In 1998 Codemasters released Colin McRae Rally for the PSOne and I will be honest here, alongside Formula One, Rally driving was the ‘in’ sport at the time, and as Colin McRae was the icon for Rally driving why not give him his own racing game?
When the game is first loaded you’re treated with a nice opening montage, in 1998 it is safe to say that Colin McRae Rally had the best graphics that the PSOne could offer until Gran Turismo showed its face. On the menu screen there are 4 types of event, these being Championship, Rally, Time Trial and Rally School. Most people would have gone straight into the action by choosing the Championship mode, which would have been a mistake: I tried that and I struggled finishing 6th!
The Rally School is a great way to learn the trade of being a rally driver, from learning the drift style of the car to getting the right turning angle given to you by your co-driver shouting the now iconic lines “3 left – tightens.”
Once that was out of the way, there was nothing better than to go right back into the Championship where you can choose one of the following 8 cars: Subaru Impreza, Mitsubishi Lancer, Ford Escort WRC, Toyota Corolla, Renault Maxi Megane, Seat Ibiza Evo2, VW Golf or the Skoda Felica. All of these were great cars but I struggled to find much to tell them apart performance wise.
Then we have the 8 different courses that range from New Zealand to Sweden to United Kingdom. Graphically being honest as it is a retrospective look back to 1998 the visuals serve the game well and the mechanics used for this truly give a great feel to the game, however, if gamers want to go and play this game be prepared for some old school textures! Come on people this was a great game back in the day.
The addition of variable weather to the game was a nice touch. You could be racing in complete sunshine or worse yet, snow, and all this plus driving at different times in the day gave you a tough drive through the game. Compared to Colin McRae DiRT, I personally think that this game was a arcade gamer’s heaven and you are rewarded well if you put the time in to learning the corners and techniques involved in each race.
For me the multiplayer was one of the key selling points of the game. Compared to games now where you can play people over Live or the PSN you had your mates next to you going at it split screen fighting in either time trial or rally getting the quickest times – pure thrills all the way with this one.
In closing, Colin McRae Rally is a great investment as you can get this on ebay for around the £2 mark – fantastic value for a game that is fun and addictive to play providing a great multiplayer to boot.