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SummaryUnmatched Rally Simulation
The Good- realistic car handling - weather effects the grip niveau - rally school - detailed car damages
The Bad- not much tracks / countries to race
The Bottom LineColin Mcrae Rally started the simulation revolution. Until 1998 rally games were pure arcade racers with head to head racing on circuits. Colin Mcare Rally brought up the idea to simulate the real thing - racing on stages against the clock. And it was - great!
A few years later Richard Burns Rally (RBR) appeared, named after the other British WRC Champion, Richard Burns. This game put realism on a whole new level.
This game forces you to drive the rally school. If you think: "Hey it's a racing game, I know those, flat out all the way and brake before the turns, no problem" - the first experience in RBR will be that you smash your car against a tree in under a minute on the track. So you have to do the rally school, and it's good and worth the time invested. You learn to drive your car slowly, just to get the feeling, then some theoretical braking tests and get a feeling for the different handling on tarmac and gravel. The advanced test will teach you skills like left foot braking (braking while keep the foot on the throttle) or the Scandinavian flick (take tight turns with the help of the pendulum effect).
After that you can start in the championship through the 6 countries (Great Britain (gravel) , Japan (gravel / tarmac), Finland (snow), France (tarmac), USA (gravel), Australia (gravel)).
There are three difficulty setting for the competitors, while on the first you can win the championship by simply accomplishing the stages with decent speed and avoiding crashing, the hardest setting will let you struggling just to finish in the points.
You can also adjust the damage level of the car interdependently of the opponents strength. The safe setting will let you crash all the way through a stage, while on the realistic setting a single hit of a tree can be the end of your rally. The damage model is very detailed, as you can smash the bodywork of your car, doors and bonnet can get opened and get lost, the windshield brakes. But also the mechanical parts of the suspension / mounting / wheel can get damaged and get you an nasty handling. Also your cooler can get a damage so you have to drive carefully not to overheat the engine. Not to forget possible damages to the clutch or brake system.
So what's the fun part of this Game? Well, it's a unique experience to drive a rally car! After you learned that full throttle will end you rolling, you need to judge just how fast you should be going. It's always a challenge to be on the limit and cutting corners just on the edge but not to crash while loosing control of the car. No matter how good you are, you will always have those moments misjudging a turn and smashing your car in a spectacular manner - sometimes in the lead and just a few meters before finish. But even such events are very cool to watch in the replay.
The Game has even now a huge fan base, with Mods like RSRBR it is THE Online Rally game for Simulation fans.