Project Gotham Racing 4

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Project Gotham Racing 4
PGR4boxart.jpg
Developer(s) Bizarre Creations
Publisher(s) Microsoft Game Studios
Designer(s) Martyn Chudley
Ged Talbot
Gareth Wilson
Series Project Gotham Racing
Platform(s) Xbox 360
Release date(s) NA 20071002October 2, 2007

JP 20071011October 11, 2007
AU 20071011October 11, 2007
EU 20071012October 12, 2007

Genre(s) Racing
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Distribution DVD-ROM

Project Gotham Racing 4 is the fourth title in the main Project Gotham Racing series, developed by Bizarre Creations and published by Microsoft Game Studios.

Development history[edit]

Project Gotham Racing 4 was accidentally leaked by a Peugeot press release for a competition for a car designed by a contestant to be featured in the game before the official Bizarre announcement.[1][2] The competition was won by Mr. Mihai Panaitescu with the Peugeot Flux.

Shortly after, the game was then officially confirmed at X06, with a trailer titled Eclipse shown.[3] The trailer was also made available to download on the Xbox Live Marketplace. The car featured in the trailer is a Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano. The song in the trailer is "Shadow" by The Prodigy remixed by Chris Chudley from Audioantics.

Microsoft announced at the 2007 E3 that PGR4 would be released in September 2007. However, Bizarre subsequently said that game wouldn't be released "until it's done" citing reasons that they had spent a substantial amount of money and time on the game. "We feel like we've got more time [on PGR4]. Last time round, we feel like we got the game ripped away from us" said Brian Woodhouse of Bizarre Creations.[4]

Having since been acquired by Activision,[5] Bizarre announced that PGR4 will be their last game produced for distribution by Microsoft Game Studios.[6] There is however a possibility that Turn 10 Studios may oversee development of future installments in the series.[7]

Microsoft re-released the game under its "Classics" banner on March 20, 2009.[8]

Weather[edit]

The most prominent addition to PGR4 is advanced weather effects that affect the look of the game and the physics of the cars on the track. The weather can change from sun to rain to snow to hail within a single race. A system logged on to Xbox Live will download weather data from The Weather Channel, allowing users to set in-game conditions to mirror current weather in their respective cities.

The game simulates ten types of weather, including clear days, clouds, light to stormy rain, fog, snow and even ice. In user-created races, weather is fully customisable along with all the other race variations. In the game's expanded and improved career mode, weather is predetermined, which adds an extra obstacle for players to overcome.[9]

A screen shot of a race in London

Bizarre Creations has released two videos showing the weather effects; one of the rain effects in St. Petersburg and one showing the snow in the Nürburgring.

Tracks[edit]

PGR4 includes many of the tracks of the series' previous installment, including Tokyo, New York, the Nürburgring, London and Las Vegas; plus five more cities and tracks: Shanghai, St. Petersburg, Quebec City, Macau and the Michelin Test Track.[10]

New online components[edit]

PGR4 introduced a new online game mode, called "Bulldog". One player starts out as the Bulldog, whose job is to tag every other opponent in the game, thus creating new bulldogs as he goes. This mode is played in an open section of a city, allowing the players to turn on to any street they want. Both cars and bikes are allowed to play in this mode simultaneously.

PGR Nations was also launched with the release of the game. Players connected to Xbox Live would race on behalf of a certain country, their average stats would be added to the total of their country's through a leaderboard giving the game a certain "Olympic" feel.

Vehicles[edit]

PGR4 features more than 130 vehicles,[11] including cars and – new to the franchise – motorcycles.

The game marks a return to the car balance of PGR2, with cars ranging from low-performance hatchbacks to high-performance supercars. PGR3 emphasized supercars and special models, but did have a few high-performance production cars.

Geometry Wars: Waves[edit]

The game debuted with a bonus mini-game Geometry Wars: Waves, which would later be included in Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2.

Along with an ad campaign Microsoft also released various promotional items, the biggest being PGR: Mobile which contained a code that unlocked a sneak peek trailer via the official PGR 3 site. A desktop calendar was also released via the official Xbox page.

PGR4 is also included as part of the Xbox 360 Live 12 Month Messenger Gold Pack, which includes the game, a 12 month Xbox Live Gold subscription card, a wired headset, and a chat pad controller attachment.[12]

Soundtrack[edit]

The soundtrack features 57 songs from a number of different genres. In-game options allows players to switch off particular genres or songs to create a custom playlist of the available songs. A song, called "The Shadow", was exclusively written and performed by The Prodigy and was remixed by Chris Chudley from Audioantics. It plays on the game menus and credits.[13]

The following is a list of songs that featured in the game:

Downloadable content[edit]

Two new downloadable content packs were released on February 14, 2008. The two packs add a total of ten new achievements to the game.

