Ever read the back of a game box and think “holy hell! This game sounds epic?” When I was handed Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends for review, I did exactly that. It was a title that, for me, held a lot of promise. I love Ferraris, LOVE them. I got the opportunity to review a game that was 100 percent Ferrari, how cool! Sadly, while the back of the box raised my hopes, gameplay reality smacked them right back down.
As is the case with most PS3 games, Ferrari Racing Legends packs a mandatory install. Grab a snack, play another game console, shave your dog, do ANYTHING because this install is slooooooow. It chugged away for a good ten minutes by my estimation. Maybe my console hated me that night, who knows, but it took a long time. For that long of a wait, you’d think it was for the better, but sadly no.
This review will be very, very brief. The game was infuriating to the point that I simply couldn’t tolerate to play it. Let me explain. Much like other racing titles, this one has a career mode, but here you are simply racing through a series of challenges to unlock the large library of Ferraris.
You are a nobody, literally. The game does not care about who you are. Nor does it usually care which car you drive, as the challenges are mostly designed around a specific car and track. The very first challenge is an overtaking challenge where you need to pass the required number of cars before three laps are complete. Problem is, they put you on a track with tight turns, a slow accelerating Testarrosa Ferrari and imposingly STRICT rules.
Wander off the track for more than a few milliseconds and you are done. This is particularly a problem because the cars drive like someone has smeared butter on the wheels. The game, up to the point I played, is like this. You are given the poorest choice of cars to achieve some nearly impossible feats. I hate games that are hard just for the sake of being so. You don’t get to pick and fail, you are simply set up to fail unless you make that magical lap and succeed. Yes, it can be done, but be prepared for many restarts; and they aren’t rapid restarts. You have to go through the menu screens again before each race.
Graphically the game disappoints the most. It is a hot mess of poor aliasing, badly modelled cars, and completely static landscapes that host the tracks. A friend who was watching the game being played remarked that it looked similar to the last Gran Turismo to hit the PS2, and I would agree. This game is just not up to what you would consider this-gen standard. Look at Forza, Gran Turismo 5, Dirt, etc… all of these games are gorgeous. Not this one. It is passable, but really it could have been leagues better with just a little effort.
The rest of the game, presentation and physics-wise just feels hacked together. Your menu for selecting cars is a large display of thumbnails that show a larger image of the car when you select them, then you must confirm the selection. It reeks of 1990’s video game menus. Physics on the cars is pretty much the same, regardless of which you drive. Each will be wildly uncontrollable at times with a floating center of gravity that seems to adjust which makes cornering harder. One moment the car feels tail heavy and you get used to it. Then it feels like the nose is planted to the ground. I can’t make excuses for it, it simply isn’t good.
Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends is a huge let down considering it’s a title that bears the legendary Ferrari name yet driving the cars is so poorly executed. In the end, this is at best a bargain bin title. One easily looked over for better, more realistic racing titles.