Konami have announced the first details of a new racing title called Enthusia Professional Racing. The official blurb promises groundbreaking gameplay with lush graphics that provide an unprecedented racing experience.
That's one hell of a claim considering that racing is the one genre that developers have really nailed (see Gran Turismo, Colin McRae, Project Gotham et al). Konami's aim is to make this the most realistic racer ever, with the emphasis being on flawless driving against opponents whose AI is ramped up to the max.
The realism aspect of the game is partly provided by Konami's own Visual Gravity System, which is said to convey a real sense of the G-forces that drivers experience when throwing a car around when rattling along at high speeds. Konami see this as a first and they're certainly right if their claim - that you'll be able to see and feel the G-force pressures - comes to fruition. Being rather cautious, we can't see how you can really convey such sensations but our interest has certainly been piqued.
The game will feature hundreds of cars from 40 manufactures for you to drive around the multiple real and fictional tracks. Numerous camera angles are employed to make the most of the photo-realistic graphics and cars can be tuned-up between stages. As this isn't a rally title, we presume the main game mode will require you to tackle a number of tracks in succession with the option to tune before each race. The fact that car damage hasn't been mentioned suggests there won't be visual damage in the game and so isn't a factor during tuning.
While it sounds as if there's plenty to keep you busy in the single-player modes, the multiplayer option sounds rather less thrilling: it will only support a maximum of two players and no mention had been made yet of online play.
Still, Enthusia clearly sounds like Konami's take on the Gran Turismo series. It may seem a little premature to make such a comparison but when you talk about photo-realistic graphics and the ultimate racing experience, it's GT that comes to mind. And it clearly is the one to beat.
Enthusia sounds good on paper and we look forward to seeing it in action. We're especially eager to try out the G-force aspect for ourselves. It just might set the game apart from the rest in a genre that already sports a good number of quality titles. Expect more soon...
Enthusia Professional Racing is scheduled to appear on PS2 in 2005