racing game

Auto Club Revolution open beta is go, race for free

Tom Senior at

There aren't a great many free to play racers out there. If Need For Speed World's reliance on single-use power-ups puts you off, and Trackmania's spiralling tracks feel a little too mad, you might want to try Auto Club Revolution. It's just entered open beta, which means you can sign up for an account, download the tracks and start racing for free.

As you race you can unlock new cars and tuning options, and there's a fairly decent car customisation suite that will let you decorate your ride with decals and new paint schemes. It's made by Eutechnyx. who developed last year's official Nascar game and, before that, Ferrari challenge, so don't expect any giant blue shells or homing rockets in this one. You can sign up and start playing on the Auto Club Revolution site.

Project CARS trailer shows new cars and night racing

Tom Senior at

We quite enjoyed the Project CARS trailer featured a couple of months back, but there was something missing. Those meticulously modelled steering wheels were steering all by themselves. Had Slightly Mad Studios misunderstood the concept of a racing ghost? No. They just hadn't added drivers and their arms into the game yet. It looks like it's happened now, though. The latest video, spotted on Evil Avatar, has finally put some butts in those racing buckets.

Remarkably, there's still a year of development left before Project CARS is released. You can get access to builds in advance by donating to development through the World of Mass Development site. Project CARS will have some competition in the coming year, mind. Image Space are currently busy building their hardcore racing sim sequel, rFactor 2.

Dirt: Showdown footage shows demolition derby and night races

Tom Senior at

Codemasters stopped by earlier with a preview build of Dirt: Showdown. It's living up to its billing as a more accessible, rough and tumble take on the carefully simulated physics of Dirt 3. You won't find any serious Rallying here, it's all about going wheel to wheel with your competitors, ploughing them into barriers and boosting past them to steal the win with brute force.

We'll have some more detailed impressions for you in a bit. Meanwhile, here's three new videos of three of the different modes available in Dirt 3, including your racing, demolition derby and more of the 8 ball circuit shown in the last Dirt: Showdown trailer. Click 'Read and Comment' for more VRRRRRM-SMASH.

Dirt Showdown trailer shows 8 Ball arena

Tom Senior at

Dirt Showdown bears the Dirt name associated with Colin McRae and, once upon a time, serious rally racing, but is really more of an arcade spin-off. This new trailer shows off an "8 Ball" course. It's like those Hot Wheels toys where you'd launch cars down convoluted tracks towards a central crash site, where they'd collide and fly off to hit your dog in the eye. This time, you're inside those cars, and some of them are spouting fire.

Showdown's focus is on Destruction Derbies and "full contact" racing, with lots of ramps and choke points, and will apparently make use of "gaming's most advanced damage engine." Move aside, Frostbite 2! It's due out in May and was announced with an announcement trailer a few weeks ago which looked a little bit like this.

GTR 3 announced with teaser site, see bumpers, hear engines

Tom Senior at

A new GTR 3 teaser site, spotted on Eurogamer, heralds the return of the racing series with a fanfare of roaring engines going VRERRRRRRNNNNNNYYUUMMM. The noise is accompanied by some tiny, tiny images showing the occasional flash of wheel spoke and a bit of road or a high speed bumper. Beyond that, barely anything is revealed (the image above is of GTR Evolution). Still, good news for racing fans.

Fans on the forum have pieced the images together and deduced that the Audi R8 LMS (GT3) and the BMW Z4 GT3 will be in the game, and third car that could either be a Mercedes-Benz AMG Black Series Car possible Brabus or a McLaren MP-12C. Now it's time for me to end this post and run away before it becomes obvious how little I know about cars, beyond the fact that they sound awesome. Are you excited about the prospect of a new GTR?

Proun pirated by 40% of players. Pay What You Want model "did pretty badly," says creator

Tom Senior at

Proun is a gorgeous indie game that has you racing along a rail through abstract worlds. It was released back in June under a pay what you want model. Back then, Proun's creator Joost van Dongen promised to release the sales data to let everyone know how the payment system worked for him. Now Gamasutra report on a huge blog post van Dongen has published, revealing the exact sales figures for Proun. His verdict? "Proun is a big success! Pay What You Want is not!"

