Go back to TOCA Race Driver 2

Written by: Rik

Date posted: April 6, 2012

The brains trust in charge of your career.

In assessing what was wrong with the previous game’s story, Codemasters seem to have come to the conclusion that the only problem was aligning your fate with that of a rather disagreeable main character. So, Ryan McKane is no more, and your part is now rather more Gordon Freeman, in that you stand there, mute, while other people talk to each other and at you without ever expecting a response.

Otherwise, the broad approach is the same. You’re a rookie driver at the start of his career, thrust into a world of driving, engines and intrigue. You’ll come across women (woo!), rivals (gasp!) and, er, that’s about it. Guidance mainly comes from an overweight Scottish bloke, whom we assume to be the crew chief, and a smartly dressed female management type. Completing the main cast is a documentary maker, who is supposedly following your fortunes throughout the season.

Essentially these three act as your surrogate family, bickering throughout most cut-scenes about the best way forward for your career while you are neither asked for, or able to give, any opinions of your own. You can probably guess what each has to say: he thinks you need to focus on your racing, the other two want you to think more about commercial activities and so on.

It’s terrible, of course. The script and acting are amateurish and are hardly helped on the visual side by some truly awful attempts to replicate the look and movement of a real human being. In particular, the girl capturing the behind-the-scenes action on a video camera appears to be roughly 14 years old, severely emaciated, and possibly addicted to heroin.

Anyway, it can all be skipped, although Scottish bloke does keep cropping up during races to offer advice, most of it useless and ill-timed, a favourite trick of his being to congratulate you on a “great manoeuvre” just as you slide off the track into a wall. He also appears ignorant of the current objective in each race, urging you to “go for the win” regardless of how close you are to meeting the requirements of the specific scenario at hand.