Terrain Up The Rulebook: Fuel Demo

By Jim Rossignol on July 9th, 2009 at 2:43 pm.


The Fuel demo is out, and you can get the 1gb download here. The demo includes a couple of race events from the main game, but I’m unsure how much of the full 5000km terrain it leaves open for you to explore. Presumably it’s a chopped down version (full game is around 4gb), so you won’t be able to pursue your own ill-advised virtual roadtrips? Let me know in comments if I’m wrong about that.

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51 Comments »

  1. bansama says:

    Sweet. Been waiting for a demo despite most people saying the game was rubbish and it vanishing from Steam’s coming soon list.

  2. Ian says:

    Ooh I’d like to give this a go.

    Can we go online in the demo? I might be having a braindead moment (or have just plain missed something) but it didn’t seem to specify for the PC demo.

  3. Fat says:

    Tried this on the 360… VERY disappointing. :/

    Half the time the graphics were so blurry at high speeds i couldn’t see whether the oncoming scenery was grass or a tree stump. Not sure if the PC version will remedy that. Though i was playing it in HD on the 360 so surely it should have been that bad.

    Then driving around the world felt a bit dull to me. I preferred reading the ”around the world in 8 hours” article here on RPS than actually doing it myself.

    Finally, it seems a bit daft how most water sources are actually clifftops in disguise. Often i’d drive thinking i was skimming over the edge of a puddle, only to fall 500 feet into a watery grave.

  4. Morte says:

    Take this world/vehicles, add on S.T.A.L.K.E.R combat, and throw in quest (chains) like Fallout 3′s.

  5. Tempesta says:

    That would be the greatest game ever, Morte.

  6. Dead Fish says:

    I just played the PC demo and from what I can gather, there is only a small square of the “Tsunami Reef” Zone (top left corner) available. Pretty minimal, but there is a Free Ride mode included.

    map screenshot:
    http://img199.imageshack.us/i/fuelmap.jpg/

  7. Ian says:

    Is that a bigger area that it looks?

  8. enki says:

    Is there multiplayer freeroam in this game?

  9. ZIGS says:

    The blur in this game is horrible. I like my graphics crisp and clear, why do developers feel the need to blur everything? Also, the AA doesn’t work. Just a few of my grips with this game

  10. bansama says:

    The area in the demo certainly felt large enough to me. I didn’t manage to find any invisible walls to bounce off so far. And the racing was fairly fun despite being on a bike (I hate racing on bikes myself).

  11. Dr.Evanzan says:

    I got this for £17.99 off Amazon and am really enjoying driving around in it. I’m not really a fan of racing games in general. I like the driving around aspect of them but I always get stuck into a kind of OCD must-complete-laps-perfectly-to-win which always ends in frustration.

    I’ve heard many complaints that the handling isn’t great and the races aren’t up to much when compared to the competition. I can’t really comment as I have nothing to really compare it to but once you unlock some decent vehicles I find the driving pretty fun.

    I think poor FUEL is just a bit misunderstood, when treated as a racing game it’s possibly unremarkable but if you view it as an open-world driving game that happens to include some racing there’s not really much else like it. (BurnOut: Paradise is a notable exception but it’s not got the size of FUEL.)

    As for nothing to do, there are several Vista Points, Challenges and Liveries to visit in each area along with 3 Doppler Trucks (giving locations for all the above without exploring) and some Maverick vehicles to hunt down. These give some purpose to your wanderings if you’ve got a pokemon-style gotta-get-em-all mentality (which I do). I spent hours the other night just driving around trying to find and crash into FUEL containers (which incidentally gets you Live Achievements).

    Granted you seem to need to win some career races to unlock the different zones and the good cars, which does interfere with the free-roaming a little, but there is still much to like.

    So, basically, it’s maybe not the all-time classic we were all hoping for but, depending on your expectations, it’s still capable of delivering plenty of fun. It’s certainly better than some reviews out there would lead you to believe. (I’m looking at you, Tom Bramwell and your 5/10 EuroGamer review!)

