Only ’90s kids (mostly European ones at that) will remember Gremlin Interactive’s Top Gear 2. A zippy little arcade racer with a great soundtrack, a wonky Mega Drive port, and surprisingly sassy cars. After seeing the trailer for Horizon Chase Turbo, which launched yesterday, I had to double-check just to make sure that my suspicions were correct; this is a modern remake/spiritual successor to Top Gear, right down to its talkative automobiles. No Jeremy Clarkson in sight, you’ll be glad to hear.
From the looks of things, Horizon Chase Turbo nails the look and sound of this very specific era of racing games. Gradient-heavy backdrops, track-side objects whizzing past at improbable speeds, and crashes merely slowing your car as it pirouettes through the air, before allowing you to resume your dash to the finish line.
It looks like a pretty sizable chunk of retro-styled racing, too. 109 tracks across 48 environments isn’t a figure to be sniffed at, even if we should realistically expect to see quite a few repeated styles and backgrounds.
The PC version even features split-screen multiplayer for up to four players. Once a horribly pixel-dividing, framerate-crushing feature back in the day, it’s a far more palatable option for modern systems running at high resolutions. Honestly, it’s surprising that so few games offer the option on PC, where we’re more likely to have the GPU grunt to spare to drive four player viewscreens.
Disappointingly, it appears there’s no online multiplayer functionality at present. It seems that anyone looking for human competition will have to find it closer to home. There is, at least, a decent range of single-player modes to go through, including what looks like a classic old-school globe-trotting campaign.