F1 2011 review

PC Gamer at

Driving an F1 car is difficult. Well, driving one fast is. Just about anyone with a driving licence could pootle one around a track, but to get the most out of it, you need a supernatural ability to hit the brakes a few metres later than when your instinct begs you to. You need to carry a few more miles per hour through the apex and get back on the gas a few moments earlier than the opposition.

Last year’s game touched on that spirit, and now Codemasters Birmingham have sent a few thousand volts through the suspension for 2011.

Need for Speed: The Run trailer races 3000 miles for $25 million

Tom Senior at

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Need for Speed: The Run is an odd proposition. A story driven racer, powered by DICE's Frostbite 2 engine, with dubious quick time intervals in which your driver leaps out of his ride, punches up policemen and sprints across the rooftops. The new trailer uncovers the reason behind all that recklessness, a 3000 mile dash from San Fran to New York with $25 million cash prize at the end.

Would you thump a cop for 25 million bucks? Would you endure a cop thumping quicktime event for 25 million bucks? Luckily, EA say the out of car sections will make up less than 10% of the game, hopefully the rest will be pure racing, with plenty of dramatic set-piece events like the avalanche shown halfway through the new trailer. Check out our Need for Speed: The Run hands-on from E3 this year for more. The Run is out November 15 this year.

F1 2011 released, launch trailer races in slow motion

Tom Hatfield at

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F1 2011 is now available in North America, with a European release set for this Friday. The new entry in the series has been impressing us here in the office, especially the co-op campaign mode, which lets you experience the curious combination of co-operation and rivalry that fellow racing team members enjoy.

To celebrate the launch, Codemasters have released a new trailer for the game, showing off the gorgeous looking visuals and a stirring soundtrack. It's like a slow motion waltz around the track, which is decidedly unlike the high speed nature of sport itself, but makes for a very pretty video.

Our review of F1 2011 will be in PC Gamer UK 232, which arrives in stores on the 28th of September.

F1 2011 trailer talks KERS, DRS and the safety car

Tom Senior at

The fourth F1 2011 diary details the major new additions to this year's Formula One game, following the dramatic rule changes in the sport itself. The DRS system that lets drivers open up their rear wings to gain a boost in straight line speed in carefully specified parts of each course has made it into the game. The KERS system is in, too. That stores electrical energy generated by braking in high tech batteries that can give a driver's engine a useful boost at the right moment.

Last but not least, there's the safety car. It sounds like the least exciting addition, but the slow safety cars that emerge after a crash cause the entire grid to concertina, and can let quick thinking teams grab a vital pit stop they wouldn't otherwise have managed. F1 2011 is out next Tuesday in the US, and on Friday in Europe.

F1 2011 trailer shows co-op championship mode

Tom Senior at

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The co-op championship is a new addition for F1 2011. It lets two players race through a Formula One season as drivers in the same team. There's always an intense rivalry between fellow team members, partly because racing drivers are a naturally competitive breed, but mainly because the team leader's car will be the first to receive any technological upgrades the constructor's garage cooks up. If you get your nose-cone in front, you stand even more of a chance of grabbing a podium slot. F1 2011 is out on September 20 in the US, September 22 in Australia, and September 23 in the UK.

Trackmania 2: Canyon trailer hurtles out of PAX

Tom Senior at

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A brand new Trackmania 2: Canyon trailer has come speeding out of the PAX turnstyles. It still looks beautiful, and we still can't wait to play it. There's a multiplayer beta underway right now for players who have pre-ordered. It's due out next month.

F1 2011 trailer recaps the season so far, shows safety car

Tom Senior at

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The latest F1 2011 trailer recaps the Formula One season so far with in-engine recreations of its most dramatic moments. We also get to glimpse the safety car, an optional new feature for the 2011 edition of Codemaster's fastest franchise. F1 2011 is just one month away. Will it have enough to lap last year's game? Check out our F1 2010 review to see what Codemasters are building on.