  12. Uglycat says:

    ++ Interstate 76

  13. HidesHisEyes says:

    Oh god interstate 76 was amazing! I wish i could get it running again. Someone needs to remake it! Half the fun was carefully customising the cars.

  14. Flappybat says:

    Even though I like it I fully understand why most people won’t. The races have nothing on Motorstorm, the vehicles are fairly bland, the enviroment is pointlessly large to it’s own detriment and it shoves so many blurs, blooms and particles onscreen you can’t really see what’s going on.

  15. Forak says:

    Actually got interested in this game by the nicely written RPS article a while back of driving around the world, but I’m glad I Held off on buying it. The demo is really disappointing, and from what I’ve read the full game doesn’t appear to offer all that much more.

  16. Dead Fish says:

    What I think is strange for a huge open-world game, is that you get punished a lot for leaving the roads and driving through the wildlife.

    The beginner vehicles lose a lot of speed out there, and some foliage and trees stop you dead in your tracks.

  17. Jim Rossignol says:

    Fuel viewed as a weird act of terrain is interesting. Fuel viewed as a racing game, well, not so interesting.

  18. Chris R says:

    The actual game is out? Dang, how did I miss that? Guess I’ll give the demo a whirl!

  19. LQB says:

    Didn’t care for the demo at all, the camera is annoying.

  20. bansama says:

    One annoying thing about the demo, it doesn’t appear to save changes to the controls and the defaults are annoying to use. Sure hope the full game doesn’t suffer the same problem.

  21. Elman says:

    The map, and wandering around is incredibly awesome. I think I wasted an hour and a half just doing that. A good game with this type of gameworld would be incredible.

    But the races are terrible. The difficulty settings are either too easy or too hard by a LONG shot (Made a mistake in a 5-minute race? Too bad, you lose), the AI is bad (Is it scripted? I saw the same car crashing into the same obstacle every single time I retried a race). The vehicles’ controls are pretty bad, and it feels weird considering it seems like it would be arcade (You could control it with NES gamepad)…

    And the respawn button’s useless. It’s a lot better to simply move backwards a little bit and then speed up again. If you press the respawn button a single time, you WILL lose.

    It didn’t recognize my gamepad either, since it wasn’t an official Xbox gamepad, so screw that.

    Plus, it’s a crime to have a map like that and not include some kind of randomly generated races mode (Click a button on the menu, it randomly makes a circuit anywhere in the huge map, and you’re ready to go!)

    So yeah. No, thanks.

  22. troy says:

    What ? they released for PC ?? really ? about time jessh.

  23. Tony says:

    Well, that’s depressing. If I wasn’t so tight for hard drive space I’d consider trying the demo, but eh.

  24. Howard says:

    @Fat
    Unfortunately the PC version fixes nothing. The blurring is ludicrous, the terrain dull and the driving mechanic is straight out of Mario Kart (but not in a good way). Pivot point physics made baby Jebus barf…

  25. Serondal says:

    I see a mod coming that will remove the blur, if anyone cares enough about the game itself to even mod it.

  26. Gutter says:

    Hmmmm I got FUEL on my birthday, which was 2 weeks ago. And yes, it’s rubbish. It’s the same as Burnout : Paradise, except that Burnout has “personality” and FUEL has none. The announcer and community in Burnout is sorely missing from FUEL.

    And when I bought it mainly because of the promise of “real time weather”, like a tornado, etc, but it turns out that it’s just some really, reaaaalllyyyy cheaply made effects.

    Bottom line : For a sandbox race game, get Burnout, unless offroad racing give you a hard on.

    Let me just say that it’s a good thing I got Red Faction for my birthday as well!

    (anyone want Resistance 2 and Fuel? I got both, I just *know* that I’ll never play them)

  27. Flopsy says:

    Wow, this game is getting so much stick. Seemed like a golden opportunity to make something memorable with all that wonderful terrain to explore, but evidently they didn’t do a good job, or at least that seems to be the common consensus.

