Colin McRae Rally 2.0
Windows - 2000
Description of Colin McRae Rally 2.0 Windows
This was always going to be the biggest racing release of the year, but is it a case of leaving the best till last? Two years ago, Codemasters produced the groundbreaking and hugely popular Colin McRae Rally, but since then Rally Championship and Rally Masters have raised the standard. Now Codemasters have stamped the name of the world's fastest rally driver onto a feature-packed sequel that we've been eagerly awaiting all year. GDR has been following the development of CMR2 and the impressions have been good, but it's now time to see if the final version lives up to all the promise.
Loading | Championship | Finland SS1
"The stage based on the classic 'Rally of 1000 Lakes' plays true to form. Ultra fast sweeping roads, perilous jumps and lots of trees all combine to give you a totally unrelenting driving experience. Make sure you listen very carefully to navigator Nicky Grist - 'Six left and flat right over six crest, flat right over jump and six left over jump, and flat right tightens, over jump...' Problem is, flat isn't easy flat - you need to position the car very carefully, which is not simple at the best of times with the wonderful new physics model, let alone when you're doing 120kph over blind crests, on stages where the slightest deviation off the line will see you bury the car into the nearest tree."
This was my main memory of a brief playtest on the CMR2 beta last month. The special stages are what make rallying the sport it is, and many stages on the FIA world championship are real classics with a very distinct character. Whilst most rally titles apply a stereotype to each country's stages, those in CMR2 get very close to the mark - the developers must be real rallying enthusiasts.
The good news is that whilst the Finland stages were good, most of the other stages in the game are simply superb. Australia's slippery gravel stages require just as much flat-out rallying, whilst the mountainous asphalt events in France and Italy set the scene for some of the most technical and intense driving you'll ever do on a PC. The remaining events in Greece, Kenya and Sweden are all about applying good driving technique, but it's a pity that the excellent Monte Carlo and Indonesian events from the original have been dropped.
Much like in CMR, most of the countries are locked and you need to finish in the top 6 in championship mode to unlock the next set. In a sport where you don't get to familiarise yourself with the course before you start, I felt this worked nicely in the original and still does this time around. In addition, the difficulty of the stages is carefully controlled to ease you into the new driving style required. The early stages are broad and sweeping, but later stages become very tricky and can be plagued by bad weather. CMR2 now gives you 10 stages per country as opposed to 6 in the original, each set across two or three days to give the feel of a real event.
So are these the best stages yet in a rally title? Not quite - that accolade goes to Rally Championship. But with only that exception, they're still better than anything else out there.
Loading | Time Trial | Italy SS3
CMR2 is a good looking game. Everything from the chic menus to the car models has been refined extensively from CMR1. The cars in particular are stunning, and on full detail with cubic mapping enabled, they shine and reflect the scenery beautifully. The game provides excellent frame rates even in split-screen mode with a good sensation of speed that gives the driving that exhilarating edge. Best of all though is the replay feature which lets you relive the action TV-style by use of some very imaginative camera angles. It's so good that you'd think there'd be an option to rewind or save them, but surprisingly there isn't. This is one hell of a missed opportunity.
The landscapes are fully detailed and varied, but it's similarly pleasing to see so much variety in the roads themselves. They twist and lurch and dip unpredictably with many stages featuring at least one vicious section ready to take you by surprise, and tight reflexes are required to keep the car out of the scenery. To this end, it's vital that you listen to Nicky Grist, Colin's long suffering co-driver. Nicky reads out "pacenotes" that describe the oncoming road, but unlike in other games where the upcoming corner is described by its severity, the pacenotes in CMR2 grade the corners by the gear in which the car should be in. This is the system currently used by Colin McRae and it's fantastic. It takes a large part of the thinking out of the driving and makes it easier for newcomers to get accustomed to the game, whilst at the same time still providing plenty of scope for more experienced players to improvise to improve their times.
For the most part, the rest of the in-game audio is also very good. All the usual suspects, such as the tyre squeals, exhaust backfires and sumpguards grounding out have been included. In addition, the engine sounds have been realistically sampled, so you'll be able to pick out the deep rush of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo's turbo kicking in, and the high-pitched whine of the Peugeot 206 WRC. But strangely the Ford Focus -- the car that the game is centered on (seeing as it's been the mount of choice for Colin McRae for the past two seasons) -- sounds awful. It lacks any sense of power and ruins all feeling of being strapped into a rally car.
Another low point is with the graphics engine itself. Whilst it can shift plenty of detail at a high rate, the technique of using lots of 2D bitmapped trees to cover up a landscape-wallpapered barrier on either side of the road is now looking very long in the tooth, no matter what the resolution you're playing at. The 2D nature of the obstacles is in fact very distracting, and they can be frustrating to extract yourself from after a collision. It looked great two years ago but just doesn't cut it today, especially when the likes of Pro Rally 2001 offer fully rendered 3D landscaping as far as the eye can see.
Loading | Single Race | France SS4
Where the original really paid off though was in the brilliant car handling, giving us cars that could slide freely at a time when all other rally games made theirs run on rails. CMR2 has thankfully retained this and tweaked it in order to enhance the effects of different setups and road conditions. It's a real pleasure to powerslide and generally throw these cars around. However, these being World Rally Cars, you need to remember that there is a lot of power on demand, and letting the car slide out wildly on the narrower stages will not get you far. Success in CMR2 only comes once you've learnt the arts of left-foot braking (split axes are supported), lift-off oversteer, the good ol' lever-steering (translation: yanking the handbrake) and any other method you can think of to get the car to make the corners in a fast but controlled way.
