Review: New Star GP gets the checkered flag as one of the best racers in a while 

new star gp

It’s been a long time since I was as immersed into a racing game as I am with New Star GP. Developed by the aptly named New Star Games, it’s an amazing arcade racer that manages to inject some welcome depth into its proceedings by offering an intense, decision-driven decades-long career mode that is a blast to get through. If you were looking for an excuse to dive head first into a highly entertaining, easy to get into racer, you should look no further than New Star GP.

Visually styled much in the same vein of Horizon Chase, New Star GP is a Formula 1 type racer that has you starting a new driver from scratch, The Kid, and carry him through over 40 years of racing. Starting in the 1980s, you’ll get to race in familiar locations all over the world and as you move through the years, new tracks much akin to real-life ones start popping up. 

And none worse for wear are the host of mechanics – ACTUAL engine-tuning ones and of the gameplay variety – you’ll dabble in between races. Those include deciding who your team members will be, what they’ll do, the benefits of pleasing them during interviews by sharing the laurels of success with, as well as the numerous upgrades, sponsorship deals and the host of challenges you can try to meet during race weekends. There’s just so many variables and ways to play that no two playthroughs are the same in New Star GP.

You’ll definitely want to experiment different setups to your car as you zip around the globe as you play your career as there are a number of combinations you can make in order to make your ride as driveable as you want, as well as suiting it to your particular needs and racing fortes. As you first arrive on a track, you’re given the choice to simply drive through it in order to become acquainted with its layout before your actual qualifying attempt, and besides the actual race, there’s a neat elimination checkpoint sprint that’s both terrifying and extremely fun to take part in.

new star gp
Racing in the rain is no joke.

Everything you do while racing matters when it comes to earning awards. If you choose not to use any repeats, which are basically the rewind function from games like DIRT and GRID, drive cleanly and do well enough, you’re awarded with trophies that come into play when tallying up your score, as well as eventual opportunities to spice up with team, such as sponsorship deals and the many trophies you can adorn your headquarters with and just drool over in your free time.

Gameplay-wise, New Star GP plays more like an arcade racing game, including even a nitro button, but there are a number of elements of realism to take into account, mainly tire wear, fuel, and the racing line. You don’t have to worry about anti-lock brakes and the tweaking of various car components, but knowing when to accelerate and when to slow down in straights and turns plays a huge part in whether or not you come out in front of the pack, and in that, the game is very enjoyable and quite challenging.

And if career mode is not enough for you, there’s an extensive suite of options for you to craft your own tournaments for friends or going solo against the computer where you can make things as easy or as tough as you want. It includes a decent serving of realism options as well, which are incredibly neat to mess around with since they do really matter when it comes to coming up with race strategies and your approach to pitting, for instance. I’ve been having a lot of fun coming up with different setups for sure.

new star gp
Having friends over to race with is always a blast.

Most impressively, though, are the visual options at your disposal. First and foremost is the game’s graphical presentation, which feels like a step above Virtua Racing but still maintaining a somewhat early polygonal look from that time period. It helps convey a sense of cleanliness to the game, as well as provide a real feel of the speed once a race gets going. And in that, it’s cool that there are a wide array of camera angles you can pick, including a top-down Hot Wheels-ish viewpoint that I fell in love with while playing for review.

New Star GP is the sort of racing game that comes every now and then that truly gets a hold of me and is unwilling to let go until it has its way with me. Last time I felt this strongly about the genre was with the very first Gran Turismo on the PlayStation, and prior to that, the arcade version of Daytona USA. If you have any interest in arcade gaming and are willing to invest some time into surprisingly meatier career mode, New Star GP will have you covered for a while. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *