Empire – Sega Rally 2 review

Photo of Empire – Sega Rally 2

Ignoring the company’s various games consoles, Sega will be known to serious gamers for what has been one of the most enduring arcade games of all time – Sega Rally. Pitting Lancia’s Delta Integrale against Toyota’s Celica GT4, this was, nay is, a fantastic way to spend pound after pound in multi-player mud-churning action. Then they brought out the sequel… Sega Rally 2 is now available on the PC and, sensibly enough, on Sega’s new Dreamcast console. We looked at the PC version, published by Empire.

First things first. This is a driving game and not a pretty graphical simulation. The graphics are good, in a slightly chunky sort of way, but not outstanding, as that would get in the way of the performance of the game. In any event, you hardly notice that some of the spectators are distinctly out of perspective when you’re shooting past them at 120mph. What’s more important is the driving feel, and that’s something that Sega’s got pretty much right.

The usual choice of World Rally Championship cars is here, ranging from the Subaru Impreza and Mitsubishi Lancer to the Toyota Corolla and some of the formula two cars such as those from Peugeot, etc. There are also some rather more unusual vehicles. Look carefully within the game and you’ll find rally cars of yesteryear. The legendary Integrale is there, of course, but there are also such gems as the Lancia Stratos, Fiat 131 and Alpine A110. Each handles differently – in the case of the Stratos, very differently – so you have to adapt your driving style to cope with everything from tank-slapping tail-sliders to plough-on understeer from the FWD motors.

Not only that, but you’ll have different surfaces on which to test your control, ranging from gravelly forests to grippy tarmac. Race against the clock, the computer or a friend (in a split-screen mode that works surprisingly well), and try to forget that for the fourth year in a row the WRC has been won by the same bloke. And he’s not Scottish.

Company: Empire

Sega's very good at this type of game. The pedigree established with Sega Rally has been carried through to this new title, with a vengeance. The graphics are OK, the driving feel is fantastic and the range of cars and game types is wide enough to hold the interest for weeks. It's infinitely preferable to standing in a cold, snowy Welsh forest in the middle of November for the chance of being covered in mud by an unidentified set of KC Daylighters.