Strap yourself in, pile on the revs and watch for the flag. You're one of motorsport's elite, facing 28 gruelling stages in the world's toughest test on wheels - the Network Q RAC Rally!
Rally Championship is THE definitive motorsport simulation of the decade! It's all there, from frighteningly realistic handling of six high-performance cars to superbly textured 3D panoramic views of nearly 300 miles of roads and tracks.
Driving in rain, snow and fog through both day and night, you must cope with different vehicle behaviour on a variety of surfaces. Shove off the seconds with power slides on the bends and you're top of the high score table. Make a minute error of judgement and you're on the roof with a damaged vehicle to repair!
You select your car from an impressive line-up complete with sound effects recorded from the actual vehicles and hundreds of different options ensure that you need never drive the same race twice! Three different views give you two interior and a 'chase' perspective and there are many sound and music options. You can customise your vehicle, set the weather and road conditions and oversee the car's service and repair.
It's not surprising that Rally Championship is the only product of its kind to be officially endorsed by the RAC Motorsport Division. The only way you'll beat it is yo jump in a car and do the real thing!
~from the back of the box
Network Q RAC Rally Championship is the first sequel in Europress' long-running series of rally games (Lombard RAC Rally is often considered the first, but has a different development and publishing team behind it). Now developed by Magnetic Fields, the folks behind the Lotus Esprit series, Rally Championship now uses a fully 3D engine. It still looks good too in blocky retro kind of way. A feat considering it was released in 1996.
The base game has a number of stages, all available from the off, and offers some decent variety in weather and lighting. RAC Rally takes place entirely in the UK so the variety of locales isn't the best, but each track is well designed and plays well too (though I do recommend changing the default control options).
If there's one thing that really impresses me, it's the AI of your computer-controlled competitors. They don't appear to follow a set path, swerving and weaving around the tracks as if there's a mind behind them. You may even witness an unfortunate crash in the distance that's lead to an entertaining pile-up of cars - you may be one of them too unless you have the skill and reflexes to scoot on by.
The next year, an addon called X-Miles hit store shelves. It increases the number of tracks by 10 and these are far more extreme and imaginative than those that take place in the British countryside. There are now desert tracks, wild planes and a long and winding tunnel to add to the variety. They're every bit as fun as the original 28 and worth the hassle to get running on DOSBox (for some reason, it breaks all digital sound options except for Gravis Ultrasound).
I had faint praise for the original Network Q RAC Rally, with its 2D scaling sprites feeling archaic and not in a good way. Rally Championship is a vast improvement and was probably one of the best PC racing games of its day.
To download the game, follow the link below. This custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses the DOSBox Daum build of DOSBox 0.74 to bring the game to modern systems. Manual included. Tested on Windows 10.
File Size: 242 Mb. Install Size: 332 Mb. Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ
Network Q RAC Rally Championship is © Europress Software
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me