In its follow-up to 2003's Pro Race Driver, Codemasters stuck to its RPG/driving angle, offering racing challenges around the world that you must complete while building a professional racing career. The full version promises 31 "championship tracks," which are collections of specific racetracks and vehicles. The demo only offers three, each with one car: the Jaguar E-Type, the AMG Mercedes CLK, or the HRT Holden Commodore VY. We'll have to wait for the full version to test Career mode, but the demo races indicate the game's potential.
First off, gameplay is excellent. You set difficulty along a sliding scale, the driving controls are easy to learn, and the physics are realistic. As in any quality racing game, your success depends on taking the best lines and handling corners better than your opponents do. Damage modeling also is well designed. Pieces of your car that fall off remain on the track as future obstacles, and one egregious crash can knock you out of the race completely. You can customize all the important details, such as suspension, gear ratios, and brakes, and you can choose automatic, manual, or manual-with-clutch transmissions. Though we experienced stability issues that required a reinstall, the ToCA Race Driver 2 demo offers a tantalizing peek at a high-quality racing game.