New Star GP Review (PS4)


New Star GP goes beyond a fitting tribute to SEGA’s arcade classic, Virtua Racing. When tracks bear striking similarities to Interlagos, Silverstone, and more — never mind that you’re fighting off-brand rivals like Michael Schildhauer and Niki Laube — New Star GP takes clear inspiration from Formula 1 to deliver a compelling experience. Boasting a surprisingly hefty career mode, we’ve rarely seen arcade racers with this much depth.

Set across five decades, New Star GP’s career mode shines with its simulation elements. While additional race types like reversed tracks and an elimination mode create good variety, each weekend ends with a Grand Prix lasting six laps. That involves managing your pit stop strategy with considerations for tyre wear, fuel load, and potential weather changes. Less fuel ensures greater speed and better handling through corners, though longer pit lanes and different corners mean each track has individual considerations.

There’s a fine degree of strategy, creating some thrilling races boosted by the rivalry system. Across each decade, your relationship with other drivers is affected by track etiquette. Keeping your overtakes clean helps establish friendly relationships with other drivers, though collisions and negative comments made during interviews sour their opinions of you. That leads to them blocking overtakes more aggressively, creating an exciting dynamic.

Hitting performance targets awards an in-game currency named BUX and you can invest these in car development with options like improved brakes or better acceleration. Key staff members also provide intriguing perks, such as fully automated pitstops and slipstreaming other cars. There is plenty to consider, though this becomes a balancing act as prioritising one person’s perks over another causes dissatisfaction. Anyone who’s particularly unhappy will eventually leave, and New Star GP entertainingly manages teams without getting bogged down in the details.

That said, while we realise this is rare for the genre, qualifying before races would be nice. Perks like starting races in 9th place don’t provide a real substitute. Furthermore, online multiplayer’s omission is also disappointing, though at least there’s local multiplayer for up to four players. These aren’t deal breakers, though, and when the core campaign is this good, New Star GP comes recommended.

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