Free Challenge Pack[edit]

The Free Challenge Pack introduces the hydrogen-powered 2007 Peugeot Flux, winner of the 2007 Peugeot International Design Competition and two new game modes – Tourist Mode, which allows the player to roam around any city in the game, and Free Roam Cat and Mouse where a slow mouse vehicle must avoid enemy cats. Tourist mode is only available in 'Multiplayer' and online with at least one other 'friend'.[14]

Premium Challenge Pack[edit]

The Premium PGR 4 Challenge Pack adds seven new cars and three new bikes. It also adds the World Challenge Arcade Mode which is 20 new arcade events.[14] From March 9–16, 2009, the pack was included as part of Xbox LIVE's Deal of the Week promotion where the pack was temporarily available to Gold members at a discounted price.[15] In late 2012, Microsoft removed all PGR4 downloadable content from the Xbox Live Marketplace, and there are no plans to reinstate it.[16]

Critical reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 86.50% [17]
Metacritic 85/100 [18]
Review scores
Publication Score
Edge 9/10 [19]
Electronic Gaming Monthly 8.33/10 [20]
Eurogamer 9/10 [21]
Game Informer 8.75/10 [22]
GamePro 3.75/5 [23]
Game Revolution C [24]
GameSpot 8.5/10 [25]
GameSpy 4/5 stars [26]
GameTrailers 8.7/10 [27]
GameZone 8.5/10[28]
IGN 8.1/10 [29]
9.1/10 (UK) [30]
Official Xbox Magazine 8/10 [31]

Project Gotham Racing 4 was met with generally favorable reviews; most criticism emphasized on its lack of departure from Project Gotham Racing 3's formula. Official Xbox Magazine UK gave the game a perfect ten,[32] 1UP.com gave it an A-,[33] and Edge and VideoGamer.com both gave it 9 out of 10.[19][34] TeamXbox gave the game an 8.4, citing that it was more of "the same" and that Bizarre should move on to bigger and better things.[35] Game Informer gave it an 8.75, stating that the game "has blown its own doors off and finally grown from being a bite-sized, almost niche racer into a full-fledged experience that all racing fanatics should enjoy."[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pencils ready? Peugeot announces 2007 Design Contest
  2. ^ Bienvenue sur le site du Concours de Design Peugeot (in French)
  3. ^ X06: Press conference liveblogging (update 28)
  4. ^ Project Gotham 4 won't be released "until it's done" // GamesIndustry.biz
  5. ^ http://www.bizarrecreations.com/about/ In September 2007 we joined the ranks of Activision as one of their dedicated teams.
  6. ^ Activision buys Bizarre - News - www.developmag.com
  7. ^ Project Gotham Racing - Kotaku
  8. ^ http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B001SID5RI
  9. ^ Daniel Needham (2007-07-05). "Project Gotham Racing 4 Preview". NZGamer.com. Retrieved 2007-07-31. 
  10. ^ Ben (2007-07-30). "Let's talk PGR4 locations". BizarreCreations.com. Retrieved 2007-07-31. 
  11. ^ Project Gotham Racing 4 Vehicle List
  12. ^ http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001EKTF60
  13. ^ Bramwell, Tom (2007-09-14). "PGR4 soundtrack listing". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2012-03-01. 
  14. ^ a b Hryb, Larry (2008-02-14). "PGR4 In Game Content (Premium and Free)". Majornelson.com. Retrieved 2012-03-01. 
  15. ^ Hryb, Larry (2009-03-09). "This weeks Deal: PGR4 Premium Challenge Pack". Majornelson.com. Retrieved 2012-03-01. 
  16. ^ "Microsoft has 'no plans to relist' pulled PGR4 DLC". videogamer.com. 2013-02-18. Retrieved 2013-04-05. 
  17. ^ "Project Gotham Racing 4 for Xbox 360". GameRankings. Retrieved 2012-02-29. 
  18. ^ "Project Gotham Racing 4 for Xbox 360 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-02-29. 
  19. ^ a b "Project Gotham Racing 4". Edge: 86. November 2007. 
  20. ^ EGM Staff (December 2007). "Project Gotham Racing 4". Electronic Gaming Monthly (222): 123. 
  21. ^ Bramwell, Tom (2007-10-11). "Project Gotham Racing 4 Review". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2012-02-29. 
  22. ^ a b Kato, Matthew (November 2007). "Project Gotham Racing 4". Game Informer (175). Archived from the original on 2009-07-30. Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  23. ^ Ouroboros (2007-10-02). "Review: Project Gotham Racing 4". GamePro. Archived from the original on 2007-10-05. Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  24. ^ Hurh, JP (2007-10-09). "Project Gotham Racing 4 Review". Game Revolution. Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  25. ^ Ekberg, Brian (2007-10-01). "Project Gotham Racing 4 Review". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 2011-12-21. Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  26. ^ Joynt, Patrick (2007-10-05). "GameSpy: Project Gotham Racing 4". GameSpy. Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  27. ^ "Project Gotham Racing 4 Review". GameTrailers. October 1, 2007. Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  28. ^ Grabowski, Dakota (2007-10-24). "Project Gotham Racing 4 - 360 - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on 2008-10-06. Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  29. ^ Goldstein, Hilary (2007-10-08). "Project Gotham Racing 4 Review". IGN. Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  30. ^ Robinson, Matthew (2007-10-01). "Project Gotham Racing 4 UK Review". IGN. Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  31. ^ "Project Gotham Racing 4". Official Xbox Magazine: 72. December 2007. 
  32. ^ OXM Staff (November 2007). "Review: Project Gotham Racing 4". Official Xbox Magazine UK: 102. Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  33. ^ Davison, John (2007-10-02). "Project Gotham Racing 4 Review". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2012-02-29. 
  34. ^ Orry, Tom (2007-10-08). "Project Gotham Racing 4 Review". VideoGamer.com. Retrieved 2012-02-29. 
  35. ^ Nardozzi, Dale (2007-10-03). "Project Gotham Racing Review (Xbox 360)". TeamXbox. Archived from the original on 2013-07-20. Retrieved 2014-04-05. 

External links[edit]