Video Game: Project Gotham Racing

"Life starts at 170 mph."
Tagline of PGR3.

Project Gotham Racing was a racing game series developed by Bizarre Creations. All games in the series were published by Microsoft Studios. The series was a Spiritual Successor to the Sega Dreamcast game Metropolis Street Racer, also developed by Bizarre.

List of PGR games released:

  • Project Gotham Racing (2001, Xbox)
  • Project Gotham Racing 2 (2003, Xbox)
  • Project Gotham Racing 3 (2005, Xbox 360)
  • Project Gotham Racing Mobile (2007, Mobile)
  • Project Gotham Racing 4 (2007, Xbox 360)
  • Project Gotham Racing: Ferrari Edition (2009, Zune HD)note 

Unfortunately, the series' fate is uncertain, due to Activision buying Bizarre Creations, and the eventual closing of the latter. Though it's highly believed that Turn 10 Studios, creator of the Forza Motorsport series, has picked up PGR and a PGR5 might be in the works. These rumors, unfortunately, have been long since debunked, so technically the series is now over.

Known for being the series that introduced the world to Geometry Wars, which is included in some of the games as an Easter Egg.

Despite the name, the game has no connection to Gotham City. Although, if it did, it would be awesome.

Needs Wiki Magic Love.

Project Gotham Tropes:

