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Racing Games

Rocket League x Portal photo
Rocket League x Portal

Portal crossover coming to Rocket League

The cake is a li-- er, topper
Nov 29
// Kyle MacGregor
Portal-themed content is coming to Rocket League next month, Psyonix has announced. Starting December 1, the following items will be awarded to players at random after matches: Cake (Topper)  Conversion Gel (Rocket Trai...
Need for Speed photo
Need for Speed

What's new in the latest Need for Speed patch

Get your motor running
Nov 24
// Vikki Blake
Ghost Games has detailed what's new in the upcoming Need for Speed patch, "Icons." Community lead Ben Walke stated in a blog post the developer was aware of issues with AI catch-up (AI cars that magically keep up with you when racing) and while the details haven't been specified, it has "made changes to the AI behavior which should improve your overall experience."
Forza 6 photo
Forza 6

Forza 6 adds microtransactions two months after launch

With a response from Microsoft
Nov 16
// Brett Makedonski
One of the biggest criticisms of Forza Motorsport 5 was the career progression system and its over-reliance on microtransactions to advance at a reasonable rate. It was such a deal-breaker for some that Turn 10 reve...
FAST Racing Neo photo
FAST Racing Neo

FAST Racing Neo looks like a new F-Zero game for Wii U

Race fast in future space
Nov 13
// Laura Kate Dale
As part of yesterday's new Nintendo Direct presentation, Wii U owners around the world were treated to a new trailer for FAST Racing Neo. Now, where have I seen this style of game before? What possible game, much demanded by...

Rocket League photo
Rocket League

Psyonix is 'looking at all kinds of platforms' for Rocket League

More news later this year
Nov 12
// Darren Nakamura
Thus far, Rocket League has seen some phenomenal success on PC and PlayStation 4 (in part due to the PlayStation Plus promotion), and developer Psyonix hasn't been shy about its desires to move onto other platforms in the pas...
F1 2016 photo
F1 2016

F1 2016 is going to have some 'new and exciting features'

Goodness knows what they will be
Nov 11
// Laura Kate Dale
Good news for you F1 video game fans, F1 2016 is apparently going to have some "new and exciting features" for you. What are they? We have no idea. According to a blog post on the Codemasters' website, we were told that these...
Fallout x Forza photo
Fallout x Forza

Fallout 4-themed cars are racing to Forza 6

Fueled by hype
Nov 04
// Kyle MacGregor
Fallout 4 hype has reached critical mass and everybody wants a piece -- even other developers. Today, Turn 10 Studios announced a pair of Fallout 4-themed cars for its latest racer, Forza 6. Those include a Fallout-branded 19...

