NOTE, See below for Patch and Post Patch Reviews,

I just got Cart Precison racing by Microsoft today and I was impressed in the feel of the handling of the Indycar doing test laps on the various tracks. I think it is on the quality of GP2 in handling in the turns. The cars drive like a dream with my TSW wheel controller. I love the handling of the Milwaukee track.

Now for the somewhat bad stuff:
(Remember I am looking at this game on a 90" screen ):

I am not impressed with their graphics so far. Some tracks are too dark and the pavements look kinda fake. The only decent view of all the car views they give us, is the cockpit view. The other views are outstanding, but the background doesn't blend in right.

Also distance views are bad, in that I was unable to see the corners until I was right on top of them (because of the way they draw the track on the fly). This may be processor related. I dont have a Pentium MMX system, but instead a 200Mhz system.

Also, I couldn't see the AI cars if they spun out until I was right on top of them doing 200 mph and into them. They do have a map showing where cars are at all times, so maybe I'll try using that as an aid. I have not done enough racing with the AI other than the Rookie level (is too easy) and the intermediate/professial levels (my car was not set up to keep up with them).

Many many outstanding features comes with the game. Pitting is autopilot, no manual pitting. The rearview mirrors on the cockpit view are out to the edges of my 640-480 viewing area, and are hard to even use/see what's behind me with them. I think we are stuck with using drivers names they give us in the game. There might be a patch to fix some of these problems in future. Cheers, Dave Thayer




I got the new beta patch for testing the CPR racing game to see what improvements were done to the game and this is what I found out from a couple of days testing. They allowed 500 people to grab the beta patch for testing. The patches seemed to add at this time things for Milwaukee and Cleveland. It added brightness controls and a deadband control for Wheel or Joystick controllers. Fixed some bugs that were in program.

My overall impressions are the game is graphically better and and the drivability of wheel controllers have improved with the deadband feature.

The AI has a long way to go to be competitive with human racers and to make a decent offline racing venue. Some on the News group are saying the AI are too slow or the human car is too fast for the AI to keep and not turning realistic times. I have found this also true in my testing. So somewhere Microsoft will have to do some adjustments to make both the human racer and the AI compatible. Also the AI is too predictable as you will read in the rest of the review below. Pitting and pace laps need some changes also which are explained further in the review.

System performing test of patch:

The system I am using for testing the patch is a 233MHz Pentium MMX processor with 32 Meg of memory, SB16 sound card, and the Monster 3D 3DFX graphics card. You definitely need a lot of horsepower with this game. With my setup up above, there are some momentary jerks, but not too often, while racing. Most of the time it is very smooth with all details on and everything to the max.

Graphics: testing Milwaukee and Cleveland tracks. This is what I found while racing the two tracks.

While Racing: Looking at the graphics at Milwaukee, Cleveland, and the rest of the tracks seem to be better now with the Gamma brightness adjustment to bring out the dark tracks. The graphics look a little crisper. The longer straight-aways still have the background blend in with the track until you approach the corners. I would rather see the corner in the distant than the city or whatever countryside scenery as I am going down the straights on the ovals.

While in Replay: Graphics in the replay window when first brought up and not zoomed is still the original graphics and don't know if that is going to improved. When I zoom the replay, the graphics look great, and the same as when I was racing.

Wheel controller changes:

This has greatly improved. After fine tuning the nonlinear, sensitivity, and leaving the deadband at 30%, My TSW wheel controller is just as good or better now as racing in INDYCAR2 by Sierra. I have no problem keeping car going where I want to now and is not as touchy going down long straights. The handling of my car around the tracks are much improved and reaction times in turns are very quick now.

AI car improvements:

The AI car improvements are better, but now they are too forgiving. I raced several races at Milwaukee and Cleveland, and the AI cars give up too quick when you catch up to them(both intermediate and pro). I can touch wheels with them going through the corners and we don't have anything happen. When we are all on the same lap, the passing flag should not come to indicate that I am faster than the car in front of me. The AI car slows down, and is easy to pass. Going into turn 3 at Milwaukee the AI cars slow down which makes it easy to pass them.

The AI are too predictable and they don't race each other. They follow the same line around the tracks and are all in single file. No racing going on with the AI. GP2 is a little that way also. If I get behind a AI car, it should prevent me from passing until I beat it to the corner. This is not happening.

