Review

Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends

Stick to the Showroom
by Matthew Kato on Jul 03, 2012 at 04:52 AM
Publisher: Atari
Developer: Slightly Mad Studios
Release:
Rating: Everyone
Reviewed on: Xbox 360
Also on: PlayStation 3

Atari finds itself in a hard position with this specialized edition of Test Drive. Does it try to appease fans of Ferrari who want their favorite Italian racing brand highlighted in every way possible, or does it concentrate on making a solid racing game that has the Ferrari license applied to it? Ideally these aims are not mutually exclusive, but this Ferrari Racing Legends cannot reconcile the two.

Racing fans will find fault with Ferrari Racing Legends' handling, despite the fact that Need for Speed: Shift series developer Slightly Mad Studios is behind the wheel. Although the various Ferraris feel different and I like that the car handling takes into account how much gas you have in the tank (the varying weight can be important), the driving lacks finesse. The non-adjustable steering controls lead to too much oversteer, making it hard to make small steering adjustments without the backend getting loose. This could be related to the fact that cars feel like they turn on a swivel.

You don't have to be a Ferrari fan to be disappointed by the license's presence in the game. It's not that the developer treats it unfairly, it's just boring. I admire the attempt to encompass all of Ferrari's history in challenges and races, but the reuse of tracks wears out its welcome. The game provides a loose story framework (including a great Magnum P.I. reference), but it's not engaging enough to overcome the overall staleness. Similarly, the online portion is pretty straightforward, and you'll want to stay away from contact with your opponents as the contact physics can spin you out really easy.

The combination of a solid racing framework with the Ferrari license could have worked out, but this is a zero-sum game that appeases nobody. Ferrari Racing Legends does not exhibit the best of what the sports car brand nor the developer have to offer.

6.5
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Game Informer's Review System
Concept Race your way through Ferrari history in a series of challenges that somehow make the famed car maker seem less than sexy
Graphics The car models look nice, but there's nothing outstanding nor detrimental occurring in this department
Sound The game relies on an understated orchestral score and the occasional crew voiceover
Playability The steering lacks finesse, and the consequences of contact are severe to the point of being unbelievable
Entertainment This game will satisfy neither Ferrari fans nor racing fans, unfortunately
Replay Moderate