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Rallisport Challenge 2 Hands-On Impressions

We check out a two-level demo of Digital Illusions' recently announced Xbox Live-compatible racer.


During our recent visit to Microsoft's X03 event in France, we were able to check out a playable demo of the recently announced Rallisport Challenge 2. The demo consisted of two very different time trials, a snow-covered rally stage in a Subaru Impreza, and a wet and muddy race circuit in a Lancia.

Aside from the visuals, which are a vast improvement over those in Rallisport Challenge, the first thing we noticed about Digital Illusions' latest offering is that you get an awful lot of feedback from the Xbox controller's vibration when playing. The controller very rarely stops moving once you get under way, and the feedback is good enough to give you some idea of how your car is handling on whatever surface you happen to be driving at the time.

Like its predecessor, Rallisport Challenge 2 features handling that leans a little more toward arcade-style driving than that in Codemasters' Colin McRae Rally series. There's plenty of realism where damage is concerned, though, and after a few hard knocks our cars started to look like they might start dropping parts at any time. The performance of the cars wasn't noticeably affected by the damage initially, but after our Impreza went head-on with a tree at top speed, we made our way back onto the track and discovered that we were unable to get into anything higher than third gear. A couple of crashes later we also lost second gear, and so we were forced to complete our time trial with only first and third gears available.

Rallisport Challenge 2, which will feature the support of XSN Sports, is currently scheduled for release in spring 2004. For more information, check out our previous coverage of the game.

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