Richard Burns Rally - On this day

Richard Burns Rally - On this day

In all the time in front of the computer, only three things kept me glued to the chair: Richard Burns Rally, the trailer for Assassin' Creed 3, and the news behind the sudden release of Dirt Rally. Due to the lack of experience in terms of the number of titles played, it has remained that way until today.

Someone would say that it is about too high expectations - someone that I don't know what I am talking about/missing - but this paragraph referred exclusively to my own experience that was left behind.

While I somehow did my part on the second and third, even after 18 years since the discovery of RBR, my interest has not waned. I still consider it the best rally simulation that only Dirt Rally managed to come close to. It's still the one to install when everything else gets boring, even though the same question/problem has arisen over the years: the amount of content.

What is the Richard Burns Rally? It is the title of the former studio Warthog, which was released by SCI Games in 2004. The game was created in collaboration with the world rally champion from 2001, Richard Burns, who became behind the wheel of the legendary Subaru Impreza. Although Richard sadly passed away from cancer in 2005, what he left behind in terms of the game, cars, and legacy has grown into legend.

In the original game, there were eight different cars and 36-speed tests spread over four continents and three surfaces. When developing the game, emphasis was placed on the physics of the car, the behavior of the vehicle depending on weather conditions and the surface, and damage to the car itself.

There is no need to waste too many words on vehicle settings. While some other games offered players a few basic tweaks, Richard Burns Rally allowed the player to adjust virtually every suspension and powertrain component on the vehicle, replicating what was done in the garages at real competitions.

The start of the game was marked by a well-executed rally school led by Richard's co-driver Robert Reid, which was just one of the challenges during the game. The career is what makes the game especially memorable for me.

Completing one of the speed tests was quite a challenge during free play (especially in the absence of a steering wheel), regardless of the possibility of a replay option while in the career the emphasis was on survival.

The driver was required to balance the speed and control of the car, and mistakes were not forgiven but brutally punished. As the career progressed to increasingly difficult settings, the challenge became greater and greater. And that's where the enthusiasm kind of stopped.

Speed tests became more repetitive and relatively easy to learn by heart, and the lack of a larger number of vehicles only contributed to the decline in interest in the game. Considering that the company was shut down in 2006 and that this was a different time when DLCs and the like were not in fashion, help had to come from elsewhere.

The potential of the game was mostly seen by those for whom the game was intended - the players. Already in 2005, RSRBR, an add-on/mod developed by the Rallyesim group, was released. This addition allowed further development of mods and offered improvements in terms of textures, surfaces, packages with new speed tests/tracks, and a larger number of cars.

The tracks are mainly divided by the countries where they are located, it is also possible to change the surface (asphalt to the macadam, snow to asphalt, etc.) and the cars are divided by the actual classes from the competition.

To this day, this addition to the game receives certain improvements every year, new cars, tracks, and since a few years ago, completely new car physics, popularly called NGP (next-generation physics), with which the possibility of simulating the rear-drive of cars that in was not available to the original game.

The game now includes speedsters from the world, European and national championships from all over the world, modern car classes like R2, R5, RGT, WRC, cars from the glorious era of groups B and A, the 60s, 70s, and so on.

The number of cars has exceeded 180, while the number of tracks follows it at a rate. Also, part of the rapids is impressive in its length, so the legendary Finnish Ouninpohja brings players over 33 km of pure fun and excitement. It is worth mentioning that the track records are still longer than 15 minutes.

Outside of the plugin, individual designers create their mods that are often satisfyingly detailed and even more so. He is especially pleased that the community around RSRBR has organized numerous championships at the national and international levels, which are often a replica of real WRC races.

The organizers of the competition also create video summaries of the competition, and in championships like the Czech one, they bring symbolic cash prizes to the winners. That this community is known in some wider contexts is also proven by the fact that one of the active players was Robert Kubica, the famous F1 driver and rally enthusiast.

This plugin is possible to get at where the installation is explained in detail, and the group is always open for all questions.

To this day, Richard Burns Rally remains the rally simulation against which all newcomer titles have to be measured for the majority of the population. In a world where it's often thought that only something new is good enough, it's nice to see how a 16-year-old game successfully defies the test of time, just thanks to the people the game was intended for from day one. Sometimes it is precisely these communities of enthusiasts that are the best support and guarantee that the legacy of a video game will live on.

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