The sensitivity is fine for the grass and sand, but the walls are a bit too sensitive I think. If I just barely touch the wall going down the straight-aways, my car then viers all away across the track to the infield and spins out(too drastic I feel). All other racing games I've played, the car just bounces off slows down and keeps on going.

Pit Lane driving:

They provide us now with the capability to drive out of the pits but not into them. There is no spot flagged out where the car is to park because pitting is still automatic going in. This is what I told them in the survey.

That's nice that we can drive out of the pits, but why not into them also. At least on the professional level. Also make it so the driver can manually turn on or off the rev limiter by a hot key on keyboard. INDYCAR2 there is an ALT-B key sequence that provides a limiter function while we go into the pits. Provide a flag in the pits to pull up to if pits can be driven into.

Pace lap driving:

Pace lapping is still the same. If pace lap is turned on, the car drives itself until the green flag is dropped. There is no manual pace laps in any of the driving modes so this is what I told them.

Make this an option to manually drive or automatic. In the professional division everything should be driveable. Maybe slow down the pace laps a little when manually driving on pace laps.

Sound problems:

Sounds seemed to be about the same from original game. The only thing I noticed was the following below.

The only thing drastic that I noticed while testing is in the replay mode, if the car goes into the pit under replay, the sound changes and you don't hear the car sound anymore after leaving the pits.

Other things I'd like to see:

The graphics are fine but would still like to see a dedicated 3DFX or Rendition driver for this game. It would really smooth out the ragged edges on the tracks and scenery. Since racing on 3DFX and rendition games, its hard to go back to direct-x graphics games.

In professional mode there are no driver options to be selected, they are all grayed out and cant be turned on so this is what I said:

I would like to see some driver options in the professional mode enabled be able to turn them on/off if wanted, such as auto-shifting in case we don't want to shift all the time in long races. Maybe some of the other options enabled also, but not all. Even GP2 and INDYCAR2 gives some options in PRO driving.

Some the tracks have some quirks in them and I said the following:

Tracks need to be checked for drivability. Example, Milwaukee, I cannot take the low line through turns one and two without the car jerking or braking momentarily. I don't know if it is because of the pit lane rev limiter catching the car or not. I have to stay in the middle of the track in turns 1 and two to prevent this from happening. I don't know if other tracks do this or not. I know Saint Louis didn't do it. Another thing I saw was driving Michigan I spun out near the pit lane entrance, and the game thought I was going into the pits, so it kicked on the rev limiter and would not turn it off even when back out on the track.


The game is better, but it has a ways to go before it becomes a competitive off-line league racing game like a Indycar2 or Nascar2. Maybe Multiplayer is better. I have not done that venue on this game. I do race Nascar2 on Ten. So that's about all I can think of in the little time to test the patch.

Dave Thayer



I have installed the First Patch for CPR and spent several hours racing on the different tracks to see how the new patch effected the game. The following sections will explain what I found so far.

Computer and System that CPR is being tested on

The computer that I am running CPR on is a Intel 233MHz MMX processor with a Diamond Stealth 64 and Monster 3D video card combo. The sound card is the SB16. I have 32 Meg of memory in my system and I am viewing this game on a 90" by 90" projection screen. Any little discrepancies I can pick up quite well with this size screen.

I feel you do need a lot of processor speed to run this game. Even with my speed up above, there are small hesitations on the tracks off and on, but it doesn't seem to affect my driving skills racing on the tracks.

Installation of the released patch

The installation of the released patch went very well on my system. It seems to put a few updated ".pod" files in the main directory rather than working off the CD. Two of the tracks (Cleveland and Milwaukee) must of had bugs in them cause they have new ".pod" files on them.

I did have problems with installing a beta version when I was testing, so I redid a clean install of the game and had no problems with patches after that.

Changes I like that improved the game.

There are a couple of changes they made to the game which really improved the driving and the viewing of the game.

The first thing is adding the "NULL setting" for the wheel controllers and Joysticks. Before they added this feature the game was too sensitive for my TSW wheel controller. I couldn't keep the car straight on line going down the long straight-aways. Now with the additional NULL setting I can drive as good or better than in INDY2 or GP2. The new setting allows a little play in the center position of the Wheel controller so if you move the wheel left or right gradually, it is not as drastic or quick of moves with the car and makes it much more realistic driving experience.

