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GDC 11: Hands-on with Jimmie Johnson's AWAE

6:25 PM on 03.03.2011 // Hamza CTZ Aziz

So Jimmie Johnson's Anything With an Engine is fun. I know, I was surprised too. It's basically the Mario Kart formula mixed in with the charming style and appeal of the Wacky Racers cartoon series

You'll be using various odd looking vehicles -- each with different stats – and all will utilize boosts and weaponry in order to win races. Unlike other kart style racers, Jimmie Johnson uses a voting system to unlock weaponry. The main way you earn votes is by running over the various special markers located all throughout the track. Drifting and hitting opponents with your weapons will get you votes too.


Courses will all have shortcuts, traps and various environmental effects occurring throughout the race. The shortcuts are triggered only for players that are behind in the race and this is developer's Isopod Labs way of addressing the rubber banding issue most racing games have. There's always a chance for anyone to win a race so it will never be a dull race.

Up to eight players can play online and up to four can play together locally. The cool thing with this is that the four local players can all still go online and race up to four other online players, something we don't see much of these days.

As for the modes, expect career, single race, multiplayer and a really cool mode called Matador mode. This mode sees four cars starting on one end of the race course while four others racers are going through the course normally. It's a lot of fun and you can expect a ton of head on collisions to happen.

Jimmie Johnson's Anything With an Engine will be coming out later this year for Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network. It will also be out for the Wii at retail and will include all of the DLC that will eventually be hitting the XBLA and PSN versions of the game.

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