Sega Rally 2005 Hands-On

We test-drive Sega's previously unannounced rally title for the PlayStation 2.

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TOKYO--One of the many games that we had to wait in line to get close to at the Tokyo Game show today was the previously unannounced Sega Rally 2005 for the PlayStation 2. The game looked quite impressive up on the big screen as we edged closer to the row of bucket seats with GT Force wheels set up in front of them, but looks can be deceptive.

The demo version of Sega Rally 2005 that was on display featured two cars (the requisite Subaru Impreza and a Citroen Xsara), and two rallies comprising four stages each. The rally we opted for, which we suspect was put together specifically to show off different stages in a short space of time at the show, started out in the Japanese mountains, and then took us through European forests and villages en route to a desert stage from the original Sega Rally. The odd thing was that none of the various road surfaces felt very different, stranger still was the fact that our Impreza's tires seemed to be stuck to the road. The car cornered like it was on rails, which, if you've ever played a rally game of any description or even watched the sport on TV, you'll know is about as far from the real thing as you could get.

The game objectives had very little in common with the sport of rally driving as well. Our goal, as we raced through the four different stages hitting checkpoints before the timer ran out, was to work our way up from our position as number 15 to first place by overtaking a number of much slower rally cars that were en route to the finish. At the start of each stage, we retained the position we'd earned in the previous one, and invariably had no problem passing at least three uncharacteristically slow cars per stage, including a Toyota Celica and the classic Lancia Stratos.

No release date for Sega Rally 2005 has been announced at this time and, to be perfectly honest, we're hoping that it still has plenty of time in development to look forward to. Visually, the game could easily have passed for finished product, but on this occasion we left the Sega booth feeling a little disappointed.

For more updates, be sure to check GameSpot's coverage of the Tokyo Game Show 2004.

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