Controlling the car is bearable with a keyboard or gamepad, and brilliantly precise with a decent steering wheel. Unfortunately I couldn't test the force feedback (which played such a large part in the original) as it resulted in a large performance hit that made the game stutter.
Sadly CMR2 doesn't feature the front wheel drive F2 cars which made excellent learning aids in the original, nor the rally school - novices are effectively left to figure it all out for themselves. However it does feature some entertaining rewards for the successful driver in the way of some superbly modelled extra cars. The RWD Lancia Stratos is an exercise in excess oversteer that will put a big smile on your face, whilst the MG Metro 6R4 mini-rocket will spin the wheels in virtually any gear you choose. These (and more) become unlocked as you progress through the championships.
Loading | Arcade Mode | Greece SS6
Earlier this year, Rally Masters stole CMR's parade by concentrating on arcade-style rallying. CMR2 , however, is determined to put the young pretender firmly in its place by introducing its own Arcade mode which allows you to take on up to 5 other cars on wide closed circuit stages. The Arcade mode has several sub-options including mixing computer and human players (via LAN play - the CD allows restricted network installations - or an excellent split-screen mode), racing for points and trying to stay within a certain percentage of the leader's time. Against friends, this mode works very nicely, but when racing the AI, the premise loses its appeal. The AI cars are very tightly bunched together, meaning that a single slip will see you relegated to the back of the pack. And the very nature of a rally stage means that making such a slip isn't difficult.
Another nice option is the Challenge mode, where players can race head-to-head in a series of elimination heats on the double-looped Super-Specials. This worked well in Rally Masters and it works better here. It's a great idea to help bring rallying into favour with the masses, but the bulk of the gameplay in CMR2 is securely locked away in the Simulation mode. However Codemasters have made it easy to set up multiplayer games in most of the simulation modes, so two or more people can race on a single stage and keep track of the other person via a ghost car. CMR2 hasn't been optimised for internet play, but if you have a LAN then you're in for a treat.
Loading | Simulation Mode | United Kingdom SS8
Everything in the game builds up (as it did in the original) to the United Kingdom stages, the toughest in the game and a real testing ground that shows up the gaps remaining in your newfound skills. The first stage is a fiddly treat with a tight autotest-style section in front of a large stately home, and contains at least five corners that willcatch you out on your first attempt (just wait and see). The next few then carry you through a series of hills and villages set in the countryside before the rally dives into the forests Rally Championship -style, providing a set of fast flowing gravel tracks that are the staple diet of your average British rally driver.
The opportunities to wreck your car are endless, and before long (if you're anywhere as bad as I was) your car will be devoid of any windows and will feature a flapping bonnet (athough bizarrely only the bonnet movement is visible from the in-car view - the shattered windscreen from the external cameras appears fine from the inside!). You'll be glad that CMR2 provides a service area after every two sections to repair all that damage and adjust the setup of the car to account for the nature of the next two stages and the impending weather forecast.
Weather forecast? Yes indeed - 2000 seems to have been the year that variable weather finally became a standard feature in racing sims. Grand Prix 3 started it off and CMR2 has grabbed the baton and run with it. One of CMR2's nicer effects is a Kenyan stage where the sunset fades to darkness halfway through the stage, at which point it starts to rain. You'd almost want to stop and watch if it wasn't for the fact that doing so would cost you that hard-fought 4th place
CMR2 is not an easy game. You need to be able to drive the car with real commitment if you want to succeed in Intermediate mode. And you need to drive flat out and be absolutely inch-perfect to stand a chance at beating the AI in Expert mode. If you're up for the challenge, that should keep you going for a while.
Loading | Challenge Mode | Japan SSS
CMR2 is not the perfect rally game, but then nothing else currently is either. But it is the most absorbing and thrilling rally game you'll currently find. CMR was my game of 1998. Rally Championship was my game of 1999. Does CMR2 make it as my game for 2000? Almost.
Comments and reviews
NightVision 2019-10-18 0 point
image mounted using WinCDEmu Drive E:/
wrong disc inserted Windows 7 32bits
mikk2006 2019-07-17 3 points
If i extract it with powerISO and open launcher it says no disc inserted.
mikk2006 2019-07-17 1 point
i cant open, it says windows cannot complete the extraction.
The destination file could not be created.
I have windows 8.1.
mkm 2019-06-22 0 point
just download WinCDemu and rename .bin into .iso and mount the iso file with winCDemu it will install the game properly and then use silent patch for modern computers @JOSHI4486
Subluka 2018-12-22 2 points
For those getting file corrupt or restricted. Rename the image file extension to iso. Sounds strange but this will now mount, at least I can confirm it will with WinCDemu.
Joshi 4486 2018-09-12 0 point
I installed the game it comes up with wrong disc inserted. What do i do?
Windows 10 is a peace of S#IT 2018-05-17 1 point
@JOHNVIAGRUH Don't bother. You'll have to install Windows 98 virtual machine.
JohnViagruh 2018-05-05 -5 points
How to install this on Windows 10?? There's an error message pop up.I use PowerISO btw.
This is a place for crazy people. I'm not crazy. 2018-05-04 -1 point
That's strange :) Try to download the game with another web browser or with Android/Apple smartphone. Use 7-zip to open and decompress the archive.
P in the C 2018-04-27 0 point
For some reason when I try to download the game it says that the ISO file is corrupt or that it's restricted.I didn't have this problem with the other 2 games(CMR 1 and 3)so if anyone can help me out that would be much appreciated.
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