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Tourist Trophy

Although they have two fewer wheels than cars, motorbikes are twice as hard to portray convincingly in virtual form.

Much of the complexity comes from the rider's direct physical input and the intricate effect this places on a bike's handling dynamic. Recreating this successfully is a considerable challenge, and one that only a handful of biking titles have managed.

The historically low success rate wouldn't appear to bother Polyphony. The developer recently used the Tokyo Motor Show to officially unveil its new racing game to the broader public, after a previous debut outing at TGS.

A racing title from Polyphony is always going to suffer from obvious comparisons and, aside from borrowing the game engine, Tourist Trophy inevitably adopts much of the Gran Turismo blueprint.

The game is split between arcade and career modes, and between them you face a number of licences to obtain and over 80 bikes to unlock, racing on the game's current count of 35 circuits (a significant number of which GT4 players will recognise).

As you might expect, the level of realism is a fundamental aspect of the Tourist Trophy experience.

Independent front and rear brakes are a given, but additional elements, such as the ability to select one of three preset 'riding forms' which affect the bike's centre of gravity, allow you to set up the bike to best suit your riding technique.

You can even adjust up to eight parameters such as seating position, waist offset and knee/arm angles in the main Tourist Trophy World mode.

The riding itself is commendably implemented at this stage although, like GT and car driving, knowledge of riding fundamentals is necessary in order to begin exploiting TT's rewarding characteristics.

The sense of speed, even onboard, isn't as convincing, however, and the high level of detail required for both rider and bike appears to have capped the number of simultaneous onscreen presences to just four.

Still, there's some road left to travel before release, and therefore time for further tweaking.

For now, though, the one thing we can say with certainty is that TT conforms to the notion of biking videogames being trickier to pin down than their car-focused equivalents.

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