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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 June 2003, 10:42 GMT 11:42 UK
Review: IndyCar Series
By Nick Gawith

Indy Car Series
Format: PS2/PC/CD Rom
Price: 39.99
Publisher: Codemasters
Genre: Racing

Pick your favourite fire-retardant jump-suit and strap yourself in securely as Codemasters' IndyCar Series arrives on the PS2.

Doing away with such ridiculous obstacles as hairpins, s-bends and of course Michael Schumacher, this racing sim brings you the seat-of-the-pants thrill that is blasting your way around the 15 different oval tracks on the US IndyCar circuit.

If you're an IndyCar fan there's no need to read on. Indeed, you probably own/should own this officially-licensed game already.

However if, like me, you've got no idea who Eddie Cheever Jr is, then you're going to be wondering what all the fuss is about a racing game where there's no need to turn right - ever!

In truth, there's not too much to get excited about.

The game plays reasonably well, while the car handling is tricky, but not impossible.

This is thanks to a series of chummy Gran Turismo-esque driving master classes with the man himself - legendary driver Cheever Jr.

As you would expect, it is possible to fiddle about with the important parts of your car in the pits and the garage - but you can also tweak your car while you're out there racing.

The game options are numerous. You can compete in any Indy race, over any distance and in any car.

The damagability of that car is set according to your skill level - a useful feature because it took me a good 20 minutes to complete a lap without hitting anything.

IndyCar series graphic
Graphics: 70%
Playability: 60%
Sound: 85%
Realism: 94%
Overall: 70%

The ultimate aim is, of course, to be crowned champion at the end of the season - having accumulated the most points from 15 races, including the famous Indianapolis 500.

Quite an achievement, I'm sure you'll agree.

It's the classic easy-to-learn, hard-to-master scenario all over.

The problem is, unless you want to be Eddie Cheever Jr II you may not bother with the mastering once you've done the learning.

The effort required to make any progress is so frustating that you'll undoubtedly start to wonder what you're doing playing an IndyCar racer when there are plenty of decent Formula 1 games out there already.

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