Review: Need for Speed

Nov 03 // Chris Carter
Need for Speed (PS4, Xbox One [reviewed])Developer: Ghost GamesPublisher: Electronic ArtsMSRP: $59.99Released: November 3, 2015 As you may have heard, Need for Speed is an online-centric game, and jumping in from the title screen will place you into a multiplayer lobby, similar to GTA Online. Thankfully, you can play fully solo if you want. For the most part, online play has been rather sound (with a large pool of EA Access players available), minus a few small hiccups like another person spawning on top of my car and some minor frame-skipping when players are connecting. Most of them are amusing, and not really game-breaking in any way. The story this time is...a bit like a Fast & Furious movie, before they turned into the entertaining heists they are today. Speed utilizes an age-old technique of live-action FMVs to progress its narrative, with real actors playing both the digitized and cinematic renditions of themselves. Now, I like silly popcorn storylines as much as the next guy, but this one is a lot of white noise. Said FMVs also aren't integrated directly into gameplay in a unique way -- they're just cutscenes, and don't segue seamlessly into the in-game engine. You play the part of a young kid who has just been invited to a local street racing event. Much like Paul Walker in the first Fast film, you'll join a crew, and slowly work your way up the ranks to earn REP (experience) and progress through the storyline. Said crew involves a female mechanic with an attitude, a fast and loose crew leader, and your personal best friend, Spike, a trust-fund kid who lives for danger. Uh, yeah. Need for Speed tries to introduce "memorable" characters by having them all do quirky things after meeting them, but the performances never really sell it. It's cool that they periodically call you up, and you can place a name to their face (plus, a lot of effort went into the FMVs themselves in terms of locations and extras), but I've already forgotten who most of them are as I type out this review. The heavy emphasis on tweets, hashtags, and social media doesn't help elevate the tone, either.  [embed]318070:60920:0[/embed] When it comes to the in-game visuals on the other hand, I'm torn. The actual street and cars look great, but structures don't have a lot of detail. Ghost Games boasts that the map is twice as big as Rivals, but I didn't really notice since a lot of locales looked the exact same. The game is locked in at 30 frames per second on consoles, which is disappointing (as is the lack of split-screen support), but like past titles I didn't have any issues acclimating. For those who are interested in what type of music plays on the radio, here's an example of the musical stylings you can expect from Speed -- again, like the engine, it's hit or miss. Gameplay-wise, Speed does a great job of accommodating both veterans and casual fans alike. It's mostly an arcade-style racer, with tight handling and simplistic driving conditions, but players can tweak cars individually to their liking, as well as customize loadouts. You can go as far as swapping out your hood, lights, mirrors, fenders, trunk, exhaust, license plate, wheels, side skirts, and more. What's great about Speed out of the gate is that there are apparently no plans for paid DLC or microtransactions, and every car is unlocked from the start -- provided you have the cash to buy them. Starting off, players can choose between a Honda Civic, a Ford Mustang, and a Subaru BRZ. From there, you'll work from $8,000 Volvos all the way up to $200,000 Ferraris. Cash is earned at a rather generous rate, so you can keep filling up your garage and customizing at will. It's sad that it's weird to see a AAA game these days without double XP Red Bull bonuses and microtransactions, but here you go. As you tear through the core story, you'll have plenty of activities to choose from, which is great news for when you start nodding off after the FMVs. There's daily challenges, a fully featured one-button snapshot and share mechanic, and hundreds of events to find all over the world. It's also really fun to just drive around aimlessly, as the game uses a Tony Hawk-like combo system that constantly earns you REP (along with multipliers) for doing dangerous things like reaching top speed, driving into incoming traffic, and triggering near misses. The longer your combo, the more REP you earn, so it gives you an incentive to play the way you want. Autolog, which shares your scores and allows you to compete with your friends constantly, is still a thing. When you factor in Need for Speed's forgettable story, you're left with a slightly above average racing game that's not as enjoyable as past series entries. From a pure gameplay perspective, it works, but it never manages to elevate itself. If you're in the mood for a new cinematic racer though, you could do a whole lot worse. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Need for Speed photo
Neither first, nor last
I can't believe Need for Speed has been around for over 20 years. I remember playing the initial entry on my PC for the first time, and I spent many an hour escaping cops in the first Hot Pursuit. But as the years went on, the Speed series had a bunch of ups and downs, with odd side stories alongside of core titles. The latest game falls somewhere in-between.

Need for Speed photo
Need for Speed

Want to play ten 'unrestricted' hours of Need for Speed before it's out?

You'll need EA Access!
Oct 29
// Vikki Blake
If you're a member of EA Access, you can now sample ten hours of Need for Speed, completely unrestricted, for free. You'll be able to try out every mode and feature in advance of release next week, and the clock only counts down while you're in-game -- so you won't be locked out ten hours after you download it.
Gran Turismo Sport photo
Gran Turismo Sport

Sony announces Gran Turismo Sport for PS4

Beta testing kicks off early next year
Oct 27
// Kyle MacGregor
Today at its Paris Games Week press conference, Sony Computer Entertainment revealed the next entry in its long-running simulation racing series, Gran Turismo Sport. It will be compatible with PlayStation VR and aims to be "the most realistic driving simulator of all Gran Turismo games to date." No word on a release window, but a beta is planned for early 2016.
Driveclub photo

Driveclub Bikes is releasing later today

CycleClub is a better name, btw
Oct 27
// Vikki Blake
[Update: Driveclub Bikes was revealed officially today at Paris Games Week. As well as getting a reveal trailer which you can see below, we learned that Driveclub Bikes will be available later today on PSN. The game is availa...
Backward compatibility photo
Backward compatibility

Burnout Paradise will be compatible with Xbox One

Check that off the list
Oct 26
// Jordan Devore
There was talk of Burnout Paradise coming to Xbox One, but it wasn't a sure thing. Now it is. On Twitter, Criterion confirmed that the open-world racing game will eventually be playable on the console via backward compatibili...
Driveclub photo

