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Criterion's Xtreme Racing Game Beyond Cars Scrapped

Back in June 2014, Burnout developers Criterion Games announced they were making a new racer with all manner of gnarly going-fast devices: Jetskis, quad bikes, wingsuits, parachutes, dune buggies, speedboats, helicopters, planes, and goodness knows what else – to the max, dudes! Well, the project known as Beyond Cars is no more. Criterion’s dad, Ian Arts, has ordered them to cut their hair, take out that nose ring, swap that hemp necklace for a polyester necktie, and get a real job: making Star Wars stuff.

Beyond Cars (it’s not clear whether that was its name, codename, nickname, or what, but I suppose that doesn’t matter now) was to have all sorts of wikkid sikk vehicles and extreme sports alongside each other in the same world, zipping around each other and even connecting. Their concept ideas included things like parachuters being yanked behind quad bikes. They never really showed the game itself but it sounded fun; I’m always up for a little Criterion wackiness. Here’s the announcement vid from E3 2014:

Criterion’s Pete Lake showed a little concept art during a talk at GDC this year, though he didn’t say much about it, so I suppose this cancellation is quite recent.

“While Criterion has moved on from the previous project they’ve spoken about and aren’t pursuing it specifically, they are continuing to build new ideas and experiment with new IP for EA,” Electronic Arts said in a statement provided to Eurogamer.

“Criterion is also working on EA’s Star Wars Battlefront VR experience, and contributing to other games from EA, for example the speeder bikes in Star Wars Battlefront.”

That Star Wars cybergoggle thing is exclusive to PlayStation VR, by the way.

I wonder what those “new ideas” and experiments are. Maybe they can trick Ian Arts into letting them make an extreme Starsports game – jetpacks, pod racers, and other things which just so happen to resemble xtreme modes of transport in Beyond Cars.

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Alice O'Connor

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