Please Wear A Seatbelt: Death Road Out Tomorrow

By John Walker on March 29th, 2012 at 10:00 am.

They should introduce speed limits.

I’m not entirely convinced I’d like to deliberately steer my vehicle anywhere called Death Road. Perhaps I’m being old-fashioned and twee, but there’s just something about the name I find offputting. I can’t put my finger on it, it’s just a feeling. That is the rather direct name given to what I’m going to generously call a “WipEout-inspired racer”, coming to PC tomorrow. You can see a trailer of it below, and then say, “No, that’s not WipEout, that’s…”

I’m most enamoured by the music, which manages to avoid the usually bombastic thumping dance that accompanies such games. Although who knows if the trailer cuts off just before the WUB WUB kicks in. the game – well, it’s a shame they released a trailer of such smudgy, low-res footage. Let’s leave it there.

Er, did that say that it’s released on the 30th of the 111th? I think it did. I’m fairly sure we stop our calendars at 12 before it’s time to trade them in for a new one.

You know what would be great, though? A racing sim that actually went across “Death Road”, Yungas Road in Bolivia:

Or would that be gross?

, , .

55 Comments »

  1. Malk_Content says:

    Gotta say that looks massively more than inspired, especially given the latest wipeout’s asthetic isn’t as massively sci fi (racing on roads and through more modern less future looking cities) and nothing about the gameplay, except not having booster panels, seems to be any different.

    On the other hand, 1 minute video could have a lot more to show for itself when longer trailers turn up and we don’t have Wipeout on the PC and the more have that type of game the better.

    • Premium User Badge GibletHead2000 says:

      In the absence of a WipEout game on the PC since 1995, I heartily approve of any attempt to shamelessly clone the game. I haven’t played any version since Fusion on the PS2, because I can’t *quite* justify the price of a PS3 for just the one game I’d play on it.

      • mickygor says:

        I found myself in a similar situation back in ’07. Didn’t want to buy a PS3 just for Wipeout HD – so I pressured my brother into swaying from buying a 360 to buying a PS3, that I might be able to play it. Victory!

  2. arrjayjee says:

    I really am craving a new sci-fi racer on PC, but this does look a bit…meh. Hopefully I’m wrong.

    EDIT: If anybody can recommend a good sci-fi racer on PC, I would be grateful.

    • Ucodia says:

      Well I know it is quite old but Rollcage Stage II is one of the racer that marked me the most back when I was still so ignorant of life. I played it again one year ago and it still felt the same.

      • Premium User Badge aequidens says:

        Whatever happened to good sci-fi racers, Rollcage stage 2 was so awesome, and I also greatly enjoyed Dethkarz and POD. But after those, nothing. Maybe it was a 90s thing.

        I’d love some sequels done by the original studios. Or even an hd-remake or a kickstarter.

        • Ucodia says:

          Oh thanks, now I badly want a Rollcage III. The original development studio is dead now but Psygnosis (publisher) still lives and is part of Sony CE. Even in the event those would kick a remake project, chances to get it made for PC would be few as Sony would probably lead the project.

          • hemmer says:

            There’s actually kind of a Rollcage III….it’s called FireBugs. Made by the same developer on the same engine featuring roughly the same concept. I don’t know if it’s for PSX, but if push comes to shove there’s always emulators. :)

          • Ucodia says:

            Interesting never heard about that before. The gameplay is definitely Rollcage 2.01. But the graphic style is less dark, more childish. It looks like they tried to apply a Crash Team Racing style to strategically touch more players. Of course that game crashed the company.

          • Urthman says:

            Ooo, thanks Hemmer. I’ll bet that looks pretty good in a PSX emulator.

      • Urthman says:

        Rollcage 2 aka (on PC) Death Track Racing. Here’s a demo:

        http://www.gameupdates.org/details.php?id=2512

    • PixelProspector says:

      Nitronic Rush is a really fun arcade racer where your car can jump and fly. It’s ~300 MB and was just released a few months ago for free.

      • Prime says:

        Thanks for the suggestion! This is an AWESOME game! Loving it! Ni-Tron-ic, indeed!

        • Lobotomist says:

          Nitronic is cool. But its also not really competition. Its single car trying to clear the singleplayer stage.

        • Urthman says:

          As I always say in these threads, don’t miss the Hardcore mode in Nitronic Rush. It’s not just the same thing only harder, it’s a whole different kind of challenge, and my favorite part of the game.

          (Incidentally, it’s also the part that reminds me the most of Rollcage 2. — what a great game that is.)

