By – Mike Andre
Racing sims are not quite as popular as most big budget arcade racers such as Need for Speed or Burnout so, for a sim addict like me, every new release is more than welcome. Race: Injection is not exactly a new release, as it’s a re-release of Race 07 along with all the expansion packs released so far but believe me, it’s worth every penny. So let’s get into detail and discover why you should grab Race: Injection immediately after you’re finished reading this review.
Driving Is Fun!
For whoever doesn’t know, Race 07 is a racing simulator developed and published by Simbin Studios, mainly based on the 2007 season of the WTCC. The included expansion packs add a plethora of new tracks and cars, ranging from open wheels to historic cars, totaling 83 different car models and 40 tracks. That’s a lot. And all of that at a very affordable price.
If you like racing games, whether you’re more into casual racing games or simulators, Race is a fantastic game. Just tweak the accessibility options to fit your playing style, and you’re good to go. The accessibility makes it appealing, but what really grabs the player is the fantastic physics engine. Driving is a lot of fun and at the same time a great challenge. In this particular regard, it’s easy to forget this is a 5 year old game.
The sense of speed is great; prepare to feel every bump in the road, especially if you play with older cars. Driving a Formula One like car is vastly different from driving a Mini Cooper or muscle car. Whatever the car you pick the controls always feel greatly responsive, and unlike most simulators, playing with the keyboard is actually enjoyable. Playing with a wheel is still recommended, though the game plays nicely with a gamepad as well.
So Many Tracks and Cars, So Little Time
The tracks in the game are all based on real life circuits except for one, most of them being almost carbon copies of the real ones. As if having 40 tracks at your disposal wasn’t enough, almost each one has alternative layouts.
When you add that to the 83 different cars, divided in around 15 different classes, you realize that’s a lot of replayability. Now, on the technical aspects of the game. One of the main reasons why driving in Race is so immersive is the sound. The amount of detail put into the sound design is absolutely fantastic. Each little detail, such as the pilot changing gears for example, has its appropriate sound effect. Driving cars like the Camaro packs that punch you’d expect from a muscle car, while driving a modern car like the WTCC BMW feels almost like cruising on water in comparison.
Doesn’t look great? No problem
Now on the not-so-great side of things. A you probably know, Race 07 was released in 2007, 5 years ago, and as such the game doesn’t look on par with more recent offerings such as Need For Speed: Shift 2 and The Run, or the highly promising, Project Cars.
There’s a good side to that though, as it runs on really low spec PCs. In theory, it should even run on Intel powered graphic cards.
While the tracks are not exactly the most detailed around, the models are great and look exactly like their real counterparts. With so many cars available to the player, the amount of work put into each car model is surprising, even for a company with high standards such as SimBin. Truth be told, from the company who brought us the magnificent GTR2, it’s hard to imagine anything less than great in that regard. Or any other aspect for that matter.
Conclusion – Is It Worth Your Money?
Yes, yes and yes. If you are into racing games, simulators or arcade racers, and you don’t have Race 07, you can’t miss this opportunity. Heck, even if you already own Race 07 and enjoyed it, you’ll love all the new cars and tracks. For only 30$ on Steam, this is one of the best deals I’ve seen lately. Actually, it’s more of a steal than a deal and should be snagged up immediately.