Oh dear. It doesn't bode very well for a game when its protection system is so abysmal. It's not fair to operate on a first impressions basis, but when a game tells you that you've failed the security check when you haven't even been given a chance to enter anything, you know that this is going to be a sloppily programmed effort.
4D Sports Driving is an interesting game. It takes as its premise the idea that the fourth dimension is realism (and there was me thinking it was time) and that this game is 'amazingly' real. What a joke. If this game's amazingly real then obviously we've all been living in some kind of virtual reality for the last couple of decades.
Extremely hard drivin'
What we've got here is a very obviously Hard Drivin/Test Drive-
Having picked your set of prestige wheels and decided which track you're going to potter around on, the screen display changes to show a fuzzy representation of the particular dashboard of your chosen car.
The garage doors then swing open and with a nudge of the joystick you can accelerate out. Unless of course you haven't been given the opportunity to enter a control word (usually I German), in which case the car will crash and you have to go all the way back to the main menu in the vain hope that the game will ask you for that previous word.
In the fast lane
If you do actually manage to make it out onto the track then the game doesn't get much more exciting. The programmers boast about the "Fast, detailed and smooth polygon graphics" which grace the game. However, all there seem to be are slow, grainy and hopelessly juddery graphics with about all the smoothness of a Channel crossing in a force 10.
Even on the supposedly fast graphic detail settings, it's impossible to get the car's handling right. You either need wrists of steel or some form of orthopedic support to help you maintain any reasonable cornering speed.
It's easy to spot the influences in this game, especially when you find out that it's from the same team who created Test Drive. Obviously, the main influence is Domark's Hard Drivin', but look a bit closer and you can see bits of Lombard RAC Rally and Powerdrift. However, those games were quite reasonable compared to this. Sadly, 4D Sports Driving is far more difficult to control and has got the kind of screen update you'd expect from a 1932 Kinotrope.
So you didn't like it much then?
Ahem. Nope. When this kind of game gets released for a machine as advanced as the Amiga you've got to wonder. Software houses think that by giving you such wonderful options as replays, camera viewpoints and re-designable tracks you'll miss the fact that there's naff all in the way of gameplay.
If the programmers had spent a little more time getting the graphics smooth and the cars controllable, they might have a half-