Trackmania 2: Canyon trailer loops the loop

Tom Senior at

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A simple video of Trackmania 2: Canyon's colossal loops is enough to make our stomachs go a bit wibbly. We can't wait to dive in and make our own ludicrous tracks using the included course editor. You can pre-order Trackmania 2: Canyon now to grab a spot on the beta. It's out on September 14.

F1 Online: a new free-to-play racer and management sim from Codemasters

Tom Senior at

Codemasters have announced that they're launching a free-to-play Formula One game called F1 Online. Powered by the Unity engine, it'll be browser-based and will let players manage a Formula One team and then clamber into the cockpit to race against friends. It will feature all the official drivers, teams and circuits from the 2011 Formula One season, and well let drivers compete in the FIA Formula One World Championship, and race in individual Grand Prix events, complete with their own qualifying rounds.

There's very little information available beyond that at the moment, but there is a new website where you can sign up for a newsletter. There are also a few work in progress screenshots, which you'll find below. F1 Online is due out early next year.

Trackmania 2: Canyon release date confirmed

Tom Senior at

Yesterday we mentioned the fast approaching Trackmania 2: Canyon multiplayer beta, now CVG have spotted a firm release date on the Ubisoft shop. Trackmania 2: Canyon will be out on Septermber 14. It'll cost $24.99 / £19.99. The full version ships with a level editor that will let you make your own impossible tracks, and the "mediatracker" which will let racers edit videos from race footage. RPS point out that Nadeo have said that a Trackmania 2: Canyon Steam release is still "unconfirmed."

You can read more about the developers and the story behind the development of Trackmania, and their other projects, Shootmania and Questmania in our feature on the future of Nadeo, or sit back and watch Trackmania 2: Canyon in action.

TrackMania 2: Canyon multiplayer beta to kick off next week

Tom Senior at

ManiaPlanet have thrown up a little countdown ticker to tease the launch of the TrackMania 2 multiplayer beta next week. Blues News spotted the counter on the ManiaPlanet blog, where the devs announce that the beta will be open to everyone who pre-orders the game. The beta will come with the map editor and a video editor, and when TrackMania 2 is released properly, the beta versions will automagically update. You'll be able to pre-order the game from the TrackMania 2: Canyon site "soon" for $24.99 / £19.99. For a good look at TrackMania 2: Canyon in action, check out these three perfect laps. It's due out in September.

Driver: San Francisco delayed on PC, no demo planned

Tom Senior at

Following the revelation that Driver: San Francisco will be constrained by Ubisoft's always-online DRM system, Blues News have discovered that the PC version of the game has been delayed, and the demo that has just landed on consoles won't be coming out at all on PC. While retailers are still listing a September 6 release date for Driver: San Francisco, Blues News have been told that the PC version will be out on September 27.

Ubisoft have recently made a habit of delaying their games at the last minute. From Dust was the most recent victim of a last minute delay. That's now due to come out on August 17.

Trackmania 2: Canyon footage shows three perfect laps

Tom Senior at

Here's some lovely footage of Trackmania 2 shot by some folks on the beta, spotted on RPS. The absurdly smooth driving skills make us think that it might be a well-programmed bot doing the driving in this one. Every turn is nailed with unflinching perfection, which means we're free to coast along and enjoy the gorgeous new environments.

Like the first games, Trackmania 2 will ship with powerful editing tools that will let players create and share new tracks. The first game, TrackMania Nations Forever, is free to download from Steam. The sequel is due out later this year. Check out the official Trackmania 2: Canyon site for more.

Driver: San Francisco trailer shows body-snatching multiplayer

Tom Senior at

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Driver: San Francisco's multiplayer modes look a bit like Mario Kart, if Mario had the ability to eject his soul from his body mid-race, float several miles above the Mushroom Kingdom and then dive inside the head of any Kart driver in the world. Other powers let you spawn a truck in the middle of the road, or change the car you're driving into a better one from your garage. If wizards existed, this is how they would race.

We recently learned that Driver: San Francisco will require a permanent internet connection to work, even in the single player game. It marks the return of Ubisoft's always-online DRM system that has previously been used with Assassin's Creed 2, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood and Settlers 7. Ubisoft told us that the system "is a success," and has lowered piracy rates.