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Jul. 23, 2001

GW Xbox > Xbox Previews > Preview Page


Gravity Games: Street. Vert. Dirt



Extreme Sports


Midway has their share of extreme sports to bring to the industry in a few days. Check out our newest preview!

Gravity Games Bike: Street. Vert. Dirt. is Midway's version of Acclaim's fashionable Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX franchise which has been tearing the sales charts for the past few years. The extreme sports genre has exploded as of late, most likely thanks to Activision's killer Tony Hawk skateboarding franchise. The competition has become stiff, but Midway is hoping to change history. Their upcoming title packs a ton of features, slick graphics and an ultra realistic representation of one of the world's most intense extreme sports, BMX riding.

Midway's upcoming BMX title takes advantage of a whopping set of game modes. In Midway's version of "career" mode, the player must compete head-to-head in a number of competitions in order to gain the gold medal and a place within the top professional BMX riders chart. Competitions range from three diverse events: Street, Vert and Dirt. Combining a bit of Vert and Dirt, the Street event requires players to navigate through skatepark-like environments. Vert is more of a trick style competition where players go off an enormous halfpipe at extreme speeds trying to score the most points possible. The last mouthful of competitions is Dirt, where players must travel through muddy areas as they complete high-flying stunts. The mode surely delivers variety.

Two-player multiplayer mode gives friends the chance to hit the ramps choosing from several Tony Hawk's Pro Skater style game types such as Graffiti, Race, Horse and Team Attack. Not many details were shed as to what each game type consists of, but they should be similar to the other games within the genre. Supplementary game modes also include Quickstart and Freeride, which are self-explanatory and focus away from the competitions and more on the practice side of things.

Gravity Games Bike allows the player to control one of twenty-one riders, seven in which are true professionals, including all time greats Jamie Bestwick, Andre Ellison, Dennis McCoy and Fuzzy Hall. Each one of characters features their own signature styles, with an archive of over 1,500 total tricks and 400 motion captured moves divided between them. However, riders are obviously nothing without an area to shred open. Gravity Games Bike has 10 vast street, vert and dirt environments filled with numerous challenges, obstacles and ramps for the player to explore.

When it comes to controls, games of the genre usually have a simple scheme, and this one is no different. Following the lines of Acclaim's Dave Mirra series, Gravity Games Bike uses a similar set-up which makes the game very easy to pick up and play. Combining several buttons and analog movements helps the rider complete advanced stunts. Generally speaking, if Midway can manage to follow the lines of Activision and Acclaim's past Xbox extreme sport titles, there shouldn't be a problem regarding the control scheme.

Dynamic graphics help Gravity Games Bike stand out from the crowd. We haven't seen as much media as we would have liked unfortunately, but from what is available, not many complaints are to be stated. Reading E3 2002 impressions it seems the game is coming along nicely from a graphics point of view. A few final touches are certainly a must before the final build is shipped out, but there should be worries as Midway is usually good when it comes to graphics and next-generation platforms.

Gravity Games Bike: Street. Vert. Dirt. will be available on all major next-generation consoles within the end of the year. It recently hit the PlayStation 2 console from Sony, receiving pretty terrible reviews, but hopefully the extra development time turned out as a benefit to Microsoft's video game competitor. The Xbox's version is expected to ship on the 30th of July, just about a week away. Fans of trick style games shouldn't overlook Midway's exciting title. Do you have what it takes to win the Gold?

Matt Thomas
Wonders how long it would take him to fall off that thing...

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