Of course, this isn’t just limited to the muddy levels. We were also shown an alpine course. This one starts off with a what appears to be a fairly standard track, but winds up turning into a steady climb up a mountain, and with that increased elevation comes a change in terrain. That is to say, rain-slick asphalt gives way to slush, which itself gives way to thick snow. This track’s shifting terrain means even more driving strategy is required. These various track effects add some really interesting dynamics to the races, but with the controls still being faithful to Sega Rally’s arcade roots, the driving never seems to gets too difficult. The aggressive AI also helps to keep things interesting.
From a visual perspective, your car looks a little blah at the outset of each race. The light reflections are nice, but decals like the word “Subaru” are oddly blurry. That doesn’t last long, though. Once you get going, that ever-popular mud will soon make its way onto your car’s brand new paintjob. On the PS3 version we saw running, the mud looked brilliant whether caked on the car or sitting on the ground. In contrast, the current look of the snow leaves quite a bit to be desired, especially the slushy elements. Another bummer is that the game won't feature damaged car models, but you can bump into someone else's ride and knock some of their mud off. So, uh, there's always that.
The number of licensed cars looks to fall in the neighborhood of 30, with a few gag cars to boot. The studio isn’t ruling out the possibility of downloadable content, though nothing has been confirmed at this early stage. One thing we do know is this: You’ll be able to compete in six person online races. With that many people leaving their imprint on the track, things should get pretty interesting when the game releases later this year.