available. The popularity of the Grand Theft Auto series has spawned many imitators, but hasn't lessened the gamers' enthusiasm for gritty street games. In a different twist, Sega presents Condemned: Criminal Origins, a hard-core, intense game billed as a "first-person psychological thriller" that puts gamers on the side of the law as an FBI investigator in the Serial Crimes Unit (SCU). Playing as Agent Thomas, gamers are lead into the dark, underbelly of the criminal mind to use detective work and some strong arm tactics to solve crimes and take down the villains.

Taking advantage of next-gen hardware, Condemned amps up the realism with 5.1 surround sound, photorealistic backgrounds, true-to-life physics, and new AI that has enemies responding strategically to the gamers moves. No more "dumb" enemies who are easily taken out. In Condemned, enemies are crafty and work against gamers both offensively and defensively. Agent Thomas isn't totally helpless, though, as he uses firearms and other melee weapons to protect himself on the streets and to get his point across in difficult situations. Ammunition is scarce, so gamers are encouraged to pick up environmental objects like pipes, boards with nails, chairs--whatever it takes--because enemies are relentless and won't hesitate to take Agent Thomas out with a bloody beating.

Condemned: Criminal Origins is not some scrubbed-up X-files-type game, it's intense, and has an in-depth storyline and some major plot twists that keep gamers guessing. The first-person viewpoint makes for some tense situations, and being part of the SCU is brutal and rough. After all, dealing with crazies and killers gets a little dirty sometimes.

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