• Replay: Déjà vu
• Garage Settings: 1700 med tires/soft suspension
• Fast Lap to date: 4:34.56
I think it's safe to assume that most people have heard of the term déjà vu, which is French for “already seen” (kind of a loose translation, but uh, it works). More specifically, it’s the feeling of having witnessed or experienced a new situation at a previous time, accompanied by a sense of familiarity, possibly eeriness or strangeness. By now you’re probably wondering why you’re getting the little Psych 101 spiel, right? Well, there’s a tie-in here, because it just so happens Émile Boirac is the guy who created the term. I was unaware of that tidbit of information prior to doing a little research, but the truly shocking part of this story is that he actually didn’t pass away in 1917 as reported. He’s alive and well, living in Canada and making MTM 2 add-on tracks lol
If you’re looking for a heart pumping, fast-paced, exhilarating ride through mountainous terrain, then look no further. I’d like to emphasize the word “exhilarating”, because that’s exactly what you’ll get with Déjà vu, which begins approximately 8 seconds after the race starts. Everyone in this game has seen different types of jumps in this game, from nose-down to ones that require a subtle pitch of the truck in order to stick the landing, to the very popular big air jumps where the hang time seems like an eternity. This one’s a little different and well thought out, I might add. The first time I ran this track as a beta I thought, “There’s no way rookies are going to clear this jump because of the distance.” But if you notice, this little section here
serves as a safety net in a sense. If you’ve got the speed, you’ll clear it completely, and in fact, you may not even notice it. But if you come up short for whatever reason, you’ll catch it with your rear tires, which will allow your truck to complete the jump. I’m guessing it was put in primarily for those running in rookie mode, but frankly, I wouldn’t even call it a jump; it’s more of a forward momentum drop-off . . . or something like that lol. If your skill level is set to rookie, expect to come up short here
, however. You’ll clear the jump, but it’s anything but clean, as the edge of the road on the other side of the jump forces your truck to pop up in the air. That’s small potatoes, however – negligible even. Interestingly enough, the downhill section of road that precedes that jump provides for an incredible rush if you're a pro. It forces your truck up into a partial wheelie (very much like this
) as you’re cruising down the road. To maximize your speed, however, I suggest letting off the gas (momentarily) just before you start the downhill joyride. It’ll still lift the front tires off the road just a tad, but you’ll just maintain better balance and control for the duration of the trip.
That’s just one of several things that make this such a fun track to race on. The variety it gives you is superb, to include all the elevation changes. It’s not easy to put together a rally that demands your full attention at every turn, but moreover (and more importantly), is interesting, challenging, and fun all wrapped up in one package. This track manages to pull it off, and in fine fashion in my humble opinion
Déjà vu’s layout overlaps itself a couple of times, which is usually where pro racers look for shortcuts to exploit. From what I can tell, this track has one outright shortcut [between checkpoints 7 & 8], but it’s nothing to get too excited about as it’ll only give you a slight advantage. That is, provided you don’t inadvertently slam into the trees that were strategically placed in that area. The other notable cut is from checkpoint 11 to 12. As the replay shows, this is more of a corner cut, which may or may not be faster, but if noting else it gives you an option in case there’s trouble on the conventional route . . . like a pile-up that you’d rather not participate in lol.
One reason people generally prefer circuits to rallies has to do more with the learning curve associated with the latter. That’s understandable. I’m not going to tell ya Déjà vu is painless in terms of the effort required to run decent laps, however, compared to a lot of rallies out there, it’s fairly simple. After you get the hang of the corners, which mostly involves figuring out where you can and can’t stray from the road, you’re going to love the ride this track gives ya – I’d put money on it (Phin’s money, not mine lol). The speed is such that you barely notice the few occasions where there’s a change of pace, which is indicative of how well each section flows into the next
Of course, I can’t predict who will like this track and who won’t; everyone has their personal preferences. What I do know is that one characteristic in particular will result in some not giving it a fair shake, and that is its lack of scenery. The texture sets may look familiar; they’re from Mal’s EVO 4X4 conversion, Construction Zone. Other than that and about . . . 8 or 9 small trees, there’s absolutely nothing to look at. Emile has a different take on it, however, and knowing him like I do (lol), I can’t say I’m surprised. Here’s what he had to say:
"I had thought to do the snow in the high roads and dirt in the middle and mud in the low ground but decided that effect is becoming cliché, what with it like that in the real world and all. And. I spent too much time at the dentist last fall, so no more candy for me... even if it is only eye candy. But geez, I put in cp markers and a start light. I mean, what more does anybody want? I was starting to get the impression this thing was too bloated as it is. There's two color roads. Look at the roads! You're supposed to be looking where you're going anyway.
He’s not the easiest person to beta test for, and now you know why lol. I think Déjà vu had the potential to be a beautiful track. Yes, there are tracks where the absence of scenery looks perfectly normal, but this isn’t one of them in my opinion. However, we all know how much my opinion mattered to ‘ole Emile Boirac lol. Regardless, Déjà vu scored a very impressive 9.75
out of 10 possible points according to the Copey Rating. The kind of racing it’ll undoubtedly yield will absolutely make you forget all about its lack of visual appeal . . . as well as Emile’s crappy attitude lol.