Victory: Age of Racing - A Race Against Time
Written by Remko Molenaar (Proxzor) OnRPG Journalist
Racing games aren’t wildly popular among the many gamers on all platforms. Victory: Age of Racing takes a stab at capturing the small group that bleeds adrenaline and needs their racing fix from time to time. Fans of the Formule One series are especially likely to be pulled in. Me as an average viewer of the Formule One, and a big fan of cars, I can proudly say that I have almost played any racing game ever released, and I wasn't about to miss my chance to try Victory. And the fact that this game even has an intriguing backstory made it impossible to resist.
From the moment that you start up the game, you are immediately thrown into the immense story that I personally like a lot. The world has changed, the people agreed to make things more automated and thus there was no need for cars anymore. People simply let them drive by computer controlled cars, but in the shadows, the big fans of racing and the always fanatic drivers have been aching to get something going. You are one of them, and when illegal racing in the underworld is finally introduced again, you are ready to build up your first vehicle to participate in these races.
Unlike many other race games, Victory: Age of Racing goes more in-depth, and when you first start off you are given the job to build up your first racing car. With having only a rookie license available to you, you are given the model of a car that reminds me of the really early race cars of the Formule One. I cannot really remember the name of the type of car, and I feel ashamed as an average Formule One viewer, but let’s just call it the hotdog with wheels; anyone will know what I speak of with that. Unfortunately the choices are very limited when choosing the parts for your first riding hotdog. There is only a select few available unless you feel like spending real money on the premium parts. When you are done with the parts, you can also give your new ride some awesome decals and paint. Unfortunately the choices are yet again very limited and you are only given the choice between a select few. When I was done with the paint, it was time to head on out and give it a test ride. Now before you do that, I would advise you to head into the options menu since there are many options that you can turn on and off which are heavily dependent of your racing style. There is also a driver assistance option, but since I have faith in my own set driving skills, I turned them off without even thinking about the benefits.
Unfortunately, going for a test ride was harder than I expected. You see, there are actually three types of ways that you can join a race. The first one is the Matchmaking option, that tries to match you with people around your own level so you are given a fair battle. Unfortunately though, everytime I tried to play the game, I have almost seen no one online and it took me quite a while to get a game going. Another option is the Game Lobby, and so far I have only seen empty ones so I didn’t really get to try those at all. And the last one is the Events option, this one sounds like a lot of fun, but I haven’t seen anyone actually participating in those, even though they give special bonuses, and they actually let you compete with 99 other players which is a lot of fun for any competitive racer. Unfortunately, if you are alone in your session, you cannot give your car a spin on your own, there always has to be someone in your lobby to battle it up against and with the current population it makes it quite a hassle. Luckily there is also the single player option which lets you do hot lap challenges to beat the time of yourself and other players.
When I had finally managed to get myself into a game, I can’t say I really liked the graphics at all. When you start up the game, you are shown a fancy trailer that looks quite good, and when you feast your eyes on the menus for the first time, you simply expect the trailer level of graphics to be there, but instead they are quite simple and basic. The game itself is absolutely not bad looking at all, but the game is very plain, and there is just this empty atmosphere in the environment that doesn’t do it any favors. Toggling the numerous graphics options in the menu didn't seem to help in a noticeable way.
The gameplay on the other hand, really takes a while to master, and even then you will make a lot of mistakes on the different tracks that you encounter. Every corner can be taken different, either with more speed, or with the use of the hand brake. You'll constantly find yourself micromanaging every action to cut corners and save time. When I finally got the grips of the game, I tried to beat the world record on some of the tracks, and I must say that these were quite hard to get even close to. Doing your lap perfectly without going off the track is quite hard, but trying to go as fast as possible to beat one of the records seems nearly impossible to do, especially with only a rookie vehicle.
While it might look great on the outside, don't let your expectations get too high or you'll end up disappointed. My expectations might have been too high for a MMORacingGame, but I didn’t find the game interesting at all due to the plain and boring looking race tracks and graphics. And the amount of people playing the game isn’t helping and adding to the game either. If you are a big fan of racing games, and like a high learning curve towards getting around the track perfectly, then Victory Age of Racing is definitely a worthy game of your needs. Just don’t expect to be riding around a Valhalla of beautiful tracks.