Published on March 24th, 2010 | by prime0
Superstars V8 Racing Next Challenge | Review
Summary: Superstars V8 is much more about the passion than the precision
It’s all too easy to dismiss a racer when it’s not from one of the so-called ‘big’ studios. Without Turn10 or Codemasters slapped across the front end, many will turn their nose up. Superstar V8: Next Challenge, though, is proof that slick vehicular action is not just the domain of the racing powerhouses.
Superstars V8: Next Challenge might look like a pure sim, but it’s only when you get onto the track that you realize just what sort of racer this actually is. This is far less concerned with inch-perfect camber and micro accurate torque, but the sheer joy of bumper neck and neck racing souped-up touring cars.
Opponent AI is good. The other racers are friendishly aggressive and will think nothing of shunting you into a gravel pit if they get the opportunity, so don’t be afraid to do the same back to them. Not that this is a Burnout-apeing destructo racer, of course, or even remotely arcade. It’s just that Superstars V8 is much more about passion than the precision. And after months of Forza 3, that’s no bad thing.
Former TOCA, F1 and current V8 Superstars champ Gianna Morbidelli has been directly involved with the development, and his input on how the cars react with the track and with one another is crucial to the way the races take place. There are 19 other cars on the track, so things can get seriously hectic, and it’ll take concentration and dexterity to stay on past the first few corners of Imola, Monza and the other V8 tracks that mimic the real life series.
Unfortunately, some dodgy car damage on impact and underwhelming weather effects slightly mar the experience, and despite its immediacy there’s not a huge amount of depth or long-term learning that make Superstars V8: Next Challenge a true competitor to Forza’s absolute dominance in the driving genre.
Still, for anyone missing the joys of Codemasters’ fantastic TOCA games, this is a pretty competent substitute. It’s nice-looking, great-sounding and thunderously good fun in multiplayer or just hammering through the lengthy and complete season mode.
Ultimately though, Superstar V8: Next Challenge is a classic case of not judging the book by its cover. Or should that be car by its hood?