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Game needing a sequel: Road Rash
Original game format: Mega Drive
Why it needs a sequel: While Road Rash has had various updates and ports over the years, the last one was in the 64/32-bit era, making the potential for a new update huge.
The concept is simple. Ride a motorbike really fast and beat your rivals off their mounts with a variety of nasty melee weapons. But what made the original so cool – aside from the high speed ultra-violence – was the fact that it was one of the first games to provide interactive race environments, resulting in some spectacularly funny crashes.
It also pioneered the idea of reactive AI in rival racers. The more aggro you put out, the more you’d get back in return, and later versions even used biker gangs who dealt out differing levels of whupp-ass depending on allegiance. Taken to the nth degree on modern technology, a new Road Rash would be nothing short of mind-blowingly visceral.
What we want from a sequel: If the above description is putting you in mind of a certain modern racing game series, then you’re probably already imagining what we want from the sequel; Burnout with bikes. A blisteringly fast, HD carnage frenzy is what we want from a new Road Rash, and the later iterations of Criterion’s series should be the template.
In fact the more we think about it, the more Criterion is perfect for this. Before Burnout they actually did an aggressive, high-speed bike racing game for the PC called Redline Racer. It wasn’t too far from being Road Rash without the melee attacks, and it took full advantage of the separation of rider and bike upon impact with wall in order to engineer the hilarious hurling of bodies for miles and miles. If Criterion used Redline as a starting point and then blended it with Burnout-style race environments, upped the number of ways that riders can come into contact with vast amounts of pain, and threw realistic body physics into the mix, Road Rash would have a worthy sequel indeed.
The fact that Criterion is an EA studio and Road Rash is an EA series just makes the idea even more perfect. Of course, the potential similarity to Burnout may be the reason we haven’t had a new Road Rash yet, but we can’t help but dream. We’ve got our fingers crossed for an unlockable RR mode in Burnout Paradise regardless, however unlikely it might be.
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