  28. Bret says:

    Hey, Red Faction!
    There’s an idea. A nigh impossible idea, perhaps, but giving you enemies and the ability to rewrite terrain to your choosing with an arsenal of high tech weapons…

  29. enki says:

    I’m still holding out hope that the miles of terrain will provide some value/fun. Ill be downloading the demo to check it out. It. Will be horrid if these comments are right and this huge world is going to waste.

  30. Vinraith says:

    I actually kind of liked it. It’s beautiful, massive, and the driving mechanics feel good to me. Granted they’re quite slidey, but they have a pleasant Sega Rally thing going IMO. Unfortunately my gaming laptop can’t quite handle the game without stuttering, and I don’t have a functional desktop at the moment, so it’ll have to wait. Still, once I’m back up to full computing power I’ll probably pick this up.

  31. Nalano says:

    I tried it and I enjoyed it for what little I played it. It really does need Interstate 76-style combat and story, tho. That’d make it no less than awesome.

  32. cqdemal says:

    [mild rage]
    WHY IS THERE NO MENTION OF TEST DRIVE UNLIMITED HERE?
    [/mild rage]

    Ahem.

  33. Owen says:

    Played the demo on 360 last night.

    Bored with the racing almost instantly but really enjoyed just exploring the landscape, and for a demo it’s pretty generous.

    I found it frustrating that there were NO other camera angles/views what so ever. Just seems like a bit of a waste considering the impressive vistas.

    Would potentially pick this up for cheap in 6-12 months time purely to zip around the landscape, but not as a racer.

    Oh and also the ability to get off/out of your vehicle and walk around a little would have added that little something. Would have been great to appreciate a desert sunrise standing atop a dune.

  34. Owen says:

    Oh and also I can’t help feeling the mod community could REALLY add to it. Which makes me hesitant to buy it on 360, due to the annoying lack of mods.

    For example Jim’s brialliant idea for a ‘Duel’ game mode would be potentially incredible.

    (Just make sure to record the demon-like screech at the end, eh movie fans?)

  35. Plopsworth says:

    +1 to the Test Drive Unlimited recommendation for the vehicularly exploratively inclined.

    Top Gear meets Grand Theft Auto meets the Sims on an approximation of Oahu with working traffic.

    1) It’s dirt cheap. Runs very nicely. Beautiful draw-distance.

    2) Several hundred supercars from “mere” Audis, Cadillacs, Nissans and Alfa-Romeos to exotic Koeningseggs, Ferraris, and Lambos. Toss in everything in between with historical beauties like Mustangs, Aston Martins and Jaguar E-types. There is a distinct lack of Porsches (due to EA owning the license afaik), which is rectified by the luverly DLC pack. M0t0rb1kes.

    3) Materialistic collection taken from GTA IV. In addition to just cars, buy clothes, rims, tuning sets, paint-jobs, interior-fabrics, apartments w/garages etc.

    4) In addition to the above customisation, you’ve got a pretty extensive avatar creator. I’ve got mine to resemble myself pretty much, dressed in clothing I pretty much could see myself wearing, listening to stuff I do listen to. Obligatory custom radio-channel(s). Oh, and customisable extent of motion-blur, first-person modeled g-force head-shake, and realism/driver-assist (skidding/locking/manual-automatic gear).

    5) No damage modelling for the player’s cars (probably due to the licensing), though it’s still not worth crashing as it does slow you down, the police comes after you if you smack into traffic (which do get damaged and react with Havoc-engine physics. Imagine a semi-trailer truck rolling over, or an auto-transport truck spilling cars), and you do get sent flying off your bike.

  36. lra2or says:

    Owen – not sure about the PC but on the 360 clicking the right stick in toggled between 3 different view points. Admittedly they all felt somehow wrong still.

