STCC The Game 2 – Review
Simbin has released the STCC The Game 2 expansion for RACE07, adding a brand new season of Scandinavian Touring Car Series action to their long-running franchise.
The expansion is the first of four paid packs that will enrich the successful RACE07 series with new content, wrapping up Simbin’s efforts on the title that go back to 2007 when RACE07 was first released.
The initial title was followed up by three sequels (GTR Evolution, STCC – The Game & RACE On), all of which used the RACE07 content as base and introduced new machinery and tracks to the title.
STCC The Game 2 is compatible to both the initial RACE07 and the three sequels, containing 45 cars and six tracks. Unlike the prior titles based on RACE07 that were also available as standalone versions or DVD extensions, STCC The Game 2 is exclusively available online on Steam.
The expansion pack focuses on two Scandinavian series, the STCC and the Scandinavian Touring Car Cup. Most sim racers made first contact with the STCC when Simbin released the first STCC The Game title.
Sweden’s most popular series was an obvious choice not just because Simbin is a Swedish company but because the STCC uses the same Super 2000 touring car regulations the World Touring Car Championship is based on. This ensured a perfect blend into the RACE07 franchise as both series share the same set of cars with the Swedish series offering some more exotic machinery as privateer teams often enter car models that don’t make it to the World Championship.
This results in STCC The Game 2 offering five brand new car models that have never been included in any Simbin title before as the Opel Astra, Toyota Corolla, Chevrolet Camaro, Chevrolet Cruze and the Biogas-powered VW Scircocco enrich the grid of the 2010 STCC season.
Combined with the already existing cars from BMW, Alfa, Seat, Chevrolet & Volvo, buyers of STCC The Game 2 get the most comprehensive choice of modern European touring cars available in any title. The new cars blend in perfectly with the established mix, featuring Simbin-typical neat modelling, high-resolution textures and proper sounds.
When it comes to graphics, those expecting any kind of revelation in that department will be disappointed, STCC The Game 2 features the same proven gMotor 2 engine that RACE07 is based on. Even though the old engine will hardly lead to any jawdrops, Simbin has made the most of the proven base with the highlights being the great looking cockpits and detailed tracks.
Speaking of tracks, STCC The Game 2 offers six of them, including a track that will be new even for buyers of STCC The Game – The Danish Jylandsringen. High quality tracks have always been one of Simbin’s strong suits and the Scandinavian venues give the studio plenty of opportunities to show off their talent.
The choice of tracks offer an interesting mix of venues tailor-made for bumper to bumper touring car action, featuring tracks with long straights (Knutstorp), a street circuit (Gothenburg) and the seemingly-edless string of first and second-gear corners that is Jylandsringen.
The virtual versions of these stunning venues are richly detailed with plenty of trackside objects and great textures, making them some of the best tracks Simbin has ever created. Sim racers who appreciate unique & challenging tracks will be getting their money’s worth with the tracks alone as these venues can’t be found in any other simulation on the market.
Sadly, the choice of tracks has been shrinked down compared to STCC The Game as two of the first title’s tracks are no longer included due to schedule changes the Scandianavian series had made over the years.
Aside from new cars and tracks, STCC The Game 2 brings some other changes to the RACE07 platform as well as some series-specific rules are introduced, including mandatory pit stops and a different qualifying format.
So, is STCC The Game 2 worth the 9,99 Euros Simbin charges for the download? For sim racers which have a passion for S2000-style touring car racing and who don’t own STCC The Game, the answer is a big yes as the pack introduces a heap of new content to the title that will keep touring car fans busy for a longer while.
If you look at what other simulations or console titles charge for addon-content, less than ten Euros is an extremely fair price for six tracks, more than a handful of new car models and a full field of new liveries.
This apllies to some extend to owners of STCC The Game as well, even though the amount of new content to them is down to one track, five new models and set of liveries.
All in all, these expansion packs are a very fair way of selling new content as everyone gets exactly what they pay for instead of selling the same content again and again as was the case with past RACE0 sequels that sold new content for a much higher price.
And given that Simbin has some exciting plans for the future, buying these expansion packs does not just give sim racers access to new content but also means supporting one of the few independend simulation studios our community depends on…