As a racing simulator fan, I've been looking forward to playing System3's SuperCar Challenge for a long time. Racing sims seem to be running dry lately, with the only decent one on PS3 being Gran Turismo 5: Prologue, which was released well over a year ago. Now, however, we have a new kid on the block—SuperCar Challenge, the sequel to Ferrari Challenge, is here to satisfy the appetite of even the most hard core simulation fan.
SuperCar Challenge is unique in that it is a racing simulator released exclusively for the PlayStation 3, which means that most people will compare it against Gran Turismo 5. However, SuperCar Challenge is a great game in its own right, and does not draw many comparisons with what Gran Turismo offers.
First of all, if you are a Gran Turismo or an arcade racing fan, don't expect to love this game immediately. There is a fairly steep learning curve, and the simulation aspects of SuperCar Challenge are superior to Gran Turismo. Each supercar feels different as you race it, and every mistake will cost you precious seconds on your laptime. Braking too early or late will have consequences, as will not sticking to the racing line. Realistic weather effects also influence the race, increasing braking distances and making mistakes a lot more likely. This is also the case with the AI racers who will be more prone to errors if the weather is bad, which at least evens the playing field. The AI is also set to "rubber band," so if you're far behind the field the AI will slow down allowing you to catch up, and vice-versa if you're out front. Luckily, if you don't want this safety net you can always switch it off in the options menu.
Thankfully, for less experienced players there is an assisted racing mode, which displays the racing line on the track and automatically applies the brakes for you. This means that you can begin the game easily without getting too frustrated and hopefully switch back to the true sim experience later. There is also an arcade mode, which boasts even more forgiving controls with more powerful braking and better acceleration. If you still need more help, there's a tutorial mode with voiceovers from former Top Gear, and current Fifth Gear host, Tiff Needell.