Preview: FUEL

5,000 square miles.

That’s how big the world is in FUEL. FUEL, on top of being an extreme off-road racing game, will be a completely open racer where players can design their own races. This means that you can design whatever course you’d like and spend HOURS on a single race as a result of your insane track within the 5,000 square miles of open land.

At first glance, I saw FUEL as a cross between Burnout Paradise and Pure. While there are similarities, FUEL looks to leave those other racing games in its dust with everything it’s offering. Find out more on the game and to see if I write any more horrible puns, after the jump.

So yeah, 5,000 square miles. That leaves players with a lot to explore. With an environment that big, there will be lots of different terrain players come across such as swamps, forests, snow and more. The environments are based on actually places in America such as the Utah Salt Plains and the Grand Canyon. There’s also full 24 hour day and night cycle in place too.

With the various environments, certain vehicles are better suited for the different terrain. Which is why there are six different vehicle types and over 70 vehicles for players to choose from. Vehicles will include bikes, quads, SUVs, trucks, cars and monster trucks.

On top of the environments, racers will also have to deal with the weather. Lightning storms, blizzards, tsunamis and best of all, players will have to deal with tornado … storms. The game is set in a future where global warming has fucked up the world, especially this part of the country you’ll be racing through. Odd message to promote in a racing game, but it sets up for some interesting twists when it comes to races.

If you’re not looking to do a race and just want to sight see, you can. Players can jump right into the world and find the best routes to use for their own custom races. FUEL has a 25 mile draw distance so it won’t be too difficult to find interesting locations to set up a race at.

Up to 16 players can race together or go exploring, and each of you can be racing a different vehicle. Just don’t be a jerk and try to run off a friend on a dirt bike while you’re in the monster truck. All of your custom created races can be shared with your friends. You can also try one of the games 100 challenges.

I got some brief hands-on with FUEL and I ran through a quick monster truck race in one of the games preset races. The controls were pretty solid and the truck handled rather well as I raced it across a sandy desert. 

Sadly, I didn’t get much time to do anything else with FUEL.  Asobo Studios and Codemasters have spent four years working on this game and I only had enough time to experience 15 minutes with FUEL at the Codemasters event. Still, from my brief time with the game, I can easily see this being a must get for when it comes out this May on the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.

Hamza Aziz