Having such a wide collection of cars, it was only a matter of time before somebody thought to create a game based around this idea, and here it is for the Xbox platform.
One thing you can’t moan about in this game is the lack of variety in the way of cars. Racing vehicles from as far back as the Seven S1 from 1957, leading up to the Formula Lotus from 2001. With these 38 cars in total the choice is well received.
What isn’t as impressive is the first thing that comes your way. This is the menu to which you select the type of game you want. No music, no good animation, no good graphics, heck it’s rather dull. The menu expands out across the screen in a non dramatic way in a less then lovely grimy yellow.
Although not impressive the menu does have a lot of options. Usual options like Single Player Game and Championship are here including other features like Challenge mode in which you can unlock new extras like stunts, car bowling and all sorts of weird and interesting tasks.
The extras are a nice addition to the game when the fun is lagging on the other main modes.
Unfortunately graphically the cars look very plastic and although they do look like what they are representing, you feel there could have been much more of an attempt to add more polygons to the models for more detailing.
The tracks are a bit of a hit and miss affair. Some tracks do have some nice detailing as you race around the course. Others are virtual deserts with the lack of buildings or anything for that matter and the polygon pushing potential of the Xbox has been lost again here. What detail is around the course also suffers from the lack of imagery and detailing. The road has some nice detailing but the overall look of the game is pretty average and certainly not jaw dropping but there is enough about to have some entertainment from this game.
So graphically not a jaw dropping affair but some nice little hints of joy if not immediately apparent.
Now we come on to the gameplay. The cars handle quite oddly around the course and seem to bounce around on impact with anything. This really is noticeable when crashing into other cars when it looks like you have just jumped off your space hopper for exaggerated great effect only to purposely catch it on camcorder for “Who’s Been Framed!”.
There is some good vibration on older cars as they accelerate to their maximum making the age of the car more apparent. From the front of the box you are also promised fast racing. Trouble is with so many older cars in the collection you can choose from, fast is far from the truth. More like snails pace. It is only on the formula 1 cars that a real sense of speed is established.
The music however has some good racing vibes to at least tempt you into sticking on your loud speakers for some bass pounding fun. The sounds of the vehicles are pretty rough sounding which is quite nice but the surround sound 5.1 seems to be very confused. Your car engine rather then sticking in 1 speaker seems to float around the room as you turn corners. This fools you into thinking someone is trying to overtake when in fact there is nobody there and you didn’t need to cut up anybody after all.
The extra features like stunt mode and car bowling do offer some fun for a while but all in all the controls are pretty ropey and although not terrible they are not what you would come to expect having played games like Project Gotham Racing and other high class racing games.
If you are a real Lotus boffin then this game has appeal for you. For the rest of us general gamers there is little in the way of excitement or graphical delight that truly represents the style and class of Lotus.