While rally racing has yet to catch on here in America, that surely won't stop developers from continuing to make more and more games based on the sport. While I have never watched rally racing on television (although, come to think of it, I don't think it actually is on television here), I love to play rally games and V-RALLY 3 is one of the better games to come along in some time.
To be perfectly honest, Eden Studios outdid themselves with the newest game in the V-RALLY series. V-RALLY 3 is one of the prettier racing games on the Xbox. V-RALLY 3 has the official colors and licenses of sponsors, the 16 cars that are customizable show off some really sweet special effects. While driving, you can see window reflections, mud and dirt on your car; you can also see inside the car and notice the roll bar, seats and the dashboard. The driver is also visible inside, and you can see him bounce around while driving. Aside from the car models, the level designs are also extremely gorgeous. Whether it is the leaves on the trees or the people walking around the countryside, the backgrounds are beautiful.
The only problem I've found with the graphics is the occasional pop-up, where something will be on the screen for a second, and then gone. A deer up ahead? No, your eyes aren't playing tricks on you - it was there. Oh, sorry, you ran off the road while you were trying to see if that was actually a deer or not.
Players can choose from five different perspectives to play from: over-the-shoulder far and close views, a cockpit mode, cockpit with hood and cockpit with steering wheel. As always, you can modify your car and the coolest part about this is that you can see your modifications when you add them. When you add shocks or new tires to your car, you can see the changes instantly so you'll know what is going on and if you're doing the right changes to your car or not.
V-RALLY 3 has extremely good car physics, with each car handling differently according to the size of the engine and what car you're driving. But, for the most part, cars can be controlled quickly and precisely although there is a problem with the controls being a little too over-responsive to the touch.
In V-RALLY 3, players will be able to drive through six different countries, including Great Britain, Germany and France, and over 24 different maps. As I stated earlier, the game sports over 16 cars to select from, including the Toyota Corolla, Ford Puma, Volkswagon Polo, and Ford Focus. Additional vehicles can be unlocked by completing races in the season mode. Speaking of games modes, V-RALLY 3 has numerous different gameplay modes including the season mode, time attack and the challenge mode, which is where you have to pass various tests within three different stages).
For people who love to listen to music while you're driving, don't expect to hear much of anything other than the whine of an engine during the race. While V-RALLY 3 sports some pretty cool tracks during the menus, there is no music during the races.
In the end, V-RALLY 3 is a rally fan's dream come true. While the game suffers a little from graphical glitches, the game handles like a dream and most racing fans will find V-RALLY 3 to be a game that they can play for hours.