Our preview of Bizarre Creations' Xbox-bound sequel to MSR is accompanied by exclusive media of the game in action.
Take the physics of a Gran Turismo, the control of an F355 challenge, throw in a bit of originality and top it all off with polished visuals and solid play mechanics and what do you get? Bizarre Creations' stellar Dreamcast racer, Metropolis Street Racer.
Now, take that same formula, polish the visuals even more, tweak the control and add a slew of new features. The end result: Project Gotham Racing. The Xbox sequel to Bizarre's critically acclaimed Dreamcast racer is heading to Microsoft's console, and it's aiming to become one of Xbox's premiere first-generation titles.
The most drastic and instantly apparent improvement comes in the form of the game's visuals. Lighting is being heavily relied on to achieve so very impressive effects. Reflections of the surroundings on the cars add an abnormally large boost to the game's visual flair, as do the equally impressive reflections found on wet pavement.
Project Gotham's car models look particularly more detailed and polished than do those found in its predecessor. Also of interest is the fact that the vehicles can incur damage, rather it be in the form of a mere fender bender or a complete mutilation. This should prove not only to add to the game's impressive visuals, but also to further affect the gameplay.
Even in the extremely early demo shown at E3, Project Gotham maintained a steady framerate of 30 frames per second. This number is expected to climb to an impressive 60 fps as development progresses and the game is moved to final hardware.
Project Gotham will feature more than twenty officially licensed, highly desirable automobiles. From American muscle cars such as Chevrolet's incredible Corvette Z06 and Dodge's menacing Viper to sleek and sporty imports such as TVR's Tuscan. Overall, the game's repertoire of vehicles is far more impressive than that of MSR's.
Project Gotham will feature one completely new city, while retaining the three original cities found in MSR. Joining Tokyo, London, and San Francisco will be New York, which is being accurately reproduced to the point of absurdity exemplified by the title's three previously produced tracks. It should be noted, however, that the locations being brought to Project Gotham from MSR are being reworked to accommodate completely original routes.
More subtle refinements are also being made. MSR's Kudos system, which, while innovative, was plagued with its fair share of problems, is being reworked for Project Gotham. Kudos are now displayed in real time in the top right corner of the screen, allowing the player to see which techniques and maneuvers garner the most points.
The new system also allows players to achieve equal success regardless of their driving style. For instance, it is possible for technically adept drivers to achieve the same score as speedier drivers. Project Gotham allows players much more freedom in choosing how they would like to attack a particular course, rather than forcing them to abide to a particular driving style.
The game's control is also being refined to accommodate a more realistic style of driving than that encouraged in MSR. Sliding around corners is still possible (and necessary at times), but frequently will a more balanced attack of precise braking and throttle coordination prove helpful.
Project Gotham Racing is scheduled to appear on store shelves late this year.
Who came up with the name Project Gotham?
Project Gotham Racing Screenshots