First screens of Ridge Racer 7

New PlayStation? Time for a new Ridge Racer. Though it's still synonymous with high-speed arcade racing action after all these years, this series hasn't made any bold leaps in recent memory. This time, though, it sounds as if the team is trying to lay new features on top of the drift-heavy racing the series is well-known for.

To see the first screens of the game, click that Images tab up above the story. We'll wait.

Above: The game's new customization mode will allow for 375,000 different exterior modifications. Not pictured: 374,995 of them.

Namco Bandai is promising 40 cars, 22 courses (which can all be played in the reverse, an RR staple) and 160 different races in the game's career mode. More exciting than simple statistics is the game's online race mode, which will allow you to bring your modified car online to battle against other players. The game will also track worldwide rankings - and throw them into your face whenever you play, thanks to its new World Hub interface.

We have to say, though, that these first screenshots are more than a little suspicious - many of them don't even feature any cars, and the ones that do look pretty lonely. The good news is that we have no problems believing that these tracks are the real deal when it comes to the PlayStation 3 - and based on our past experiences with Ridge Racer, we don't have too much trouble imagining that Namco Bandai will pull it all together when the rubber meets the road... whenever that might be.

September 6, 2006