Racing games are at an all time popular high in the gaming community, and many companies are now jumping on this hot genre with some impressive titles. Street Racing Syndicate, released by Namco, is a console racing title that features a storyline driven experience with plenty of cars and upgrades to take on the competition with. From Miami to Los Angeles, and hundreds of name-brand after-market products to upgrade with, this title immerses players in the realm of underground street racing.
The features of the game as highlighted by the press materials:
- Realistic Damage – Poor racing will damage vehicles, and cost money to repair.
Tune it up and turn it loose – Upgrade officially licensed cars with hundreds of actual aftermarket parts, stickers, paints and vinyls.
- Test and tweak customizations – Throw it on the Dyno and watch the engine scream real Peak Torque and Horsepower at you!
- Obey the rules or deal with the police – Watch your driving behavior…break the rules and you’ll have the police on your tail or points on your driving record.Combines open city and closed tracks – Take your tuned-up rides straight to the races or just cruise around the open city to see what you encounter.Underground and sanctioned races – Street and track. Day and night. Through LA, Philly and Miami landscapes.
- The SRS girls and other glory – Win money, cars and the affections of the import racing scene’s hottest models.
- Win pink slips online – When you’re done going head-to-head just for fun, put your ride on the line and try to win your rival’s car…or risk losing yours!
The graphics of SRS (Street Racing Syndicate) are fairly impressive, and the cars modeled in the game have gotten some good attention. I played through many different courses, many of which you race at night, and all offer up some unique identity to ensure there isn't much redundancy in the environment. The damage your car takes is pretty realistic as you bump into other cars or things in the way.
The sound of SRS is fairly standard and has all the things you'd expect in a racing game. The surround sound wasn't extremely impressive, but was adequate for the type of racing experience the game offers.
The game revolves around a storyline as well as online play. It's your standard get the car, win the race, improve the car game with the ability to buy new cars for new tracks. The online aspect brings a nice new dimension so that players can racing their friends or simply compete online.
The physics model of SRS is much more slanted towards and arcade experience rather than realistic driving conditions. The cars, when you try to crash them (or unintentionally) do not react realistically in any sense whatsoever. Turning is also a bit of an experience in high speeds, as the game plays very much arcade than simulation. If you don't like the realistic bumps and bruises than many other titles offer and are looking for a straight forward racing game to have some fun with (beginners this is you), then SRS is your title.
ONLINE / MULTIPLAYER
The game offers up many different types of racing modes so that gamers can really get a lot out of their gaming dollar. Since there is an online mode to compete in, many gamers will find that the bulk of the life of the game might be spent here. For me, the regular story mode was enough and offered up enough of a challenge to have me coming back for more.
The originality of the game doesn't strike me as being something unique in the genre. It's a new title offering up some of the latest cars and an impressive amount of after-market parts to upgrade your vehicle with, but there's nothing revolutionary about this title. Like I've said before, it's a nice, standard racing title that would be perfectly suited for beginning gamers.
Namco has a decent racing title in Street Racing Syndicate that offers beginning gamers and people new to the racing genre a nice alternative from the standard titles that have spawned uncountable sequels. SRS is a nice arcade-like racing game whose graphics and sound is adequate. The gameplay is not meant for people looking for a realistic racing simulator, but rather the newbie looking for something fun and simple to get rolling with.
Overall, Street Racing Syndicate is a decent title that offers up some good gameplay experience for the beginning gamer that is looking for a fun, arcade like racing game that has some of the features, like upgrading and online play, that the rest of the genre is offering.