DCRage's Project Gotham Racing Review
High difficulty level. Some objectives are not explained clearly. Controls feel a little bit off. Subpar music.
One of the early Xbox racing titles, Project Gotham Racing took real cars ranging from sports cars to Minis and put them on tracks in 4 cities with a variety of race modes. The biggest thing that stood out about the game was it's scoring system-Kudos. Earned by performing skill moves like Power Slides, Air, and Clean Driving, they were used to progress and unlock secrets-something not before seen in racing games.
The graphics generally are excellent-cars & tracks show great detail and the frame rate is very smooth. My biggest complaint was there seemed to be a lot of fog off in the distance, and it's not there for decoration. This often indicates the game can't handle the graphics as well as was hoped. Sounds I wasn't exactly thrilled with-the effects are decent and try to be realistic but the screeching of the tires quickly becomes rather grating. Music is nice with a good variety but not the best mix of songs overall. Controls were among my big issues here-generally they are realistic but oftentimes I felt they weren't responsive enough. I found myself requently getting oversteer or understeer when trying to make precise turns and it weighed down the gameplay considerably. Other than that they're good enough to do the job. For the most part, gameplay is solid with a nice variety of play modes. There are variations of Career Modes, arcade-style racing, some Versus play (no Xbox Live though) and you can create a profile to keep track of your records and total distance driven-not only cool, but it helps measure your progress towards unlockables. On the negative side, in the mode that requires so many Kudos to earn medals to proceed, it doesn't clearly mention that you need that many Kudos to clear the mission. Sometimes you'll meet or beat the target time or position but fail because you didn't get enough Kudos, which becomes very frustrating. And although the difficulty level can be adjusted a little, it's still a bit too high especially early on. And some of the unlockables require lots of gameplay and a great amount of commitment to the title, almost too long for most players. Additionally, despite the title suggesting otherwise the game has nothing related to Gotham City, Batman, or anything related to that. When I first saw the title I thought they meant Gotham City but was quickly proven wrong-there are 4 major cities that are good but I would've liked more.
If you can overlook the flaws and maintain a high level of commitment to this game, then it's certainly worth searching the bargain bins for. Otherwise you're probably better off with one of the Need For Speed games for quicker gameplay and less stress on the whole.