It's the last day to nab Driveclub PS Plus Edition

Might as well
Oct 05
// Jordan Devore
Hey, PlayStation Plus members! This is the last day to download the extended trial version of Driveclub before Sony pulls the offer. Add it to your account now before you forget. Driveclub PS Plus Edition comes with 13 tracks...
Burnout photo

Ex-Criterion folks have plans for a Burnout spiritual successor

'Speed. Traffic. And crashing.'
Oct 02
// Jordan Devore
Our beloved Burnout was in the news earlier this week and here it is again. Criterion stated that it's not working on an HD collection for the series because it's too busy with "newer, even better things." Now, Three Fields E...
Feature-complete photo

Two years later Gran Turismo 6 finally gets track editor

Separate app
Sep 30
// Steven Hansen
Nearly two years after release, Gran Turismo 6 has added its course maker to the game. GTPlanet has details on the course maker, which released as a separate iOS/Android app. After designing on the app -- you can have much mo...
Burnout Collection HD photo
Burnout Collection HD

A Burnout HD Collection isn't coming anytime soon

People have been asking
Sep 30
// Chris Carter
Every year or so there's rumors of a Burnout HD Collection, and Criterion Games is mostly silent on the issue. But this week it decided to speak up and address the situation directly, noting on Twitter that the rumor isn't tr...
F-Zero GX photo
F-Zero GX

F-Zero GX announcer will appear in new indie racing game

Fast Racing Neo
Sep 24
// Chris Carter
We've covered FAST Racing Neo before -- it's a really cool looking racing game that is seeking exclusivity on the Wii U. Now it's about to get a whole lot cooler, as F-Zero GX voice actor Jack Merluzzi has signed on...
Super Indie Karts photo
Super Indie Karts

Super Indie Karts gets a free update with some indie tracks, racers

Guacamelee and Runbow
Sep 16
// Chris Carter
Whether you've heard of it or not, Super Indie Karts is celebrating its first anniversary this week on Ouya and PC. As a result, the game just got a free update that added in a ton of new content, including tracks and ra...
Need for Speed photo
Need for Speed

'No plans' for paid DLC for new Need for Speed, no split-screen

All cars unlocked at start as well
Sep 16
// Chris Carter
Although the PC version of the new Need for Speed was recently delayed (good, don't rush it out like other publishers have been doing en masse lately), we now have some concrete info on the game. For starters there are "no pl...
Need for Speed delayed photo
Need for Speed delayed

Need for Speed PC launch delayed into 2016

Slow and steady wins the race
Sep 14
// Kyle MacGregor
Need for Speed's PC launch has been delayed until next spring, Ghost Games announced today, saying PC gamers' desire for an unlocked frame rate was the driving force behind the move. "This decision on PC gives us the necessar...
Need for Speed photo
Need for Speed

Sign up for EA's Need for Speed beta

Or don't
Sep 13
// Kyle MacGregor
The new Need for Speed reboot is one of those always-online abominations, so you can bet your sweet ass there is going to be a beta. Gotta stress test those severs/promote that product. If you'd like to take th...

