It would be ridiculous to suggest that Ridge Racer Unbounded, Namco's upcoming reboot to the long-floundering 3D racing pioneer, invented the idea of making your own in-game environments. Level-generation tools have been around since about five minutes after levels themselves – but by highlighting the mode's potential, while notably omitting any subtitle to the effect of, “you will need a PhD and 30 hours free-time per day in order to make anything decent in this mode,” the company seems to be suggesting that rarest of things: a level-building mode that's not hopelessly frustrating to regular players. What does that look like? According to this trailer, sort of Need for Speed by way of Inception.
Ridge Racer, before it became the Rolling Stones of racing franchises (long-in-the-tooth and a bit sad, particularly when trotted out like we should still give a damn) was responsible for no end of innovations now commonplace within the racing genre – so it's only fitting that this creation mode, whether it proves to be “unbounded creative freedom” or “a cut-'n'-paste mode you'll use for an hour then forget about,” should include so many staples of the genre. Even if you're without a creative bone in your body, the sensation of stringing one of those “speed beneath the raised tramline while avoiding the girders” sections into that “barrel down a curved semi-tunnel with the skyline stretching out beside you” sequence you recognize from every racing game since Virtua Racing ought to be good for a thrill or two when the game releases next year.
Aug 10, 2011