Project Gotham Racing 4
|Project Gotham Racing 4|
|Publisher(s)||Microsoft Game Studios|
|Series||Project Gotham Racing|
Project Gotham Racing 4 was accidentally leaked by a Peugeot press release for a competition for a car designed by a contestant to be featured in the game before the official Bizarre announcement. The competition was won by Mr. Mihai Panaitescu with the Peugeot Flux.
Shortly after, the game was then officially confirmed at X06, with a trailer titled Eclipse shown. The trailer was also made available to download on the Xbox Live Marketplace. The car featured in the trailer is a Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano. The song in the trailer is "Shadow" by The Prodigy remixed by Chris Chudley from Audioantics.
Microsoft announced at the 2007 E3 that PGR4 would be released in September 2007. However, Bizarre subsequently said that game wouldn't be released "until it's done" citing reasons that they had spent a substantial amount of money and time on the game. "We feel like we've got more time [on PGR4]. Last time round, we feel like we got the game ripped away from us" said Brian Woodhouse of Bizarre Creations.
The most prominent addition to PGR4 is advanced weather effects that affect the look of the game and the physics of the cars on the track. The weather can change from sun to rain to snow to hail within a single race. A system logged on to Xbox Live will download weather data from The Weather Channel, allowing users to set in-game conditions to mirror current weather in their respective cities.
The game simulates ten types of weather, including clear days, clouds, light to stormy rain, fog, snow and even ice. In user-created races, weather is fully customisable along with all the other race variations. In the game's expanded and improved career mode, weather is predetermined, which adds an extra obstacle for players to overcome.
PGR4 includes many of the tracks of the series' previous installment, including Tokyo, New York, the Nürburgring, London and Las Vegas; plus five more cities and tracks: Shanghai, St. Petersburg, Quebec City, Macau and the Michelin Test Track.
New online components
PGR4 introduced a new online game mode, called "Bulldog". One player starts out as the Bulldog, whose job is to tag every other opponent in the game, thus creating new bulldogs as he goes. This mode is played in an open section of a city, allowing the players to turn on to any street they want. Both cars and bikes are allowed to play in this mode simultaneously.
PGR Nations was also launched with the release of the game. Players connected to Xbox Live would race on behalf of a certain country, their average stats would be added to the total of their country's through a leaderboard giving the game a certain "Olympic" feel.
PGR4 features more than 130 vehicles, including the newly introduced motorcycles.
The game marks a return to the car balance of PGR2, with cars ranging from low-performance hatchbacks to high-performance supercars. PGR3 emphasized supercars and special models, but did have a few high-performance production cars.
Geometry Wars: Waves
The game debuted with a bonus mini-game Geometry Wars: Waves, which would later be included in Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2.
Along with an ad campaign Microsoft also released various promotional items, the biggest being PGR: Mobile which contained a code that unlocked a sneak peek trailer via the official PGR 3 site. A desktop calendar was also released via the official Xbox page.
PGR4 is also included as part of the Xbox 360 Live 12 Month Messenger Gold Pack, which includes the game, a 12-month Xbox Live Gold subscription card, a wired headset, and a chat pad controller attachment.
The soundtrack features 57 songs from a number of different genres. In-game options allows players to switch off particular genres or songs to create a custom playlist of the available songs. A song, called "The Shadow", was exclusively written and performed by The Prodigy and was remixed by Chris Chudley from Audioantics. It plays on the game menus and credits. It dynamically changes when the player moves along different menus in-game.
Free Challenge Pack
The Free Challenge Pack introduces the hydrogen-powered 2007 Peugeot Flux, winner of the 2007 Peugeot International Design Competition and two new game modes – Tourist Mode, which allows the player to roam around any city in the game, and Free Roam Cat and Mouse where a slow mouse vehicle must avoid enemy cats. Tourist mode is only available in 'Multiplayer' and online with at least one other 'friend'.
Premium Challenge Pack
The Premium PGR 4 Challenge Pack adds seven new cars and three new bikes. It also adds the World Challenge Arcade Mode which is 20 new arcade events. From March 9–16, 2009, the pack was included as part of Xbox LIVE's Deal of the Week promotion where the pack was temporarily available to Gold members at a discounted price. In late 2012, Microsoft removed all PGR4 downloadable content from the Xbox Live Marketplace, and there are no plans to reinstate it.
Project Gotham Racing 4 was met with generally favorable reviews; most criticism emphasized on its lack of departure from Project Gotham Racing 3's formula. Official Xbox Magazine UK gave the game a perfect ten, 1UP.com gave it an A-, and Edge and VideoGamer.com both gave it 9 out of 10. TeamXbox gave the game an 8.4, citing that it was more of "the same" and that Bizarre should move on to bigger and better things. Game Informer gave it an 8.75, stating that the game "has blown its own doors off and finally grown from being a bite-sized, almost niche racer into a full-fledged experience that all racing fanatics should enjoy."
- Pencils ready? Peugeot announces 2007 Design Contest
- Bienvenue sur le site du Concours de Design Peugeot (in French)
- X06: Press conference liveblogging (update 28)
- Project Gotham 4 won't be released "until it's done" // GamesIndustry.biz
- http://www.bizarrecreations.com/about/ In September 2007 we joined the ranks of Activision as one of their dedicated teams.
- Activision buys Bizarre - News - www.developmag.com
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