Review: Forza Motorsport 6

Sep 08 // Chris Carter
Forza Motorsport 6 (Xbox One)Developer: Turn 10 StudiosPublisher: Microsoft StudiosRelease Date: September 15, 2015MSRP: $59.99 After a few minutes with the 2017 Ford GT in the tutorial (which is actually rather affordable in-game), you'll kick off three qualifying matches, which subsequently unlock the rest of the game. I started with a modest '97 Mazda RX7, with a small degree of CPU assistance to get my bearings again. This is probably my favorite part of Forza -- yes, it's a simulator, but you can fine-tune the experience to cater to your needs. If you haven't touched a racer in years, the game can show you exactly where to take turns with arrow paths on the ground that change colors based on the appropriate speed. You can also have Forza operate your braking procedures for you, so you won't fly off course or crash into walls all that often. Of course, the excellent rewind feature is back, so you can re-do a fateful turn that may have cost you the race. If you disable all of these options though, it's probably the most advanced racing simulator yet. The Xbox One controller is still by far the best standard controller for racers, with the nuanced haptic feedback system actually providing kickback. I also had an opportunity to play Forza 6 with the Logitech's G29 Driving Force, and my experience far surpassed that of its PS4 counterparts. If you've been waiting to pick up a wheel, this is probably the game to do it with. [embed]309093:60245:0[/embed] The Drivatar system also returns, which, as we know at this point, is less a gimmick and more of a proven idea. What's amazing about this mechanic is that we've had data collected for years from Forza 5 and Horizon 2, so when I jumped into Forza 6, I was immediately greeted by these AI/player combo drivers. They're still just as fun to race against as they were in the past, mostly because of erratic behavior that separates them from the orderly AI. The visual enhancements of Forza 5 have been perfected, up to and including the working odometer for each car interior. The game is still 1080p60, but the level of detail on tracks (which Forza 6 has a lot more of) is insane. This is heightened by the research Turn 10 did on the effect of rain on each track, and as a result, puddles form exactly where they would in real life. It really forces you to know (and trust) your vehicle, and you'll have to not only learn each track's ins and outs, but the rain element as well. Sometimes I found that I could sprint over it at certain angles, and in other instances, I hydroplaned the crap out of my car. Sim fans will love that they have to master yet another element of each track, even if they're already familiar. The flow of Forza 6 involves a career mode, separated by street, sport, touring, pro, and ultimate tiers. The concept here to break up the relatively standard career is "Stories of Motorsport," a loving tribute to historical races mixed in with other gamey challenges. I'm talking showcase events like racing an IndyCar at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway taking curves at over 200 mph, reliving the birth of Grand Prix racing, bowling for pins, or going up against The Stig from Top Gear. Speaking of Top Gear, it does return in a minimal capacity, but the lack of Jeremy Clarkson stings a bit. Although I had limited access to multiplayer, there is support for up to 24 players across seven modes, including your standard race setting and tag. There's also league support and a free-play mode that supports split-screen play. If you're interested in trying out any car you want, you can rent it without a charge to in-game currency -- you just won't get any experience for that race. So let's talk cars and tracks. Straight-up, Forza 6 feels like a more complete game, hosting over 450 vehicles at launch (without paid DLC), as opposed to Forza 5's roughly 200. You can still tune them up, customize their look, and download/upload new patterns -- of which there are hundreds, spanning multiple games at this point. The running theme with Forza 6 is that it's very easy to pick up for newcomers, since it basically functions as a new game and a "GOTY" edition of sorts, sporting tons of content from past titles without resorting to add-ons. This is partially because Turn 10 brought back the prize wheel from Horizon 2, which allows players to randomly earn a prize after leveling up, up to and including million-credit cars. Even though I only earned a supercar once, the other rewards are generally pretty great, so I still felt like I was progressing credits-wise. And this leads into another important element of Forza 6 -- there are no microtransactions to speak of, at least at launch. If you can't buy a car with your credits, tough, you'll have to earn them. This also goes for the new "mod" system, which kind of plays out like Titanfall's Burn Cards. You can activate one-use mods to better your handling or grip after buying packs of mods, or take "dares," which are like challenges of sorts, which provide their own rewards. Again, this thankfully doesn't feel necessary (it isn't even enabled online), and it's not linked to a microtransaction system...yet. There are also 25 tracks, each with multiple variations, which kicks Forza 5's 14 to the curb. With the aforementioned new details (especially with refreshing levels like Rio de Janeiro, which hasn't appeared since the first game) and the new rain, even the old ones feel new. Despite a lot of these upgrades, Forza 6 does feel somewhat like an apology letter for the last main iteration. It's important to note that if you don't really love the idea of reworked rain effects, you probably won't find a whole lot that's fundamentally new outside of the fact that there's just more to do in general. For me though, it was enough to outright bring me back into the racing fold. I found myself racing for hours, racking up credits, ferociously buying new cars to add to my garage, and cursing at my friend's Drivatars. Forza 6 is the new king of simulation racing. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Forza 6 review photo
Turn 10 turns a new leaf
Although I used to play racing games for hundreds of hours, it really takes something special to get me hooked again. Recently, after the somewhat rushed release of Forza 5, I naturally gravitated toward other racers, including the Horizon series. But even still, I wasn't crazy about them. That is, until I played Forza Motorsport 6.

