On the road with Sega Rally

Saturday 13 May 2006
Sega Rally's arcade dirt-racing action has always been one of Sega's strongest franchises, and now it's heading to the land of next-gen technology. We caught up with Sega for a backstage showcase of the game's incredible track-deforming features.

There's no next-gen horsepower spared here. We saw how the tyres on your car are modelled right down to the grooves in the rubber, which, depending on the type of tyre you're using, will cut into the track in a different way. And that's exactly what happens - each track is a deformable surface, and as you tear around the course you'll leave grooves in the surface that noticeably alter handling and grip.

Our Sega pilot showed us how, by performing a huge donut, round and round and round, he could create huge ruts in the ground. Then he reversed and drove slowly over the deformed surface, and the car dipped and rocked as it rolled over the now rippled dirt.

It's hard to grasp until you see it for yourself, but what this means is that every lap you make will throw up brand new challenges as the surface decays and certain areas give better or worse grip than before.

With an E3 show full of pretty games and polished polygons, Sega Rally really stands out for employing next-gen grunt in a fantastic, game-altering manner. And there's still a year of development to go. We can't wait to see what Sega's Driving Studio comes up with next.

Ben Richardson is a former Staff Writer for Official PlayStation 2 magazine and a former Content Editor of GamesRadar+. In the years since Ben left GR, he has worked as a columnist, communications officer, charity coach, and podcast host – but we still look back to his news stories from time to time, they are a window into a different era of video games.