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7 upcoming racing games jockeying for position

Test Drive Unlimited 2

It’s all gone wrong. In a good way

The first TDU was a flawed, but ambitious open-world racer – but the sequel’s back on track. The original Hawaiian island makes way for Ibiza, the Mediterranean heaven packed with World Heritage Sites and uber-clubs where the likes of Pete Tong and Carl Cox so brilliantly put on CDs. As a ‘Massively Open Online Racing’ game, you need plenty of space to roam. Eden Studios is attempting to blend the online and offline world seamlessly, Burnout-style – even the storyline can be continued in the multi-player world.

Once again there’s the fun /horrifyingly shallow aspect of consuming brands and hoarding stuff besides cars: apartments, sofas, TVs the size of orphanage walls. There’s damage now, changing weather, day-to-night cycles, new race types, new vehicle classes and ‘environmental challenges’. Oh, and load of cars. If Eden Games can work out how to build some fun road layouts, this is going to be a corker.


SBK X

Superbikes: more power than God

Bikes are faster, less stable and more dangerous than cars – and the crashes are bigger. Odd, then, that bike games shone so infrequently until MotoGP 09/10 raised the game with a solid, well-structured ride, and now there’s this: SBK X. And it’s driving on MotoGP’s toes.

Don’t dismiss it as the latest in a series of okay-ish games of the World Superbike series – this one’s a real step forward. Beyond the usual races and championships there’s a new career mode, where you create a rider, manage your team and invest in engines, chassis, suspension – the works. You also start in the lower classes, as SBK X includes the 600cc SuperSport and SuperStockers.

Better still is the new Legendary Roster, a group of past greats including Carl Fogarty, Troy Bayliss and Ben Bostrumand. There are some ringers too (Katsuaki Fujiwara? Tom Sykes?) but hey, it’s all nostalgia. SBK X is looking at a May release in the UK, however a US release hasn’t been announced.


WRC

WRC? It’s the muddy one…

After a four year gap, the World Rally Championship is back with a new developer, new rallies and new technology. With Evolution Studios occupied with MotorStorm, WRC is now under the control of World Superbikers Milestone, and they’re excited by three further letters: GPS. The real cars are minutely tracked through the stages, and Milestone has gained access to the data: the plan is for players to compete head-to-head with the pros. It’s not certain to happen that way – the announcement is hazy – and it would require perfect copies of the stages, but you’d have to work hard to squander such amazing telemetry.

Luck has given Milestone ace material this year, with ex-champ Solberg resurgent, Ford’s Mikko Hirvonen hounding the long-dominant Loeb, plus new signings Ken Block (YouTube phenomenon) and Kimi Raikonnen (monotone F1 robot). DiRT too ‘extreme’ for you? Then keep your eye on this.


Rumours

The unconfirmed racers


Above: What will Criterion do with Need For Speed

Burnout developers Criterion are working on a ‘revolutionary’ new Need for Speed game. No details yet, but Criterion Creative Director Alex Ward made his love for NFS on the ill-feted 3DO console clear in an interview with IGN a few years back, so expect a heartfelt tribute. Codemasters have also semi-confirmed DiRT3 is next on their racing agenda following the release of F1 2010. Expect an announcement at E3 with a release in 2011. We also hear that Bizarre Creations are currently working on three projects. One is Blur, one is a Bond game, and the third… it’s hotly rumoured to be a racer. Expect a full reveal later this year along with more detailed news.

May 3, 2010

24 comments

  • reveffect - May 5, 2010 3:05 a.m.

    come on people just admit that the only reason that most of you are already siding with split second is because it looks better. trust me once you play both of the games and actually consider how the game play works in both of them blur clearly comes out on top. the only thing that split/second has going for it are its graphics and explosions. even real die hard fans of the burnout games and sim racing fans are saying that they prefer blur over S/S. some of the reasons were that in S/S they almost encourage you to stay behind the pack because there are no defensive moves or powerplays that you can pull off if you happen to be in first where as in blur there are both offensive and defensive power ups and moves that you can pull off. blur is also basicly the mario kart game for non wii owners so if you like mario kart like games but dont want to buy a wii just to play them then blur is a good choice. blur also has more of a fun factor than S/S to the point where even if your losing in blur you are still most likely going to be having fun. the races are more unpredictable in blur where as in S/S it seems like the power plays dont really change no matter how many times you run the track its the same animation. S/S has some good ideas but there are still some things missing that would make it better. yes i know that sega all stars is also a mario kart like game that is available on other consoles as well. anyways i cant say everything that some people have already said about the difference between the two since this is too long already. if you guys still think that s/s is better after playing both then thats your opinion and im not going to force you to change it. this is just another case of people judging a book by its cover with out seeing whats behind all of the pretty graphics and large explosions. dont get me wrong i will still get s/s its just that its not a first day buy for me like blur is. i would much rather wait for the price to drop on s/s or rent it.
  • lilyeister - May 5, 2010 2:32 a.m.

    woww, 950 cars? does anybody know where i could find a list? if there's a noble or a spyker in there suddenly the wait seems worth it
  • Vercetti - May 5, 2010 2:21 a.m.

    Looking forward to F1 2010. Hopefully it will be a good racer.
  • philipshaw - May 4, 2010 2:17 p.m.