      • ambience07 says:

        I came here to suggest Nitronic Rush as well. It is free and made by students. It takes me back to a day of over-the-top, arcadey, sci-fi racing goodness every time. Makes me grin just thinking about playing it.

    • RakeShark says:

      I really wish Red Planet was released as a game outside the Battletech pod arcades. I loved that sci-fi racing concept.

      • Scautura says:

        Oh god, I thought I was the only person who remembered that! It was Virtual Worlds (also known as the Virtual Geographic League, at least for the purposes of their fiction) – there used to be one in the Trocadero, until they decided just licensing/selling the pods to places was a better idea (have they disappeared entirely now?) I know they even stopped doing Red Planet and now only the Battletech software is available (Firestorm). I haven’t played it in years! I would love to play it again.

        The nearest thing I remember playing was Hi-Octane, but only the one course from the addon that came out (I think it was free) that was basically just a long line with a pylon at each end, so you could be charging in the opposite direction to other people on the same course.

        It’s just not the same without VW.

        Edit: Not to mention Martian Football.

        Go Fast, Go Splat!

        Pilot: Sharpshooter

        • RakeShark says:

          Oh hell yeah! There was a Battletech/Red Planet arcade literally right next door to me in the North Pier shopping mall in Chicago. $20 a pop, but I always loved playing Red Planet, especially reading the printouts at the end of the match. The second generation was at the time utterly gorgeous, the red fog and blinking lap lights, detailed mining racer carts… *wistful sigh*

    • BillyIII says:

      Nitronic Rush?

    • Khemm says:

      I’ve noticed that POD is on GOG, so I’ll buy it considering everyone praises it. The GOG version should be compatible with nGlide, correct?
      http://www.zeus-software.com/downloads/nglide/compatibility

      I sooo would approve of a GOG release of Carmageddon and Rollcage.

      • fish99 says:

        POD was amazing back in the day, with all the addon cars and tracks installed. Whether the GOG version has them, I’ve no idea. Also there was a D3D renderer for POD (which sadly looked a lot worse than the Glide version), so maybe GOG are using that.

        TBH I suspect it’s the sort of game that hasn’t aged well – low res textures, low poly counts etc.

    • Synesthesia says:

      I popped my old ps1 rollcage cd on my ps2 yesterday, and remembered the amazig fun i used to have with that game. What is this rollcage stage 2 you mention? What have i done?

    • DK says:

      Try Hi-Octane, it’s a great sci-fi racer with weaponry. It’s by a small unknown company…I think it was called “Bullfrog”?

      • RegisteredUser says:

        Hi-Octane is without a doubt the best race-and-shoot that was ever made. Sadly. Because it really deserves a modern competitor.

  3. Belua says:

    I always liked Extreme G (Xtreme-G?X-Treme G? Not sure about how the title was written) more than wipeout. There was something about those bikes and tracks that was just awesome.
    Never played any but the first one though, so I don’t know how the sequels held up.

    • The First Door says:

      I never played the first one, but I remember adoring Extreme-G 3 on the Gamecube. You’re right, the track design was fantastic and so was the music. Plus you could break the sound barrier which was such a thrill, even on my little CRT monitor of the time.

    • Chizu says:

      I owned all 4 XG games
      1 and 2 on the N64 were alot of fun
      XG3 kinda serioused things up a bit, but was still neat, and pretty hard to boot
      XGRA woulda been great if it wasn’t so very very easy to win. Collect enough powerups to one hit kill another racer, Quite often I’d finish races being the only bike left on the track.

      It saddens me that there will be no more Extreme G games, nothing quite matches their insanity.
      Saddens me even more that there are not even any pc versions, and last I tried emulation of them was glitchy at best, specially the n64 games.

  4. Jim Rossignol says:

    DEATH WORM ROAD

  5. Premium User Badge c-Row says:

    You can see a trailer of it below, and then say, “No, that’s not WipEout, that’s…”

    … a space station?

  6. The First Door says:

    That does look quite interesting, I’ve really been wanting a new racer like this too. Sadly, the track design does look a little… tunnel heavy though.

    It reminded me a little of Aftershock, but then I got sad as that seems to have died. It looked so pretty too: http://youtu.be/HtX0YKufaHI?hd=1

  7. Premium User Badge AmateurScience says:

    See, now I want to leave work and go play F-Zero X.

    There’s something very special about racing at a gagillion miles an hour around the outside of a tube with some horrendously over the top synth-metal blasting out of the speakers.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      I always found F-Zero X a bit tame. It SAID you were travelling at a gazillion miles an hour but it always felt like about 60.

