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Colin McRae Rally 04
(hx) 07:16 PM CEST - May,01 2004

Colin McRae Rally 04 is already fourth PC iteration in the popular Colin McRaye Rally series. If you're new to the rally genre, rally is a form of motor racing over dirt roads. Production and production based vehicles are used to compete on whatever surface nature provides be it mud, grass, dirt, or gravel. Drivers run individually against the clock to complete the course in the shortest amount of time. The course is defined using orange traffic cones to form gates, walls, turns, slaloms, chicanes, and so forth. This way you can compare your skills with others in similarly prepared vehicles. The sport is extremely popular in European countries, but has yet to really make an impact in North America.

Colin McRae Rally 4 features 8 international rally locations (UK, Sweden, USA, Finland, Australia, Spain, Greece, Japan), 6 rally stages in each, over 20 rally cars (2WD, 4WD, Class B classes) including Peugeot 206 WRC, Citroën Xsara WRC, Ford Focus WRC, Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 7, Subaru Imprezza WRC, but also Citroën Saxo, Fiat Punto, Ford Puma, VW Golf, MG ZR, Audi Quattro, Lancia 037, Ford RS 200 and Peugeot 205 8 game modes in total, including 4-wheel drive, 2-wheel drive, Group B featuring and Expert Championships, online and LAN multiplayer options enabling up to 8 players to compete simultaneously through Championship or Stage races in co-operative or competitive team challenges (with other players seen as ghost cars).

The first thing you will immediately notice is that CMR04 isn't as big a step up from it's predecessor as CMR3 was, there are no real major advancements. CMR4 uses tracks from all previous titles - some stages are converted from CMR2 (for example UK SS1) or CMR3 (Spain SS4,5 or 6 is a CMR3-stage backwards), it's ridiculous compared to 10 stages in CMR2. However, there are some differences that make the game's driving experience slightly more compelling to that found in the CMR3, especially the cars handle - corners are executed in a much more realistic fashion. I would say the control of the car is now more similar to CMR2 that makes the game definitely more satisfying than CMR3.

Car damage is also more realistic in CMR4 and affects the car's performance fairly well. For example, windshield damage actually makes it harder to see, tyres will get punctured and eventually come off the rims, various chassis wreckage will make it harder for you to maneuver your car and if you drive head on into a tree your cars radiator is likely to burst. If your car gets way too destroyed it may actually be impossible for you to complete the race. Also the car setup is detailed as usual so you can tweak all manner of settings such as suspension and brakes.

Multiplayer is where the game really kicks in for the replay department. You can play head to head or co-operatively through LAN/Internet. Everything is there to make you and your friends holler with the pure thrill of becoming the best Rally racer in the room. That's why I gave CMR4 a bit higher score than CMR3 (75%), despite the fact CMR4 feels more like CMR3 expansion.

Overall, CMR4 is clearly an arcade racing rather than simulation title, or even better it's something between arcade and simulation. If you liked CMR2/CMR3 then you will like CMR4 too.

Note: Surprisingly, the PC version hasn't been released to retailers in North America. If you still want to buy it ten visit the official Codemasters' E-Shop. However, the PC version costs two time more than the Xbox version :(
related links: homepage, demo (159MB), MP demo (160MB), camera hack for retail version (this tool allows you completely customize your driving view in Colin McRae Rally 4 ~ it only works with the full version of the game)

System requirements:
Minimum: Pentium or Athlon 750MHz CPU, 256MB RAM, DirectX 9 compatible soundcard, supported 32MB graphics card
Recommended: Pentium or Athlon 1.4GHz CPU, 512Mb RAM, Sound Blaster Audigy 2 series audio card, ATi Radeon 8xxx and above, nVidia GeForce3 and above
Network/Internet Play Requirements: Minimum 56.6 kbs speed modem, TCP/IP network

