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Game Profile
Xbox 360
Sega Driving Studio
GENRE: Racing
October 09, 2007
Sega Rally Revo

Sega Rally Revo

Sega Rally Revo

Sega Rally 2

 Written by Troy Matsumiya  on August 30, 2007

First Impressions: Deform that mud!

Mention the original Sega Rally to racing fans and they will no doubt smile with fond memories of the arcade classic. So it's not surprising that Sega Racing Studio wants to bring those same smiles to the modern age as they attempt to recreate the insane fun of the classic racer with the new Sega Rally Revo.

As the title suggests, the upcoming game is not intended to be a mere sequel in the famed franchise but is instead an attempt to set the new standard for arcade rally racing games. And based on what we've seen so far, they could very well achieve that goal thanks to a few deformities.

Specifically, each of the game's 16 tracks will feature realistically deformable road surfaces ? and we're not just talking about mere aesthetic changes here. When you drive through snow or mud in real life, your car leaves tracks that dig down into the surface; these tracks in turn change the conditions of the road and affect the person driving behind you. Similarly, when you drive through snow, mud, gravel or slush in Sega Rally Revo, you will create tracks that realistically change and deform the road surface, creating ruts, bumps and potholes that weren't there before. This dynamically affects driving conditions, meaning no two laps or races will ever be the same. Sure, MotorStorm had a similar system but Sega's technology takes it to a new level that could mark the start of a new trend in racing games.

Generally, you will want to drive in the tracks since these will be cleared of the slippery surface material and uncover the grippier hard surface beneath (as an added benefit, the tracks also show you the best lines through corners). However, you may want to avoid the tracks in deep snow, which covers the hard but slippery ice beneath. If you're feeling a bit evil, you may even want to drive through the loose stuff on purpose, since your tires will kick up the dirt, snow or water and obscure the vision of the drivers behind you.

These real-time surface deformities are all thanks to a highly detailed polygon mesh that layers the road. The technology is complex but all you need to know is that the dynamically changing track surfaces should add a very cool and realistic element to the game that will keep you on your toes until you cross the finish line, since you won't be able to attack the same corner the same way every time.

The deformable tracks look and behave with incredible realism. Your car will even accumulate dirt as the race progresses, but will wash off if you drive through water. On mountain tracks, your car will collect snow on the body panels and wheel wells as you drive up into the colder altitudes, but it will melt off as you descend into warmer temperatures. Nice!

Needless to say, the cars look stunning with rich metallic paint that realistically reflects the environment, and incredibly accurate detail right down to the brake pads. There will be over 30 licensed and non-licensed cars in various classes, including the rally favorites Subaru Impreza WRX STi, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX and Ford Focus RS. Other vehicles include the usual line up of Citroens, Lancias, Peugeots, Skodas and Toyotas that rally fans know and love.

Races will take place in six unique environments like the snowy alpine, muddy tropics and dusty desert canyon, with all tracks filled with lively animated crowds that wave their arms, cheer and flash their cameras at you. The environments will feature destructible objects like fences, signage and even a few buildings (in case, you know, you decide to drive really off track).

Your car, on the other hand, will be indestructible. Other than cosmetic paint scratches, the developers decided to eliminate damage modeling on the cars because they wanted gamers to focus on driving and having fun, rather than worry about wrecking their wheel alignment and being forced to limp their way through the rest of the race.

Not surprisingly, the car handling will be more arcade-like rather than the less accessible sim handling of games like Forza or DIRT. The developers want you to jump in and have fun as fast as possible and not let the controls get in the way.

You will be able to unlock new vehicles and liveries as you play through the 33 races in the single player Sega Rally Championship, including special liveries that feature a ?well-known? Sega character.

The game will also support splitscreen and up to six players online for some good old fashioned head-to-head racing, a much desired feature that was sadly missing from DIRT.

Final Thoughts
The developer's goal was to recreate the fun times of the original and from what we can tell, they should hit the mark. Hopefully the deformable track surfaces will truly add a cool new twist to the genre and mark the start of a new trend in racing games. We'll find out when we plow through the mud in October.

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