This is a surprise. Codemasters' more recent racers have been perfectly fine PC ports (aside from some dark times with GfW Live), but they've never seemed interested in the more flexible aspects of the platform. Naturally, the community has been happy to break open their engines and go tinkering inside, but the mods they created were never officially supported. That's set to change with Grid 2: the developer announcing that mod tools will be introduced in the upcoming Community Patch.
Upcoming free-to-play Ridge Racer Driftopia—which already has kind of a cheeseball name—has coined a new term, "Free 2 Drift," which I'm sure is a name that nobody will regret within the fortnight. And it's out now. Kind of. It's technically in closed beta, but worming your way into the racing crowd is a cinch.
The original Grid came with a Demolition Derby mode, but that mode was curiously absent in its sequel, which we otherwise quite liked when it came out at the end of May. Thankfully, Codies are making up for that, and are preparing to release two big updates to keep us racing around and rewinding time and then racing around again in perfect harmony. The first adds the aforementioned Demo Derby, while the second is a 'Community Patch' adding requested features and changes to the game, which you can read about below.
While I work on my pronunciation of 'Hungaroring', the motor-racing circuit in Hungary, wrap your eyes around this new trailer for Codies' F1 2013 - then put them back in your head where they belong. Their latest F1 tie-in will release on October 4th, just in time for the Korean Grand Prix.
Codemasters have announced the next entry in their ever-increasing garage full of racers. Which of their roster is getting a new model? I'll give you a clue: the year is 2013, and the last released Formula 1 game from the company was F1 2012. You don't have to be as fast as Nigel Mansell to work this out. This time, as well as featuring an updated line-up of cars, tracks and drivers, F1 2013 will also look back to the championship's history with its '80s and '90s-set Classic Edition.
There’s a long corner arching through a part of Grid 2’s sun- drenched Californian track where a squirrel dashes across the road. It’s always at precisely the same point, and always just as your car lurches into the basin of a gentle drop and rise. And, despite racing that stretch of road 30 or even 40 times, I still haven’t been able to hit it.
And nor should I, really – it would be an unjustifiable act of violence, and more importantly some bloodied shreds might get stuck in a delicate part of the engine. But the squirrel is symbolically significant, even if it refuses to be run over. It speaks to Grid 2’s wonderful presentation, which is glistening and iridescent and other things your car would be if it was really clean.
Thanks to this dazzlingly pretty trailer, I've just this moment realised that Project CARS is an acronym. Previously, I'd assume that developer Slightly Mad Studios loved cars so much that they couldn't write their game's name without implying an enthusiastic shout of excitement. Instead, it turns out that it stands for Community Assisted Racing Simulator. And yet, it is about cars. How serendipitous.
Nadeo only recently released TrackMania 2: Stadium, but already they're revving up for the next addition to their series of improbable racers. TrackMania 2: Valley is a rally-focused expansion, and is planned for release this Thursday, July 4th. Incidentally, let's take a moment to congratulate Nadeo for the clear naming of their sequel. It's better than their previous system of bolting extra subtitles with every version - resulting in TrackMania United Forever Star Edition:
Origins. Or something.
Prepare to burn some rubber and press down hard on that virtual accelerator in a way you can never do as a mild-mannered, law-abiding citizen in real life—TrackMania's latest thing is now on PC. TrackMania 2 Stadium launched quietly over the weekend (well, as quietly as squealing tires can allow, anyway), and going by these screenshots? It's showroom-slick.
Mystery, survival, and action titles feature in the latest batch of games to find approval through Steam's Greenlight program. Thanks to community support and Valve's judgment, the following games should see release on Steam as development finishes and they are brought into agreement with the Steamworks apparatus...
Auto Club Revolution developers (and possessors of the world's most unspellable name) Eutechnyx have announced a new NASCAR title for PC. It's literally called NASCAR The Game 2013, and it looks a lot like a NASCAR game created in the year 2013. Stick around for some moderately shiny screenshots.