Supported Graphics cards: ATI Technologies Inc.: Radeon 8xxx, 9000, 9100, 9200, 9500, 9600, 9700, 9800; NVIDIA Corporation: nForce 1 & 2, GeForce, GeForce 2, GeForce 3, GeForce 4, Geforce FX 5200, 5600, 5700, 5800, 5900, 5950 // * Not compatible with all integrated sound/graphics solutions (inc. Laptops)

snd: 3/5 - mediocre, relatively small choice of music tracks
gfx: 4/5 - pretty good enough, well modeled cars, full damage modeling, improved physics, outdated 2D sprites in the backdrop, limited camera views
playability: 4/5 - fun to play, multiplayer (LAN/Internet) up to 8 players, ugly console interface
genre: racing sim
release: March 2004
developer: Codemasters
publisher: Codemasters
Overall: 78%

last 10 comments:

Viper357posted - May, 01 2004 - 19:36
any rally fan should get this! absolutely better than the third installment of this seris + multiplayer. it aint superb ,but its good enough. :)

Disillusionedposted - May, 02 2004 - 03:00
Does anyone have any idea why the licence plates are mirror imaged but everything else is fine? :)

posted - May, 02 2004 - 06:32
It's not just the licence plates screenshot 1 - Subaru logo, screenshot 3 - signs, seems like the whole background is reversed

ritzposted - May, 02 2004 - 06:59
It's sad to see CMR4 only available on the Xbox and cost so much for the PC version. I personally fine with the Xbox system, but there is no good wheel on Xbox, which I had to resort to playing CMR4 on my PC using Logitech Driving Force, which is surprising great with all the force feedback and precise handling.

Wka0posted - May, 02 2004 - 20:03
This game isnt great, the controls(analog) dont feel write at all, its like theres a delay from when i full lock the steering from left to right, to acutally the game engine performing the movement of the wheels. Very odd. LOD Bias seems very poor on the screens, very chunky textures up close. The MS rally game r0x

guestposted - May, 02 2004 - 20:12
rally and rallycross is two completly different sports!

Qposted - May, 03 2004 - 01:31
hey, there are no wrc cars in the game! actually there's nothing related to wrc in the game, since sony bought all the rights to wrc licences a few years ago (for their playstation wrc game). and actually colin doesn't drive in wrc anymore, too. he quit from the citroen team and is supposed to start at dakar rally, or something :) check his website for more info. it's an okay game, but there's nothing authentic in it..

398751983765posted - May, 03 2004 - 05:28
no lamborghini's or ferrari's... how can this game expect to get sales?

asdposted - May, 03 2004 - 21:06

Jaredposted - May, 04 2004 - 00:50
To 398751983765-398751983765: What about the NASCAR games and the Formula 1 and CART games? Those are some of the best selling games on the racing games market.

robposted - May, 04 2004 - 19:37
i think its a alright game...better than the other ones..i wouldnt pay money for buying it tho...but still is alright tho...

Wka0posted - May, 05 2004 - 20:23
Colin McRae Rally 03 is quite fun.. Drive against the wall and you can get yourself off from the vibrations... i hope 4 is going to be as fun.

Imm0rTaLposted - Jul, 21 2004 - 10:55
I can beat Colin Mc Rae just in this game

mindaugas from lithuposted - Jul, 28 2004 - 12:37
does enyone have cm rally 4 codes. please write me a will be very hapoy. thank you.

personposted - Aug, 23 2004 - 23:25
I don't know why most textures are reversed - I have the game and everything is fine.

no nameposted - Dec, 16 2004 - 04:53
for the person above, colin mcrae drove a ford focus, hes not on the citroen team. i have the real game and the textures arent backwards. but yea, stuff like the trees and the grass do look like crap, thats the only bad thing about this game, if you can call it bad

CCCPposted - Sep, 21 2005 - 21:23
What meens: when I run exe the game not started and write what I have fata error: graphicsSS_SetupRender Adapter has no modes ??????

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