If you have played Colin McRae Rally 2.0, then you are in for more in Colin McRae Rally 3 that was released for the PlayStation 2, XBOX and PC. This installment had vast improvements, and had moved away from the traditional versions of the game. For Rally fans (in 2003) this was great as it now challenged drivers to minimize the damage to their cars. You play as the Legendary Colin McRae as he goes through 3 seasons of the WRC. This was the last installment of the Colin McRae Series to feature Official WRC teams, though (Besides McRae and Nicky Grist) there are no Real World driver names. Also, it is the Sparco Rally Championship (SRC) and not the World Rally Championship (WRC), but that does not take away from the fun.
The game has 8 Rallying countries with 7 stages each (6 LIVE Stages and 1 Superspecial each), all coming from official WRC locations (with the exception of USA). Each of the stages are a challenge, and those that have played Colin McRae Rally 2.0 or is an avid Rally fan can quickly be adjusted to the game and its conditions. With each stage, the weather conditions would vary, so one must understand how to drive on them. My favorite stage here is Finland, the traditional birthplace of Rallying.
The gameplay is solid. At the time this was a game that had the ideal physics that was improved over from the last game. Whether you're rallying on Tarmac, Snow or Gravel, the car responds to the conditions. As you go along the Seasons, things get progressively harder and if you don't have the will playing these stages would be a nightmare. Even if you were to drive on the absolute limit, your lead may be only 0.02 seconds.
The damaging system on this game was the pioneer for the Colin McRae Rally games. Not only you can break the glass, but you can lose parts as well. With enough damage, you can stop your car's engine, leaving you no choice but to retire. You can lose wheels, tyres, doors, muffelers, and any other parts. That would mean that you have to be rather careful on the damage on your car, as you can lose a lot of time for each damaged part on your car. Even more time can be lost just to fix them...
There were very little problems with the game. The only ones I can think of would be the roll physics was a bit off, and it had far less stages then even Colin McRae Rally 2.0. Also, there was no Peugeot 206 or Toyota Corolla.
This is a game to obtain and add to your collection if you want to go back to the Good Rally Ages!