The next thing that improved the overall game is the additional brightness or gamma adjustment. The tracks with the original game were too dark to see the cars or the corners coming up sometimes. With the new brightness adjustment it allows the game to bring out graphics better and I can now see the cars better with the brightness setting up to about 70-80%. Some people say on the news group that if the brightness is turned up too high the cars get washed out. I have not tried that, but around my percentages above the tracks and cars look very good.

The other improvement is the feel of the car on the tracks is better and also when you get off of the track it is much slicker than before. With the stock settings and just a few gear adjustments, I am turning 3-5 seconds faster with this game than on the ICR2 game. I can go through the corners much faster with this game than I could ever do with ICR2 on most of the road tracks. I will go into a couple of the bad points I've noticed while racing the tracks in another section.

Graphics of the game

With the new brightness adjustment, I can now see the graphics better and most the tracks are very well detailed. I love racing on a lot of the road tracks now because they are so scenic. The graphic detail is better or I should say more than Papyrus's ICR2 but not quite as crisp or sharp as the rendition version of ICR2. The graphics transitions seem to be very smooth on my system. The best view I like besides the cockpit view is the large behind the car shot. It gives me the best view of the car and the graphic detail on the tracks. It also tests the drawing power of the game as I race the tracks which seems to be very smooth in this mode.

The tracks could be improved as far as track textures go. Road tracks are not too bad, but the ovals could use some color changes. As others have said they look like dirt tracks rather than Asphalt. Maybe the track editor coming will help us in changing textures.

Fixes that CPR needs to be competitive with other games

I am not going to cover everything in this section, but just the very noticeable things that affect my driving on this game.

There are many bugs in the menus that cause the game to act funny sometimes, especially in the replay and car analysis functions. Sometimes they lock up or don't work correctly. The car sounds act funny when you get into certain modes of the replays. The main menus and setup menus I have not found any problems.

First driving thing I noticed is when driving on Milwaukee is rounding turns one and two I cannot take the low line into the corner. If I do the automatic rev limiter of the pits grabs my car and pulls me in towards the inner track wall. To prevent this I have to stay in the middle of the track to keep my car from swerving inward. Couple other tracks do this also. They should turn off the rev limiter function once out on the track, until coming into the pits. This should be controlled by the user anyway by a manual hotkey toggle.

The Pits should also be a manual drive in, not just a manual drive out. Going into the pits is still automatic(no control). If pitting is made manual, they need to indicate where the pit stall is located. Right now there is nothing. Haven't played with it, but I don't think there is control over what needs to be done to the car in the pits like in the Nascar and Indycar games. Also no way to release the car early to not get lapped. Don't know at this time if the pit times are different if the car is damaged or not.

The AI cars need a lot of work to make them fun to race with. The cars tend to act funny when you approach them and cut down on you if you have the line on them. If you do get close to them they don't give you much of a fight for position, they sometimes just slow down and let you easily go by. Also the AI are too predictable(they drive the same line every lap). Not going to say much more other than hope there is another patch to fix the problems.

The pace laps are all automatic until green flag drops no matter what mode you are in. I wish at least at the intermediate and pro levels we could run our own pace laps manually or have an option. Too many automatic racetrack features with pits and pace laps in this game to make it a true SIM.

In the PRO level, they turn off all the driving options which I don't like. They should still give you some of the options to turn on like auto shifting for long races, etc. Even GP2 lets you turn on some of their options in the PRO levels.

They should make the racing of the AI cars a percentage number rather than Rookie, Intermediate, Pro for better control adjustments for league racing and to suit your driving capabilities. Right now Rookie and intermediate are too easy and Pro are sometimes too hard depending on tracks and your driving skills.

Few of the tracks are not realistic and need to be changed. Cleveland track has an extra chicane by the pits. Vancouver has impossible chicanes to race(too tight). You have to come to almost a complete stop to make the turns. Leguna Track seems awfully narrow in some parts of the track. Don't know if that is realistic or not. Most the tracks are fun to drive on except for Vancouver track with its chicanes. Like I said before, I am turning 3-5 seconds better on these tracks than on ICR2.

Conclusions- it has potential but

If they fixed some of the things I mentioned above, it would make this game a very enjoyable and competitive game along side of ICR2. The garage area and setup menus are far superior than ICR2. I haven't done saving races yet to see what gets saved for league competitions, but the game is not to that level yet to worry about. We will have to see what Microsoft does if anything more to this game to make it the best it can be.

As I get into the game more, there will be future reviews on game operation.

Dave Thayer



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