    Read this in PSM3 last month and Split/Second looks awesome!
  • Spybreak8 - May 4, 2010 9:15 a.m.

    I hope Codemasters hits F1 out of the park, I highly enjoyed Grid and I just love F1 cars. I'll pick up Split/Second eventually but I think I'll be spending my mula on Red Dead Redemption.
  • CH3BURASHKA - May 4, 2010 5:15 a.m.

    Split/Second > all others. At this point, GT5 is now a pity-purchase - enthusiasm has waned, and it's more of a museum piece than a legitimate vidja gam.
  • GodofPS314 - May 4, 2010 2:04 a.m.

    Modnation Racers!!! i have never been a huge racer fan but I love me some Littlebigplanet!
  • Cyberninja - May 4, 2010 12:12 a.m.

    when GT5 is released i will kick a puppy so i am guessing never
  • Pocotron - May 3, 2010 9:15 p.m.

    Ah ModNation... Why do you have to look so fucking awesome everyone I see you? ...this would explain the boner... ReCaptcha: eternal aflame They know my love for the game is eternal!
  • michaelmcc827 - May 3, 2010 8:41 p.m.

    I'm super excited for Blur and TDU2...I really can't see what all the fuss is about Split/Second, I actually thought the demo was horrible, wasn't fun or inspiring at all, it seems people are praising the idea rather than the actual gameplay. Also, I don't really see how GT gets by with "Oh, but it's for car lovers". Forza was released last year, and already has a much bigger features list with extremely comparable graphics and a tuning system unrivaled by GT...guess nostalgia wins over for some people.
  • Rhymenocerous - May 3, 2010 7:51 p.m.

    Meh. I want a new Wipeout. Or maybe Micro Machines.
  • ensabahnur - May 3, 2010 6:46 p.m.

    Definitely gonna get Split Second
  • crumbdunky - May 3, 2010 4:43 p.m.

    After GTPSP was so panned by critics I was amazed to find it refusing top leave my handheld for any reason at all so far since jumping in late last year and if GT5 is anything like as addictive(in a gets-better-the-more-you-play way)then the wait MIGHT well be worth it.Suerbkies are also not on my fave list. TDU2 has some incredibly slick ideas and will be watching what actually makes it into a decent game feature but having played a bit of the beta I have to say I'm actually more interested in MNR than any of the others(even as a confessed GT fantard). From what I played(and not going into all the creation options/side of things which is also massive)it manages to avoid the chief annoyance of MKWii by toning down that rubberbanding AI and last minute Blue Shell/lightning effect and reward skill a little better. Sure, the power ups/weapons do take their toll but it's not nearly so arbitrary as MKWii and leaves you feeling more that you earned your victory/eighth place. Funnily, I had zero interest BEFORE actually having a go too! Dunno about which(if either) of the B.lur/S/S battle will turn out OK but I'm still interested. Can't be arsed with F1 and have played too many WRC games in different guises to care anymore.
  • Spacegrass - May 3, 2010 3:49 p.m.

    I'm really looking forward to GT5's Nascar mode; who wants to drive an Italian supercar on the world's most amazing tracks, when you can make left turns in a Monte Carlo for a few hours instead? Sarcasm aside, I'll probably get it for the 950 cars; are there even that many in real life? Blur and TDU2 also look promising, but I can't get excited for split/second because it doesn't have real cars, or split-screen apparently.
  • hardcore_gamer1990 - May 3, 2010 3:27 p.m.

    I'd still prefer to get Blur. And I'm SO getting ModNation Racers... It looks so fucking good! :D
  • Metroidhunter32 - May 3, 2010 2:22 p.m.

    No mention of hope for a new F-0?
  • Turboash - May 3, 2010 1:55 p.m.

    Can not wait for GT5! I'm such a fanboy of that series!
  • EnragedTortoise1 - May 3, 2010 1:28 p.m.

    ModNationRacers for me. Split/Second if I have enough money.
  • Wolverine08 - May 3, 2010 1:10 p.m.

    Gran turismo is going to be in alot of trouble against all those other promising racers, but I think it'll pull through. But, I'm sorry, Blur just doesn't grab me at all. I'm all for OTT action, but to be it's just a bit silly, it can't make it's mind up whether it's a simulation or a mature Mario Kart. For me, if it ever comes out, GT5 will win ( also does anyone on GR know any info or hints at when GRID 2 will be out, if ever?)
  • WrathLord03 - May 3, 2010 10:54 a.m.

    Ok, read it. Not as much of a fan as racing games as I was, but I am looking forward to Split/Second (Velocity). I don't like realistic ones, mostly because I'm horrible at them, but anything that does the same thing as NFS: Most Wanted (re invent the casual racer) is on my list. In my opinion, Split/Second combines explosions and cars, which is already a winner, and all its missing is realistic damage and a physics tweak...which is actually a lot. @OnxyOblivion: perfect for ruining someone's game plan, and after playing GT2, 3 and 4 I'm become a bit weary of it - the wait DEFINITELY hasn't helped. @NorwegianKingOfNames: As long as I make an actual comment, I think I have redeemed myself.

Showing 1-20 of 24 comments

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