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Endorsed by the Scottish born 1995 World Rally Champion, Colin McRae Rally contains actual race locations, co-driver directions and 12 vehicles modeled after real life designs. With eight different countries in which to race, you'll visit 52 international stages including New Zealand, Corsica, Indonesia and the United Kingdom. Stages are broken into six segments with varying time periods and surface types such as gravel, mud and snow.
Among the vehicular models included are the Subaru Impreza, Ford Escort WRC, Mitsubishi Lancer and the Toyota Corolla. Before you start the given stage, you're able to setup and repair your vehicle. Although limited to a specific time limit, you can change tires for improved surface grip, suspension, brakes, steering sensitivity and gear ratios. Repairing your vehicle takes much longer; your team will fix flickering headlights and other electrical problems, poor handling, the engine and gearbox.
Colin McRae Rally features a few different gameplay options including the Championship, Rally, Time Trial and Rally School modes. The Championship mode is an official season of rally racing throughout the eight countries; four of which have a special stage in which to compete. You'll be racing against 15 opponents through various daylight and nighttime settings, snowstorms, torrential rainfall, blinding fogs and perfectly sunny skies. Fortunately, you have a co-driver that not only tells you which way to turn, but how sharp the turn will be.
Before starting the Championship mode, you may want some driving experience. Rally has you playing a single country and it's various stages for extra practice. There is nothing on the line here; just you and the open road! Novice players should probably select the Rally School. Taught by Colin McRae himself, this driving tuition covers everything from handling your vehicle, what the co-driver is talking about, repairs and setting up gears and tires. Finally, the Time Trial is a heated race against the clock where you can play any stage from any country.
There are also multi-player options for the Time Trial and Rally modes. For those sharing a computer, there are options for a split-screen duel, an Alternate mode that allows one player to race first and the head-to-head Arcade mode. Players will need to share a keyboard or have two separate gaming controllers. It also has Network/LAN capabilities that allow eight players to race at once!
Colin McRae Rally also supports a wide variety of 3D chipsets and has extensive voice acting courtesy of Nicky Grist — Colin McRae's actual co-driver! There are three difficulty levels including Novice, Intermediate and Expert; the difficulty settings alter the Championship and Rally modes. Whereas starting a Championship season with the Novice setting will limit you to six countries, eight opponents and three stages, the Intermediate setting features a full field of 15 opponents and every stage and country. Additionally, there are five camera views including chase angles and in inside-the-car viewpoint. ~ Matthew House, All Game Guide