How Pygnosis’ iconic racer brought games to a whole new audience.
Throughout this week, as part of our coverage of Sony's closure of Studio Liverpool, we're speaking to key members of staff during the studio's heyday, when it was known as Psygnosis, releasing a host of Amiga classics before playing a defining role in the early success of the PlayStation.
Last week, Sony announced that it is to close Studio Liverpool, the developer formerly known as Psygnosis, after 28 years in business. We've already looked back on the studio's greatest games, and throughout this week will be publishing a series of interviews with key former Psygnosis staff about the studio's heyday.
People who’ve played Fuel a certain way will tend to look past you when asked what it’s about. Their eyes might narrow as they mutter something about mountains, tornadoes, skyscrapers buried in sand, brush fires, shipwrecks, and a ghostly airbase in the heart of the desert. They’ll talk about rumours, serendipity and the biggest landscape in videogames.
Codemasters has announced Grid 2, a sequel to 2008 racer Race Driver: Grid due next summer for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.
Back in 2009, roughly a year after the global economic recession began, Gavin Raeburn did something drastic.
Easy right, definitely. A driving game where sharp bends are no more threatening than coins in a Mario game? Brakes that need only ever be tapped, never slammed? Where the finish line is rarely anything more than five minutes away? There’s simplistic, and then there’s simple.
News broke that Disney was closing Black Rock, its Brighton-based studio, a little over a year ago. In the intervening 12 months the studio’s former game director, Jason Avent, has set up a new studio, and developed and released a new game – and it’s the biggest hit of his career to date.
Bit Stream takes the concept of Nintendo’s Bit Generations micro-game Dotstream, promising a “unique audio-sensory makeover” in which your movements, and those of the AI racers, are accompanied by beat-matched audio cues. In this respect, at least, the game works brilliantly, with every swerve, boost pad and misjudged line changing the audio track.
There’s very little that’s mad about Mad Riders, despite the vain attempts of its self-mocking launch trailer to convince you otherwise. Its track design comes closest to living up to the game's title: perhaps three seconds per lap will be spent racing across flat terrain, while the rest is a haphazard mess of near-vertical inclines, vertiginous drops and blind corners.