The Crew, shown today at Ubisoft's E3 press conference, is looking to steer racing toward a hybrid between single-player, cooperative, and competitive play in an online persistent world. Or, in other words, an open world MMO-type racing game, developed by Ubisoft Reflections and Ivory Tower.
But hardly anybody uses the cockpit view! That's what Codemasters had to say, anyway, about the discontinuation of the cockpit view in its latest racer, GRID 2. Try telling that to PC gamers, though. Following GRID 2's release last week, modders have been working to build their own cockpit view—here's what they've come up with so far.
Another twist in the increasingly soap opera-like will they/won't they story of love and indifference between EA and the PC. Previously on "The Next Gen": FIFA 14 decides we won't get to play with its new Ignite engine, and EA's own CTO says hurtful things about their relationship with a supposedly more powerful squeeze.
But now, speeding across the highway comes Need for Speed: Rivals, the latest in the publisher's never-ending racer series. It's being released for PC, as well as current- and next-gen consoles. More importantly, developer Ghost Games' executive producer Marcus Nilsson has told Joystiq that, "Need for Speed Rivals will look easily as good on PC as next-generation consoles."
Everybody's been flipping their bikes over Trials Evolution. You need to go head-to-head with your pals at a party, they say. You don't know fun till you've revved through rings of fire, or gone flying over the handlebars into an endless cavern below, they say. If you avoided dropping money on Trials before, envisioning your friends racing ahead of you as your own bike pathetically slid backward down a butter-slicked incline, you can rest easy; Steam's now got a demo version up for the unsure.
Veteran racing game developer Eutechnyx has kept their online free-to-play game Auto Club Revolution in various stages of testing for two years, with the open beta having begun over a year ago. Executive Producer Christoph Vietzke cited "strict criteria" for the wait—and apparently, that criteria has now been met, as ACR has officially launched today. Oh, and if you were a beta tester, you get a bonus gift as a thank-you for helping to improve and shape the game.
Until now, we've mainly seen the Oculus Rift put to use in first-person shooters, first-person parkour simulators, and first-person whatevers, but a virtual reality bike racing/violence title seems like a particularly good use for the magic space-helmet. The Road Rash-inspired Road Redemption - currently up for funding on Kickstarter, with 9 days and around $60,000 left to go - has been filmed working with Oculus Rift, meaning we can experience hitting a motorcyclist with a chain from the inside. You know, if the game reaches its $160,000 target. Er, and gets another $38,000 on top of that.
If I was the Prince of Persia - and some day I may be - I'd be a bit miffed watching this trailer of the upcoming 3D platformer/racer Cloudbuilt. All those years spent practicing wall-running have been rendered moot by a single, awesome contraption: the jetpack. With a jetpack in tow, wall-running is a trivial, if blisteringly fast affair; rather than clunkily clambering your way up a tall building, you're darting between them like a sci-fi Sonic the Hedgehog - or you will be when the game's finished, at any rate. Cloudbuilt's impressive obstacle courses won't be ready until later this year, but as the latest video shows it's coming along quite nicely.
As far as I can tell, Codemasters exist in a separate universe to the rest of us. It's almost exactly the same as our version of reality, except for one key difference: YouTube. First it was Dirt 3, which constantly recommended I upload uneventful wins to the video sharing site, seemingly untroubled by the fact that no-one would be remotely interested in displays of moderate competence. Now it's this Grid 2 trailer, previewing the game's "redefined" multiplayer and social features, including YouTube intergration.
I'm just not sure "Can ANYONE beat this guy?!?!" is a sentence that any commenter would type.
"Okay, so it's a visually fetching indie racer with weird folded wing-like cars," I thought as I watched this trailer for Krautscape. "Ha, idiot!" I thought as one of those cars drove clean off the edge of the suspended track. "WHAT?!" I thought - glad I'd already swallowed my mouthful of tea - as the wings unfurled and the previously doomed vehicle happily flew off.