Mixed News for Racing Fans
Those lucky boys over at Joystiq have been given sneak peeks into two of Codemasters forthcoming racing games; FUEL and DiRT2.
First the good news; DiRT2 is looking fantastic and the game play will be a lot more varied:
There are some fundamental changes coming to the series for its second go-round. The biggest of which is a very strong focus on marrying rally racing with the world of extreme sports.
The most immediately noticeable additions come by way of enormous (fictional) stadium venues packed with up to 140,000 fans and featuring rally cross events which integrate elements such as the aforementioned epic jumps. In one of the videos we were shown, we saw several cars tearing along a course that wove itself indoors and out, covering at least six or seven types of terrain — and with plenty of elevation changes.
Building on the garage front end of GRID, the game’s hub between races will take the form of an RV, the idea being that you’re traveling the world in this thing … and the backdrops will reflect where you are. We got a quick glimpse of it after witnessing some of the new technology the game’s packing.
Frankly, we don’t think DiRT 2 could look better on current hardware. It’s already a game that seems like it could almost be on the next generation of consoles. A lot of this has to do with a bevy of new effects and improvements on old ones. The dirt thrown up by the cars looks great and the new water tech is leaps and bounds beyond anything you’ve seen, bordering on photo realistic.
Now for the not so good news, the boys were less than impressed with FUEL:
The races were … mediocre, for two reasons. One, the vehicles lacked any sense of weight, tended to slide far too much and — despite what the rep said — didn’t seem to control any differently whether on grass, dirt, pavement or any number of surfaces. It just didn’t feel right. The other downer was the lack of any real design to the courses. Well, of course there are no “courses” in a traditional sense (remember: giant, post-apocalyptic open world!), but the areas “sectioned off” for the races we took part in were purely mundane, devoid of any real personality. Perhaps the promised point-to-point races — with a “blaze your own path” play style — will be more engaging, but as it stands, the likes of MotorStorm gets what FUEL obviously doesn’t.
Still, there is time for Codemasters to tweek the game before it’s scheduled May release.