The developers have also pulled a clever trick with the refurbished first person camera. Watching your helmet nearly come down over your eyes as you attempt a stunt - the camera now remains in first person for stunts - makes this arcade game feel fleshed out and immediate. So does the impressive new physics engine, which handles all manner of slides, whips and scrubs - without a glut of scripted animations. Nope, these spills and chills are all computed on the fly, so the bone-splintering impacts should all look unique each time you faceplant off the side of a cliff.
Untamed, as wild and free as it is, has only a couple rough edges we'd like to see smoothed out before it hits store shelves on December 17th. The graphics look good, but not great, and it remains to be seen whether the X-Cross is a deep championship mode or merely parts of all of the series arranged sequentially and called "X-Cross". Those minor problems aside, we'll be driving our sensible Kia a polite 35 miles an hour to the nearest EB as soon as it hits, so we can crank the throttle and burn some gas without worrying about roads, speeding tickets, or putting ourselves in a full-body cast.