  • All or Nothing: The Arcade challenges provide an example: either you achieve the objective and you gain Kudos (the higher the difficulty, the higher is the Kudos quantity received), or you go home with nuthin'.
  • All In The Manual: The manuals for 3 and 4 are chock of infos about the game, but the former is more comprehensive: it even goes as far to talk about the huge soundtrack, with even a few examples from each playlist.
  • Boom Town: Almost all scenarios are actual real life cities such as London, New York City, Las Vegas and Tokyo, to name a few.
    • 4 adds in St. Petersburg, Quebec City, Shanghai and Macau
  • Camera Screw: The fourth game does this in the form of the in-car/helmet camera. Specifically, how it impedes your ability to drive some of the cars properly from that view. Unlike the 3rd game, in which the game always provided you with its own gauges/readouts of vehicle speed, gear selection, and engine speed no matter what view you were in, in the 4th game, it does not do so for the cockpit view (which incidentally was introduced into the series in the 3rd game), instead making you reliant on the interior model's gauges and readouts to get the info you need. How the camera screws with you here is that either the interior point-of-view is usually a bit too far back from the gauges and makes them hard to read, or it's mis-elevated (too high/low) and allows the steering wheel to block a part of the instrument panel or, in extreme cases, ALL of it. What makes this worse is that these screws made some cars returning from the 3rd game undrivable when using the helmet cam to various degrees, due to a change in seating position from their PGR3 counterparts.
    • Returning car made mildly undrivable: The TVR Sagaris. The cockpit view in the 3rd game gave you a clear view of every important element in the instrument panel, from the analog speedo and tach, to the shift-up warning lights above them, and the digital; numerical readouts of vehicle speed, engine speed, and gear selection below the analog gauges. In the fourth game, the helmet POV is lowered such that the wheel is now blocking those digital readouts, leaving only the analog gauges visible.
    • Returning car made a nightmare to drive: The Aston Martin DBR9 race car. The 3rd game's cockpit view of this car gave you a clear line-of-sight on the digital gear/speed/revs readout. The 4th game's cockpit view is altered as such that the readout is not visible, again due to the steering wheel obstructing it.
  • Character Tiers: Invoked Trope. The series constantly divides cars into classes. Here are the car classes in 4, with a few examples:
  • Darker and Edgier: 3 has a much darker, more minimalist and more streamlined design than the first two installments.
  • Disc One Nuke: In 4, Quick Race mode and the Driving Test will give you all of the hundreds of cars in the game right off the bat, so you can test them all and find the ones that fit your style... And even test out the Ferrari F50 GT.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Invoked Trope - you are encouraged to do powerslides and grab air.
  • Dynamic Difficulty: On normal and hard difficulty, beating the AI will be nearly impossible if you mess up too much in career mode.
    • Rubber Band AI: On the other hand, you have to be nearly perfect to beat most of the AI in higher difficulty if you want to win the races.
  • Driving Test: The Michelin Test track for trying out any car in PGR4. From the straightforward oval circuit to the Ultimate Test, the player can measure any of the cars and bikes in the game (in this mode, all of the vehicles in the game are available from the very beginning) in three tests: a time trial in any of the five layouts of the test track, a speed run in the oval circuit, and a solo drift contest.
  • Cool Car: The A car class breathes this trope. Nothing else than non-road-legal race cars and hypercars. If you ever race in this class, get ready to see a free-for-all brawl of badass race cars to see who's the best on the track.
  • Infinity–1 Sword: In 3, the Mclaren F1 LM, the Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR Supersport and the Panoz Esperante GTR-1 are this to the godlike Ferrari F50 GT.
  • Easter Egg: Geometry Wars originated as this in the second game.
  • Level Editor: 3 interpreted it in a different way: there is a special mode called "Route Creator" where the player is able to create his own circuit by putting checkpoints in the various roads in the 4 main scenarios of the game (London, Las Vegas, Tokyo, New York City).
  • Level Grinding: 3 suffered from this. While Money Grinding wasn't a big deal at all (one can acquire the Ferrari F50 GT within a few hours of playing!), the real problem was Kudos grinding.
    • Fixed in 4. The championships in the Career mode can net you several thousands of Kudos, and in some cases, you earn enough Kudos to buy certain car packs containing a set amount of cars including the Ferrari FXX, Lamborghini Murcielago, and even a FREAKING Mclaren F1!
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: In PGR4, the AI on career mode have human names, and they all have different personalities: some are more aggressive and concentrate on pulling out tricks to get more Kudos, others are more focused on true racing.
    • While the Project Gotham Racing didn't contain as much cars as Gran Turismo and Forza had, PGR4 managed to make wade variety of car production years with more than 130 cars from the 1950s to 2008.
      • Alot of these cars have yet to see an appearance in most sim racing games.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: There is a car in 3 and 4 called the Callaway Sledgehammer Twin Turbo. The thing is essentially a tuned fourth-gen Corvette: it is really, really fast, but has very touchy handling.
  • Nintendo Hard: Platinum difficulty. Oh god: in this difficulty setting, the AI will always be on the back of your neck, and the objectives in solo challenges require nigh-inhuman skills to beat. The latter example is much stronger in 3: in style challenges (where you have to gain a determined amount of Kudos with certain moves to win), in Gold difficulty you sometimes have to reach a few thousand Kudos, but not that much to be Nintendo Hard. In Platinum? You have to beat an objective which is FROM 3 TO 10 TIMES BIGGER than the Gold difficulty one!
  • Racing Game: Well this is Project Gotham Racing after all.
  • Rare Vehicles: The Caparo T1 in 4. The thing is a street-legal Formula One car, basically. Only 25 are churned out a year. As of 2012, only 16 have been sold.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Almost every game in this series warned players that the depictions of the game is unrealistic despite the fact that each game showed semi-realism such as breaking for turns instead of speed-turns, etc.
  • Scenery Porn: The city buildings in PGR4 look absolutely stunning even by today's standards.
    • 3 and 4 both detain a Guinness World Record: "Most Complex Scenery in a Racing Game", with New York City. Just the Brooklyn Bridge ranks up at over a million polygons and an half.
  • Shaggy Dog Story: There is a pack in 4 which costs 1 million kudos, which turns out to be a gamer picture, and an achievement. It counts also as Bragging Rights Reward.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Metropolis Street Racer, as noted above.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: See Rubber Band AI above.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: When you listen to your music in 3, you can see the song title and the artist appearing in the game. The feature has been dropped in 4 for unknown reasons.