Forza 6 photo
Forza 6

As an old school racing fan, I dig this Forza 6 commercial

Pole Position <3
Sep 07
// Chris Carter
This Forza Motorsport 6 commercial is worth a watch, if you can remember the olden days of racing games. The retro imagery brings me back to a simpler time, where you could hop into an eight-person cabinet, double-tap, ...

Crazy racer has you drive multiple cars at once

Sep 06 // Kyle MacGregor
It's controlled chaos, though. Luckily, you need only take control of one vehicle at a time. However, in what might be one of the better "it's a feature" excuses yet, the computer in this game is as dumb as a post. AI-controlled cars (both yours and your opponents') are largely incompetent. This requires players to hop from one track to the next, either taking the lead or putting the computer in a position to do so before moving on to the next track. The challenge is more about management and strategy, rather than pure driving skill. And given there can be up to six tracks on any raceway, all of which sport differing speeds, steering your team to victory can be quite a handful. While Drive!Drive!Drive! is still somewhat early in development, it can be a  pretty rough ride. During my time in the driver's seat last week in Seattle, I discovered the title doesn't handle anywhere near as well as, well, any mainstream racers I've had the pleasure of playing in recent years. [embed]309532:60259:0[/embed] Midwood was the first to admit the experience could use some fine tuning, as sharp turns often resulted in messy pile-ups and ramps can send your vehicle flying onto another track with no means of returning to the correct one. But there's still time to fix mechanical issues and tighten up the controls, especially since the concept and aesthetics are already so attractive. The visuals are minimalist, but the pastel color palette and otherworldly track layouts more than make up for some technically unimpressive graphics. The trippy vibe is also enhanced by a trippy soundtrack, courtesy of synth artist Zombi, giving the game a distinctive look and feel. On top of that, there's a track creator, which should give the experience some legs, allowing players to build and share their own designs with the community, should one ever form around the game.  Drive!Drive!Drive! is targeting a 2016 launch on PlayStation 4, Vita, PC, and maybe more systems.
Drive!Drive!Drive! photo
On your marks, get set, go, go, go!
Game designers rarely go off-road when creating racing games and eschew lesser-traveled paths in favor of more established, familiar routes. Not Gordon Midwood, though; the one lone developer at indie studio Different Cloth i...

Racing photo

Can video games make you a better driver?

It works for F1 drivers
Aug 27
// Vikki Blake
F1 driver Max Verstappen has been honing his driving skills by way of racing sims. By using simulators like Assetto Corsa, iRacing and rFactor 2, Verstappen's been able to familiarise himself with the F1 c...
Need for Speed photo
The experience is built around Autolog
The new Need for Speed reboot is an always-online experience, which might be a bit of a damper if you live in an area with a less than stellar Internet connection. But them's the breaks, I guess. According to executive produc...

Logitech G29 photo
Logitech G29

Logitech's G29 Driving Force PS4 wheel is expensive, but functional

Just be aware of the lack of PS4 racers
Aug 06
// Chris Carter
I've only had one racing wheel in my life outside of the one Logitech just sent me for testing. It was really cumbersome unit for the original PlayStation, and as a kid, it was tough to find room for it long term. By the time I left for college, it was lost to the void. During the past week or so I've been re-introduced to wheel life, and my god, the tech has come a long way.
Need for Speed photo
Need for Speed

Need for Speed trailer shows us some surprisingly good FMVs

We're well above Night Trap quality now
Aug 05
// Joe Parlock
EA has released a new trailer for the upcoming Need for Speed, showing off some of the FMVs that will be featured in the game and some of the main characters who we’ll meet in it. I’m not a big driving game fan, ...
Forza Motorsport 6 photo
Forza Motorsport 6

The Forza 6 team is way too hyped about rain

They recreated every damn puddle y'all
Aug 04
// Kyle MacGregor
Look, Forza Motorsport 6's dynamic rain features might be all well and good, but to your average dude that just wants to race cars real fast, these guys are way too stoked about some puddles.
Driveclub photo

Sony has sold over 2M copies of Driveclub

No, that doesn't include PS+ copies
Aug 03
// Vikki Blake
We've bought over 2 million copies of Driveclub. Game director Paul Rustchynsky tweeted about the milestone on Twitter and shared an image of a snazzy award thing.  It's thought the game reached the milestone ...

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