Rather sadly I received an e-mail from the creator of the BTCC mod requesting that I take any and all coverage relating to the mod due to complaints from the BTCC. Obviously the sporting body has to protect their interests, but this is an unfortunate turn of events. It is certainly bad sign of things to come as motorsport series become more aware of their presence in the simming community and begin to strike up licensing deals with various publishers and developers. Those publishers and developers are going to do their best to protect their interests. The good news is sim racing is getting attention. The bad news is the golden age of laissez fair attitudes toward modding may be coming to coming to a close in the very near future.
Check the link below for more information on what’s up:
The race cars have been released and the list is complete, 310 cars total and not a single wheezy econo-box to muddy the waters. Okay, so the Cobalt SS or Civic Si may not exactly stack up against the Toyota GT-One or Risi Competizione Ferrari 430 pictured here, but you gotta keep the import and domestic tuners happy. Read on for the full list, and a few new pics to boot.
The blokes at GameSpot were lucky enough to get the opportunity to sit down with the upcoming Sega Rally Revo, the next-gen installment in the classic off-road racing franchise, due out later this year on the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. By the sounds, they were quite impressed with what they saw.
It’s clear that the focus for the new Sega Rally has been on returning to the arcade roots of the series while bringing the technology firmly up to date. The game looks graphically impressive, with an engine that throws around beautiful scenery, track deformation, and incidental details with ease–even if the frame rate suffered in this pre-alpha build. The demo we saw ran on PlayStation 3 hardware at about 20 frames per second, but the team hopes to get that up to 60fps during optimisation. While that seems particularly ambitious given the level of detail, the original Sega Rally’s sense of speed was arguably more important than its visuals. Still, it’s good to see the team replicate the little touches that made the original so great, such as the helicopters that film you from above and the birds that emerge startled from the trees as you zoom by them.
While such flourishes as these certainly add to the atmosphere, it’s the track deformation that’s lining up to be Sega Rally’s unique selling point. While it’s not totally unique in the racing genre, thanks to fellow British title MotorStorm, it’s the first time that anything of this level has been seen in a rally game. In fact, it’s so impressive that it was the first thing that Sega decided to show us using the in-game engine. Tyres compact the top layers of sun-baked mud by passing over them at 80mph on the first lap, giving way to damp mud that can impair progress on the second lap. MotorStorm players will already be familiar with this concept, but Sega Rally has one more trick up its sleeve: It also throws water into the mix. The tropical track in the demo was particularly water-logged, and as we saw the Subaru Impreza pulling donuts in the mud, the water began spreading to fill up the crevices. With all of this taking place on a next-generation console, the water also begins to wash your car clean, leaving you to appreciate the two-toned paintwork once again.
The devs are promising online play on both platforms, full car deformation, and the same classic arcade-style feel that is the series trademark.
Word comes from Crave that Tokyo Xtreme Racer DRIFT 2 has shipped for the PS2. It tasks you with earning yourself the rank of the best drifter in the mountain roads of Japan, including Hakone, Niko, Haruna and Akagi, all laser-scanned to keep the perfectionist drifters happy. With 180 licensed cars and both on- and off-road races, the game sounds like it should be fun. And, at a low-low price of $15, why not give it a shot?
Less than a month now away from this one and the screens just keep on coming. These pics are from last week’s Pitpass update, which also included a sampling of the cars that will be included in the demo. It must be said that the list is quite comprehensive given the cost (free):
1997 BMW Motorsport M3 E36
2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
2003 Dodge Viper SRT10
2003 Dodge SRT4
2004 Ferrari F430
2005 Ford Ford GT
2005 Ford Mustang GT
2002 Honda Integra Type-R
2005 Lamborghini Gallardo
2006 Lexus IS350
2004 Mazda RX-8 Mazdaspeed
2005 Mercedes SLR
2003 Nissan Fairlady Z
2007 Porsche 911 Turbo (997)
2005 Subaru Legacy B4 2.0 GT
2005 TVR Sagaris
That list is good enough, but there will be eight more race-class cars added, announced later this week. Still no word on exactly when the demo is coming, but it has to be less than two weeks away.
As a game reviewer, some of my least favorite games to cover are the many and varied Tycoon titles. Trust me, I’ve covered quite a few in myday. I approach every one with an open mind, but every time find myself playing some awfully boring game that tasks me with raking in tons of cash performing some menial tasks that attempt to represent what should be an at least mildly interesting job. So, it’s with some trepidation that I bring the announcement of a new one: Grand Prix Tycoon.
As you would expect, this one covers the world of grand prix racing. Not Formula One racing, mind you, because a certain major corporation has the rights all locked up. No, this is a much more inclusive and less official grand prix racing tycoon game, where you’ll be tasked with operating one or more teams in the ultimate goal of making some bucks. It’s a multiplayer game, so you’ll be competing against other gamers through what can only be called a rather stale looking online interface, pictured here. Granted, management games are rarely anything to get excited about when it comes to graphics, but to be blunt I’ve used tax filing software with visuals that looked more racy than these.
As of now there’s no release date for the game, so no word on when this one will be coming. But, you can follow along with the game’s development at its official developer blog, and eagerly await the next batch of screens at the official site.
The STCC is back for round 7 of the series, starting with a little controversy and of course delivering fast-paced action throughout. Check it out above, or head on over to the official site for higher quality versions.
The Panoz Esparante mod for rFactor, an official set of four cars from game developer ISI itself, is now available for download. Though it was available in limited form last month, it’s now downloadable for all. Again, the official mod includes four flavors of the Esperante road car, starting with the base street car then moving up to the GTS car, the ALMS car, and the GTR-1. Initial reviews have been very, very positive, so make sure you check this one out.
Capcom has announced their intention to produce what will presumably turn into a series of MotoGP-based games on PlayStation consoles, starting this fall with MotoGP’07 on the PS2. They’ve secured the Sony-based rights to the championship, leaving Namco and their long-running though admittedly tired MotoGP franchise out in the cold. Whether Capcom will be able to do a better job than Namco had been of late remains to be seen, but if they can come close to the high-res render they provided us above, that’s at least a good start. Note that they’ve only announced a PS2 game at this point, but PS3 and PSP versions will surely follow at some point.
As of now THQ still owns the Xbox- and PC-based rights to MotoGP, meaning theirMotoGP’07 should be safe at least for this year. However, if Capcom gets greedy and waves enough money under the nose of the FIM, who knows what could happen.
After the initial success with their first batch of downloadable cars for Test Drive Unlimited, Lexus has returned with a second freely downloadable pack. This one, it must be said, has some rather less exciting offerings, only the Lexus 450h hybrid and the 460 sedan, two cars admittedly far more suited to cruising than racing. These cars are freely downloadable now, and you can check out some pics of them in the game over at Team Xbox.
Another batch of L-cars is apparently en-route as well, with the SC 430 hard-top convertible and the 2008 LS 600h L coming. Again, good cars, but not the most exciting choices.