    Really think some Mad Max style combat (ala Twisted Metal?) would have been awesome. Otherwise it’s beautiful but soul-less – such a waste :(

  37. Luther Blissett says:

    I now have Fuel AND Burnout Paradise and think both are fun… though different. But I guess it depends what you expect. In both games you are more likely to see me careening dangerously around in the open world more than actually racing and the post-apocalyse setting reminds me of another game I was into that no-one like called Auto Assault. I think it is a good game to pick up and play for an hour and then do something else. By comparison I found Test Drive unlimited really dull and the cars very difficult to control. If this is the same engine that powered DIRT – it certainly runs a lot more effectively on my machine.

  38. Howard says:

    Well, I think the reason that not many are mentioning TD:U is because it is pretty bloody awful. The driving model in that game has no idea what it is, being stuck at some god-awful setting that is, at the same time, no where near either sim or arcade. The world itself also makes no sense from a design point of view and the AI of both the traffic and your opponents is so bad as to be nonexistent. Could have been a great game, and indeed I played it for a while, but it is just far too flawed for any serious investment of time.

  39. Owen says:

    Thanks lra2or, I’ll give that a try.

    Downloaded the TD:U demo when it came out and wasn’t too taken by it tbh. Was a while ago now, but I think the cars felt a bit light and lifeless, if that makes any sense. Seem to recall PCG gave it a reasonable score though. May potentially look to pick it up on the cheap.

    (just checked and it’s going for well under a tenner on ebay for 360)

  40. Howard says:

    @Owen
    Yeah, that was exactly the problem. The cars just have no weight to them and with the weirdly designed roads you spend half your time in the flippin’ air!

  41. Bear says:

    This game looks beautiful.
    I’m not one for driving games, but out of 10, how much enjoyment could I get out of this game just from open world driving and being awesome?

  42. MrGoat says:

    I just spend 10 minutes with the demo and I got really good vibes whilst driving towards quite a pretty sunset. Though there should be a law against creating something like this and have it just be about racing. I want to find abandonded towns and settlements, rummage through peoples stuff, look for Sugarbombs and Scrap Metal.
    oh wait…

  43. Tony says:

    From what I can see it’s not that bad.

    That’s the problem, though, because terrain keeps popping up randomly and it’s impossible to drive because you can’t see where you’re going. And then you drive into a tree. Not sure whether it’s config related or whether my machine just sucks, although the framerate’s pretty smooth. Not three billion FPS smooth, but about constant 30 smooth. :F

    The feel’s nice, though. I just hope it’s at least somewhat moddable.

  44. Owen says:

    I do think it was an odd move to only have the motorbike as a drivable vehicle though. Surely at least one car as well would have made sense.

  45. enki says:

    There’s two vehicles in the demo the bike and a dune buggy. The demo was pretty fun actually I liked the open world a lot but not to the point of wanting to buy the game. Maybe when its 1/2 price.

  46. Owen says:

    IS there? How the hell did I miss that then… Ah, unless it’s in the ‘Challenge’ mode or something?

  47. enki says:

    No its in the vehicle customization section bro. Some races I think use only the bike though. But I used the buggy in free roam a lot.

  48. ToadSmokingDuckMonkey says:

    Nice arcade driving game. Aside from a few sloppy physics issues (every time I hit a fallen, burning log on the dirtbike I just jump into the air instead of wiping out) and the fact that sand is more like concrete painted to look like sand with a bit of grit thrown on top to reduce friction… for goodness sakes my car throws sparks when it hits a sand dune. COME ON.

    If we can have this, why can’t we get an open world Interstate ’76 followup? Or we could just drop the pretense and say Car Wars, and chuck some money to Steve Jackson.

  49. no says:

    With all of the fantastic racing games on consoles right now and coming out by the end of the year, I can’t find a reason for me to buy this… (and I’m a guy who buys a LOT of games).

  50. Chaz says:

    Nice impressive vast terrian, but for the most part it all looks poorly textured and blurry. Could hardly see sod all when the sun went down as the head lights on the vehicles are feeble. The actual driving was less than impressive too.

    They should keep the engine for an MMO, “Operation Flashpoint 3: Post Nuclear Warfare” would be cool.

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