We went to Meadowhall yesterday and Jamie bought three driving games from Game in their 'buy two, get one free' for £10.00 offer - he was very happy with Need For Speed III and The Italian Job which run fine on his pc, so we picked up TOCA Race Driver as well. It was on DVD, so I installed it on the main PC upstairs to give it a go.
Hmmmm, mixed feelings to report, I'm afraid.
It certainly looks and sounds impressive, but it is, to put it mildly ROCK BASTARD HARD. I couldn't even make it round the Laguna Seca track without crashing when using the gamepad, which given the unforgiving damage model is not good. I plugged in my venerable Sidewinder Force Feedback wheel which made driving much easier, but the game developed an annoying stutter which looks to be a common problem. Tinkering with the graphics settings and priorities failed to cure it, so I called it a day and uninstalled it.
I did a bit more googling and then looked in the hardware devices tab under hidden non-plug and play devices and found that the game had thoughtfully installed the infamous Starforce anti-copying drivers and then left them on the system for me. Gee thanks a lot, Codemasters. Why would I want to copy a game that I can buy for not much more than the cost of a blank dvd?
This is why I don't like PC gaming - too much faffing around with settings and technical gubbins, and not enough fun. Give me a Nintendo DS, Xbox or PS2 any day.