Project Gotham Racing 3
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|Project Gotham Racing 3|
|Publisher(s)||Microsoft Game Studios|
|Series||Project Gotham Racing|
|Release date(s)||NA November 22, 2005
Project Gotham Racing 3 (PGR3 for short) is an arcade-style racing game that was released with the launch of the Xbox 360 on November 22, 2005 for the US market and December 2, 2005 in Europe, and was released on January 12, 2006 in Japan. Developed by Bizarre Creations, it is the third installment in the Project Gotham Racing series. Project Gotham Racing 3 was rated by Official Xbox Magazine (OXM) to be Xbox 360 "Game Of The Year" (2005). OXM also rated it "Best 1st Person (Not Shooter) of the Year", because of its realistic inside-car view.
In PGR2, the car models were made of 10,000 polygons, but with the next generation hardware's power Bizarre's modelers have been able to put as many as 105,000 polygons worth of detail into the cars, although it was initially stated that most cars are composed of 80,000 with 40,000 of those being spent on the exterior and the remaining 40,000 on the interior, Bizarre issued a statement of apology stating that the average polygons per car is actually closer to 45,000. The increased polygon count allows for smoother, less jagged-shaped cars than in earlier games. Of the 80 cars in the game, 71 are unlocked and available for play at the start of a new game, while the remaining 9 (prototypes, one-offs, and concept) cars are left for the player to unlock.
In a change from the previous two games, PGR3 emphasizes supercars and special models instead of generic production cars (cars with a top speed of over 170 mph). One of the starter cars is the Acura NSX. While there are production cars in PGR3, PGR2 emphasized common vehicles such as the Ford Focus. However, the BMW Mini is available via download content.
Similar to its prequels, each car in PGR3 is allocated to a specific class. There are five classes, A through E, the high performance cars being Class A, and the low performance cars in Class E.
PGR3 allows multiplayer offline with up to two players on one Xbox 360 console or more players via System Link. PGR3 offers online integrated scoreboards for single player career events as well as Time Trials and test track times.
Gamers with Xbox Live Gold are able to race with up to seven other competitors in races online. Online career (ranked) and playtime (unranked) are both offered as online multiplayer modes. Scoreboards also track standings for online career.
PGR3 also allows for online tournaments, the first of which was the PGR3 Global Tournament, won by a Swedish player.
Kudos once again play an important part in Project Gotham. Kudos points are given for stylish driving, for example drifting around a corner, drafting, or getting two or four wheels off the ground. Different sets of points can be linked using a combo, by performing more stylish maneuvers before the Kudos become "banked" (in PGR2 this cut-off time was 2 seconds). When combos are linked up, the player is given a bonus for keeping them linked together, and this builds up to huge amounts if the combo is held for a substantial length of time. This bonus is, however, lost if the player crashes into any barriers, though the base Kudos (all but the combo bonus) are kept.
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USA Today gave it a score of nine-and-a-half stars out of ten and said it "offers plenty of "oohs" and "aahs" with impressive graphics and sound. But luckily this game still plays very well too. And with a robust online package and plenty of racing options, it becomes a 360 must-have." The Sydney Morning Herald gave it four stars out of five and said that "Despite Gotham's obliging nature, high-speed thrills and gorgeous graphical sheen, it's hard not to feel that we have seen its best tricks before." However, Detroit Free Press gave it a score of three stars out of four and stated that "Online play is as hectic, though perhaps not as friendly, as the previous Xbox version."
A speed pack was made available April 2006, with tournament access, new features, some fixes, and new cars.
A style pack was made available July 2006, featuring more cars and features.
Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved
PGR2 featured a well known Easter egg, a player could play an old arcade machine type game named Geometry Wars. The game has been revamped by Bizarre Creations for inclusion in PGR3. It is similar to the classic games Asteroids and Robotron: 2084, though far more advanced graphically whilst keeping the same basic gameplay aesthetic. This hidden mini-game even features its very own Xbox Live scoreboard. It is also downloadable on Xbox Live Arcade.
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