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PS2 Reviews: V8 Supercars Australia Race Driver


V8 Supercars Australia Race Driver Screenshots


The Final Say!

V8 Supercars Australia Race Driver - reviewed by Andrew B
Review Date: 11th September 2002
Review Score 8.5/10
Distributed By: GameNation

"One of the most eagerly anticipated car games of the year has finally hit the PS2... V8 Supercars Australia Race Driver!"

V8 Supercars Australia Race Driver is not  just you average racing game and from the moment you place the disc into your PlayStation 2, you are instantly treated with something very different. The game starts with an impressive cinematic race in Motorcity USA when all of a sudden the race goes horribly wrong for ace driver James McKane. His young children Donnie and Ryan McKane watch helplessly as their father loses his life in an octane fuelled blaze. There lives are forever changed...

...you play the role of Ryan McKane, son of world famous racing car drive James McKane and brother to the equally famous Donnie McKane who is making headlines in the racing world. After starting your career as an open-wheel driver, you are eventually chosen to race in the Touring Car Champions that will also lead you to the World Champion. The more successful you are in the races, the more tracks and cars are unlocked that will lead to some fast-paced racing and competition. This will also lead to your rising popularity that will offer you new teams and cars.

Many V8 super car fans might be screaming in outrage now because the main game is primarily based in the United States. Fortunately for Australians, the game contains all the Australian V8 racing circuits such as Bathurst, Adelaide and Sandown, even the authentic Holden and Ford V8 super cars are there.

The gameplay of V8 Supercars involves a variety of different modes such as Career mode, Multiplayer and Free Time. In Career mode, you play Ryan McKane and you must work yourself into the high paced world of racing. By excelling in your field, you will win more money for your sponsors and this will open up a variety of different bonuses. Career mode also lets you tweak your, recommended for experts only though!

The Free Time  mode lets you race on a variety of different tracks world wide. From the United States, Europe and Australia. There are basically dozens of different cars and tracks that you can select, ensuring long hours of gameplay. There is also a multiplayer mode that actually lets you use a multitap, so you can play four players at once to give you some true arcade action.

The best feature of the game is the extremely nice handling of the cars and they sit very nicely on all tracks. The controls are also very easy to pick up and you will be racing in no time.


  • The Only OFFICIAL V8 Racing game for Australia and New Zealand Customisable car set-ups
  • Real cars and circuits from around the world and imagery
  • Realistic car mechanics with accurate handling and collisions
  • Authentic sound recording used for all the cars
  • Pit Crew Advice
  • Motion capture will be utilised for the story elements within the game
  • Visible damage to the cars utilising the FEM system as used by the crash test industry
  • Professional script writers, composers and directors have been used throughout.


  • Mt Panorama, Bathurst
  • Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit
  • Oran Park Raceway
  • Adelaide Street Circuit
  • Eastern Creek Raceway
  • Canberra Street Circuit
  • Sandown International Motor Raceway


  • Paul Radisich (18) Shell Helix Racing (Falcon AU)
  • Marcos Ambrose (4) Pirtek Racing (Falcon AU)
  • Steven Richards (6) Ford Tickford Racing (Falcon AU)
  • Craig Lowndes (00) Gibson Motorsport (Falcon AU)
  • Russell Ingall (8) Castrol Perkins Racing (Commodore VX)
  • Garth Tander (34) Valvoline Cummins Repco Race Team (Commodore VX)
  • Glenn Seton (5) Ford Tickford Racing (Falcon AU)
  • Larry Perkins (11) Castrol Perkins Racing (Commodore VX)
  • Steven Johnson (17) Shell Helix Racing (Falcon AU)
  • Greg Murphy (51) K-Mart Racing (Commodore VX)
  • Mark Larkham (10) ICS Ford Team Smartcar (Falcon AU)
  • Jason Bargwanna (35) Valvoline Cummins Repco Race Team (Commodore VX)
  • David Besnard (9) Caltex Havoline Race Team (Falcon AU)
  • John Bowe (600) CAT Racing (Falcon AU)
  • Todd Kelly (15) K-Mart Racing (Commodore VX)
  • Steve Ellery (31) Super Cheap Auto Racing (Falcon AU)
  • John Faulkner (46) John Faulkner Racing (Commodore VX
  • Cameron McConville (3) Lansvale Smash Repairs (Commodore VX)
  • Brad Jones (21) Ozemail Internet Racing (Falcon AU)
  • Paul Morris (29) Big Kev Racer (Commodore VX)

PlayStation 2 Features

  • 1 or 2 players
  • Multitap (for PS2) adaptable: 1-4 players
  • Memory card (8MB for PS2): 146Kb minimum
  • Analog Control Compatible: all buttons
  • Vibration Function Compatible

Apart from the various acceleration, hand brake and brake buttons on the gamepad, the game also offers a variety of different car views and you can even look to the sides and behind of your car. 

The graphics of V8 Supercars contains some ups and downs. On a positive note, the graphics look sharp and crisp which ensures that the frame rate never drops below 60 frames per second. The downside of the graphics is that the backgrounds look a little bland as all the tree and crowd effects look very two dimensional. Unfortunately every now and then, there is some annoying popup in the game. Fortunately, the cars are modelled extremely well and the programmers have even developed a fascinating car damage engine. The ingame damage of all cars is quite remarkable and just about everything on the car is breakable, whether its glass, bumper bars and the like. The beauty of the 3D engine is that all the broken pieces will remain on the track and considering that there are up to 20 cars racing at once, the engine is quite powerful and there is never any slow down, which is vital in today's gaming. Apart from the decent ingame engine, there are plenty of cinematics to keep the storyline moving. If you crash into the wrong person, they will have "words" with you after the race and you have just created yourself an enemy.

The soundtrack of V8 Supercars has an awesome soundtrack that is used in both menus and ingame. The sound effects feature all the sounds and grunts of real world racing and is angelic music for the ears. All the character voices have been professionally done, even though it's a combination of American and English accents but they do suit the characters very well.

V8 Supercars Australia Race Driver is a game worth checking out, especially if you are a hardcore V8 racing fan. I was hoping the game would feature more Australian content but it features all the Australian tracks and Holden & Ford cars, what more do you want? I commend Codemasters for putting a story behind this racing title as many games have no real rewards. Check it out!

- Andrew B 

Copyright 2002 www.impulsegamer.com