Genre Sport -> Racing
Today's Rank 6572
Date N/A
Publisher Atari
Date N/A
Publisher N/A
North America Retail Box ArtRacing games are typically sorted into one of two categories: simulation racers (such as Gran Turismo) or arcade racers (such as Ridge Racer). Apex could easily fit into both categories. It breaks so many traditional driving game rules that it almost qualifies as its own genre. Unlike most racing games Apex has elements of role playing game progression: your in-game persona improves as you achieve success on the track. At the start of the game players will find themselves in charge of a dinky garage manned by a generic stubbly-faced mechanic. Successful performance in a race will drive "sales" of whatever type of car you're racing; this has two big effects. First, you'll notice your garage gradually transform from a two-man shack to a large assembly facility staffed by a variety of new personalities. Second, sales points can be saved and spent on research and development of new, high-performance cars. The races themselves progress in a fairly standard manner, with a series of cups and circuits that unlock new cups and circuits as you complete them. Completion of races in the single player "Dream Mode" will unlock cars and tracks for use in the multi player "Arcade Mode." Graphically Apex is everything you'd expect out of a modern Xbox game, with pixel shading and reflective surfaces to spare. One of the highlights of the game is the incredibly well done race environments. They're consistently life-like and just plain fun to drive. If the game suffers in any one area it's the controls, which manage to be neither as realistic as a racing sim nor as simple as an arcade racer. It's a strange mix between the two genres and takes some getting used to, and there are a few aspects of the physics of racing (like taking hairpin corners or making contact with other cars) that just feels wrong. While Apex has definitely earned descriptions like "great", "fun", and "unique", a few minor flaws keep it from words like "amazing" and "must have."--Jon "Safety Monkey" Grover Pros: Excellent Graphics Racing environments are simply a lot of fun to drive through Interesting new RPG elements like sales and development Cons: Controls feel a little awkward Very few cars and tracks initially available in multiplayer
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