I love video games, and since the day I have started playing on my xbox360, my love has only grown...
There are tons of games out there. You name the category, and you will have games catering to the minutest niche within that category. But every once in a while there is produced a game which makes you respect the skills of the game designers and developers. One such game is PGR4 (Project Gotham Racing) which, while belonging to the mother genre of Car Racing, does many things differently than the other racing games out there.
The first (and the most obvious) differentiator is the mixture of cars and bikes in the same race. At one go, PGR4 has become another competitor to MotoGP and other bike racing games, in addition to anyways competing with other car games. The choices are huge, the games are tough, and this mixed racing grows upon you as you experiment in the game with your choice of vehicle.
The next unique quality of PGR4 is the slightly reduced focus on simulation. Frankly, PGR3 was a pain as every single car used to veer out of control at the slightest touch. Here, it's much better, and at the same time they haven't moved on to a total arcade theme, thus retaining the best of PGR series.
And the most revered feature in PGR4 is the weather effects. Amazing stuff. If it's raining, you can feel the car getting out of control at higher speeds. If it's foggy, you can still feel the non-dryness of the tracks, something which might have been overlooked but wasn't. And if it's snowing, you need to keep a tight reign on your thumbs as a little extra move can give you cool drift points, but at the same time can also take the race away from your hands.
Though one feature which has constantly been missing from the PGR series is the lack of customization of the car. With these realistic weather effects, avid racers would definitely want to try their hand at customizing the car to the weather (have wet-track tires for example). Or change the steering control depending on the curviness of the track. These are areas where I believe NFS is still the leader. Though with ProStreet it appears that NFS is moving closer to simulation, but since I haven't played the game I will not comment any more on that game.
Overall, PGR4 is a very cool game. Hats off to the PGR4 team...