      I want to feel like I am barely in control, keeping my vehicle on the track by force of will and every inch is a battle against inertia, the track and other racers.

      I used to think wipeout HD was like that but coming back to it recently I have either gotten a lot better at it or they toned down the difficulty considerably Which is a shame because it was one of those racing games where I struggled constantly so even getting on the podium at all was a massive achievement and I just enjoyed my accomplishments a lot more.

      Star Wars Pod racer also had that feeling if I recall correctly? Maybe I was just young.

      • sharkh20 says:

        GX on the gamecube felt pretty darn fast. You would start getting nervous at the speeds your were going. Like if you made any wrong move you would slam into a wall and explode. I loved it. Been wanting a new one for a long time.

      • The First Door says:

        You should try F-Zero GX then, the Gamecube one. It was brutally difficult in places, as some of the tracks had bonkers amounts of right angle turns and jumps. Plus one of the tracks in the last cup has no walls for 95% of the track.

        Edit: Gah! I just found out about a whole championship of 6 tracks I never new existed because I wasn’t good enough to unlock them. Boo!

  8. Prime says:

    Looks good. Been too long since we had the Wipeout experience on PC. I also liked the music. It’ll never beat the track “Canada” from the mighty CoLD SToRAGE, but it’s in the same slightly delicate, more-tuneful-than-thumping ballpark, which is excellent.

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      And still not up to his original soundtrack for the first Wipeout, which practically invented “breaks-trance” by itself, every single track of which is infinitely superior to the tunes that followed in XL, 3 etc (I recall Cairodrome being included with the demo on a PC Format CD…, I played that song a billion times and bought the game just because of it)

      This racer looks visually stunning, but it’s craving some proper old-school 90 rave / house / techno. So play with some Shamen, Future Sound of London or Orbital for best effect!

      • Prime says:

        Oh, I don’t know. I felt his Wipeout 2097 stuff was evolving into maturity as oppposed to the often reckless, raw sound of his original tracks. The single track he did for Pure, Onyx, certainly feels like a far more confident expression of the concept than his earlier work, as well as standing out in that album as the most ‘Wipeout; but I guess we’re getting down to personal preference. Let’s just agree that his music is generally fabulous. :)

  9. pkt-zer0 says:

    The stages remind me of POD and Motorhead, actually. Which is a good thing!

  10. Lobotomist says:

    I been waiting for some sort of Wipeout for PC for a long time now -
    There is no sign of price information though ?!

  11. rustybroomhandle says:

    I think Nitronic Rush might just be goty in the sci-fi racer genre.

  12. Khemm says:

    Looks pretty good, I’d love to play a demo first though.

    • Premium User Badge c-Row says:

      Couldn’t find any information about a demo on their page, but I am eagerly waiting for one as well.

  13. Prolepsis says:

    A sense of speed from engine trails and motion blur is one thing, genuinely moving fast on the track is another. Sadly, the trailer gives it the look of the former. Please don’t tell me that I am going 250 miles per hour, when, obviously, I’m not moving past things much faster than 50.

    For speed done right, Ballistics comes to mind.

  14. Premium User Badge The Sombrero Kid says:

    If it gets reviewed well and is a modest price i might bite.

  15. LuNatic says:

    That video reminded me of Bullfrog’s Hi-Octane. Which is a very good thing indeed. Colour me intrigued.

    • neolith says:

      Well… thanks. Now I cannot stop thinking about how cool Hi-Octane on GoG would be… ;)

  16. jimboton says:

    As with most arcade racers this gen after looking at the trailer what I think is ‘why can’t I see a single difficult / tight looking corner in there?’.

    I’m a big wipeout fan but sorry this looks more like NFS Hot Pursuit without wheels. Hoping I’m wrong.

    • Dominic White says:

      95% of the damage you take in any Wipeout game is from the track. It might LOOK simple, but those games are seriously hard to control.

    • Khemm says:

      What is this “gen” you’re talking about?

  17. Nallen says:

    Looks like Episode 1 Racer in that screen shot. Great game, that.

    • Sardaukar says:

      Yes! This. Episode 1 Racer still sits as the most fun I’ve had with an unreal racing game, honorable mentions to the Zone mode in WipeOut. If only it ran on Windows 7.

  18. JBantha says:

    3.III.2012
    is not
    3.111.2012
    Thankfully.

  19. Blob-World-Eye-Weary says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvpDVHs41D8&feature=related
    Something even faster you say!? Although it not really a racer in this sense.