At this point, the Switch has garnered a healthy amount of high-profile, realistic racing games. That’s why I was intrigued to see one crop up from a studio composed of just one soul — Rush Rally 3 by Brownmonster. Rush Rally 3 might not be as fancy as some other titles, but it does prove that just because something is small and simple doesn’t make it bad.
Rush Rally 3 puts you in the driver’s seat of a variety of different rally vehicles. All of them are unlicensed but still clearly inspired by real-world models such as Ford, Lancia, and Mitsubishi. These cars can be customized both inside and out with surprising detail; the game even describes what each specific upgradeable section of the car is all about, the first I’ve personally ever experienced in a racer. Upgrading your car will increase its tier rating, starting from D class. As you progress throughout the game, the need to move up the tier list will increase. Cars can be upgraded (and also downgraded) to suit each race need, so you don’t have to keep buying new vehicles. That said, money doesn’t come by super easily, but the game isn’t grind-heavy either. Credits are awarded simply by playing. Of course, placing higher will result in bigger rewards. Even so, you can rage quit a race and still receive a little compensation.
A sizeable package
The career mode is where most of the action is, with four different championships. Each championship cup contains several races spread across different tracks around the world. With there being a global track selection, there are varying types of terrain and climates to adapt to. For instance, one race will have you ripping through the snowy roads of Sweden, and another will have you charging across the dusty serpentine paths of Mexico. These variables add depth to the game and keep it from being too repetitive.
These championship races function just like in pretty much every other rally game. Your goal is to set the best time on the track. Unlike some other titles like WRC 8, your performance against other drivers is shown in real time. Thus, you’ll know if you’re moving ahead or falling behind before you reach the finish line. The difficulty of the game can also be set to adapt to your individual play style, which makes the experience even more inviting.
Rush Rally 3‘s driving mechanics are also fairly simple. While the gameplay can be adjusted to an extent, the actual physics aren’t overly realistic, but also not arcadey. Cars feel weighty enough and are fairly balanced. The game can also be played with touch controls (though I don’t know why you’d do that). But with that being the case, it adapts well to the Switch’s digital inputs. Other realistic racing games feel a bit wonky due to the Joy-Con/Pro Controller not having analog triggers, but Rush Rally 3 feels surprisingly natural here. There are also a wealth of viewpoints, including full cockpit interiors.
In addition to the traditional rally races, there are other game modes that shake things up. For instance, there’s a Rally Cross mode that consists of a traditional circuit-style race with other drivers. There’s also Skill Games mode, which has various minigame-style challenges like avoiding traffic while racing against the clock. Thus, Rush Rally 3 has a surprising amount of content considering the size of its dev team. But the concessions are visible in other areas.
Curb your expectations
The visuals are nothing to ride home about. This looks like an early 2000s game, just a very sharp one. The audio presentation is also pretty bland, with generic, low-quality sound effects all around. That said, the game doesn’t look or sound bad, just simply “meh.” But, again, it’s not like there’s a huge budget behind it. For what it achieves, it’s still passable enough. Interestingly, there’s a full graphics menu with customizable effects. This is especially beneficial in handheld mode, as the frame rate doesn’t always hit a full 60 FPS without some tweaking (though this is strange considering more demanding games like Fast RMX hit this just fine). Still, it’s nice that it’s not fuzzy like similar games such as WRC 8 or V-Rally 4.
A worthy contender
Rush Rally 3 has a lot going for it considering it was built by just one developer. It’s not the most ambitious racer on Switch, but it will keep you occupied for several hours with a surprising amount of content and an accessible, enjoyable driving model. It ticks all the boxes for being a good racing game, and that’s what’s most important.
A review code was provided by the publisher.