Driven to distraction
In the avalanche of press releases to promote Sega Rally, the developers were quick to point out the games realistic track deformation, which adds an extra layer of strategy as players battle to stick to the racing-lines gouged in the mud during earlier laps. They also ranted about the graphics, and how the uncannily-authentic mud and dirt create the illusion that youre skidding through real-world tracks. The games dramatic sense of speed was also trailed heavily, promising bowel-loosingly rapid races where the smallest mistake can spell disaster.
But while the coders are rightly proud of all these achievements, what really makes Sega Rally an exhilarating ride hasnt changed since the series debut over a decade ago - and thats its sublime handling. With simple controls and gleefully exaggerated physics, the joy of playing SR comes from abusing your motor and sliding around impossible bends, all the time jostling with rival drivers. And while the game loses a star as its computer racers tend to be a little dumber than those in similar titles, Sega Rally is still one of the most thrilling speedsters around.