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Let me Escort you to Fun, Fun, Fun

Discussion in 'RACE 07 - Official WTCC Game' started by Rhys Gardiner, Jul 4, 2009.

  1. Rhys Gardiner

    Rhys Gardiner

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    "Holdens Rule, Rhys. Don't you forget that. Holdens Rule..."


    An unconventional way to start a review on some Fords, but I just wanted to get it out of my system before I continue. Not that this mod is bad; it's actually one of the best I've ever tested - but I will continue to repeat "Holden rules" to myself as I type, so that I may stay sane and not betray my first love. It will be difficult, though; this mod makes it hard to be faithful.


    Maybe some background info should be presented, so that you, dear reader, may familiarise yourself with the situation. The Ford Escort Challenge mod for GTR Evolution has been around for a bit now, featuring fields of 1970s Ford Escort V8s roaring around any circuit you please. Such was the measure of the mod's success, only recently has it been given a massive update. This update is the subject of the piece of text you are reading right now.
    The update includes new liveries, three different models of Escort (though all are the same underneath) and completely reworked physics from last time. Prez, the original creator of the Escort Challenge mod, has recieved help from the GTR Evolution community's resident modding genius, Günthar Rowe, in updating the mod to its current incarnation. The fruits of their labour, plus that of many more (including beta testers and skinners) is a mod right up there with the greatest.


    Visually, the mod is pretty good. If you've seen an Escort race car in real life, nothing will seem out of the ordinary, but the cars look rather nice - classic styling, with pumped wheelarches and reasonable-sized rear wings. You know you're in for one heck of a ride when you take a look at the Escorts. The skins are a treat too - the liveries are entertainingly cheesy, with just the right amount of schtick, and some of them are sure to provide you with a laugh or two. You might also see some familiar names inamongst the driver's list: to name two, Valentino Rossi and, believe it or not, Fidel Castro. :bulgy-eyes: There's also a John Player Special livery buried in the car selection menu, which was the featured car in the screenshots at the bottom of this review. The skins add a fun, not-so-serious atmosphere to the mod, and that can only be a good thing. I applaud the skinners for their efforts. We are likely to see many more skins made for the cars, because unlike the original, the Escorts are now skinnable.
    Inside, the cockpits of the Escorts are very interesting. A simple but purposeful-looking wheel, a cool little LCD display behind the wheel, and a nice little NoGrip logo on the centre console (indicating the site from which the mod originally came) are just some of the little tidbits you can find in the driver's seat.


    Now for the driving experience. To quote Prez's notes in the description of the mod on NoGrip: "Raw, fast and fun as...". Well, Prez ain't wrong there. The engine is a feast for the ears. It appears to use the same sound files as the Chevrolet Lacetti Extreme, but that's no bad thing. A deep roar greets your ears when you prod the go pedal... rather feisty for such a small car.
    The Escorts, whichever of the three models you choose, are fun little cars to drive. It'll take an experienced driver to drive them well, but they're so awesome to drive that you won't notice. The cars are entertaining on almost any track - I used a range of different courses while testing the mod, and I had a big grin on my face every time. They are zippier than first thought, considering the huge 351ci V8 up front. Steering response is gradual, but almost immediate, and with the right finesse and control, you will find that there is potential for smiles aplenty with the Escorts. It's incredibly easy to do epic powerslides in them, if you get it right. You find yourself pressing the accelerator that little bit harder, because you want that opportunity to apply a bit of opposite lock again, and again, and again. You can just as easily correct a slide if you so wish. Just fun. There's no other way to describe it. I've never actually raced with other people in these things, but when I do, it's going to be quite an experience. The cars are so closely matched that the racing should be very close and exciting.


    The features that the mod includes are quite welcome additions, even if they don't affect other car classes in the game. There's the option of Hard, Medium and Soft tyre compounds, something which no other class has (except for some upcoming gems - but that's another story). If a race organiser wants to introduce some strategy to their events, this should give the racers something to think about: which tyre compound to use, and when? There's also the option of an Intermediate compound, for partially wet conditions, that should solve some dillemas over whether to use full wets or slicks when neither are appropriate.


    Overall, this mod is quite complete. It has almost everything you could ask for in a GTR Evolution mod - cool cars, great physics, close competition, the lot. Good times are promised if you add this series to your GTR Evolution game. Prez, Günthar and their team should be thanked for bringing this great piece of work to the Evo community - not least Prez himself, for creating the original. All other credits are given in the mod's readme. Mr. Rowe, you have helped to bring yet another work of art into the GTR Evo modding community. If I wasn't so tied to my Holdens, I'd come over to the dark side... but I'm quite sure that isn't going to happen. Almost 100%... almost.


    Rhys's grade: A
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Kevin Ascher

    Kevin Ascher
    #47 Roaring Pipes Maniacs

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    Cool review :)
     
  3. Gareth Hickling

    Gareth Hickling

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    Awesome car!
     
  4. Mark Birney

    Mark Birney

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    These things really sort the men from the boys in the rain :) They are as fun as you say.

    I think you better quality pictures man.
     
  5. Rhys Gardiner

    Rhys Gardiner

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    What exactly do you mean by that? :question:
     
  6. Mark Birney

    Mark Birney

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    The graphics settings in-game are pretty low, the pictures themselves are fine though.

    Is it possible to boost up the settings bit? :)
     
  7. Rhys Gardiner

    Rhys Gardiner

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    I prefer to run my game at medium settings all-round to protect my system and have the best frame rate.
     
  8. Mark Birney

    Mark Birney

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    I love the random celebrities... Fidel Castro was surprising, but as you said, it helps make a more fun and "wtflmaobbq" type situation :)
     
  9. Günthar Rowe

    Günthar Rowe

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    did you not know Fidel was a hobby racer ;)
     
  10. Mark Birney

    Mark Birney

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    No I did not :p
     
  11. prez

    prez

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    Thanks for a great review. I grew a couple of inches :)

    Im so glad that you people like our effort and the way they handle. And yes whenever im feeling down I take the Pink Panther out for a spin.....
     
  12. Rhys Gardiner

    Rhys Gardiner

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    Thank you all... :hug: :D
     
  13. Bram Hengeveld

    Bram Hengeveld
    Administrator Staff Premium

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    Excellent again Rhys, thanks for all the time you spend on those reviews!
     
  14. Aritan Maia

    Aritan Maia

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    Very agressive little car!!! Me likes it!!!! Great review again!!!