R: Racing Evolution
By: Matt C. on June 5, 2003
June 5, 2003 Update
We have a little more details on R: Racing Evolution, which will ship in North American late 2003. First off, players will follow the career of a female race car driver named Rina. Aside for winning races, we are not sure what she is trying to accomplish, but we do know that there will be many CG movies in-between many of the races to help push along the story. There will also be an ending movie to wrap everything up. The CG sequences are being handled by the same folks behind the ones found in the Tekken series and Soul Calibur II, so they should turn out quite well.
Unfortunately, R: Racing Evolution is lacking a few features that would really boost the replay value. First off, an online mode will not be included in the game and users won't be able to link up multiple PlayStation 2s. In addition, players won't be able to acquire different endings depending on his or her performance. Also, you cannot purchase parts for your car. Racing Evolution is designed with casual gamers in mind, so these features have been purposely omitted.
Of course, R: Racing Evolution is still far from completed, so we won't judge the game before we play it. It can still turn out be an excellent racing title without those features. We'll have more on Namco's latest racing game soon.
May 11, 2003 Update
The rumors were true: the same people behind Namco's critically acclaimed Ridge Racer and MotoGP franchises are currently working on a new game. A Ridge Racer sequel is certainly due, but the team isn't working on another installment in Namco's flagship racing series. Instead, a brand new racing game is in development called R: Racing Evolution. Unlike Namco's previous driving titles, R: Racing Evolution features licensed vehicles, slightly more realistic handling, and a mixture of real-life and fantasy tracks!
On top of that, there will be eight different race types, including circuit, rally, drag, and more. A total of four game modes will be available -- such as Racing Life Mode, Time Attack Mode, Arcade Mode and Versus Mode. According to Namco, the Racing Life Mode focuses on the human-natured competitiveness of racing and gives players a cinematic story of two female racers and their rivalry (see screenshot below; hopefully they fall in love at the end).
In addition, R: Racing Evolution is said to have a new "Interactive Driver AI System." Apparently, if your driver reacts poorly to pressure from other opponents, you will be more likely to lose the race. If they react well to the pressure, then you have a better chance of winning the race. One interesting feature in Racing Evolution is the ability to receive incoming transmissions from crew members -- as well as from your rivals.
This genre is very crowded these days, but hopefully our friends at Namco will be able to provide a great racing experience with R: Racing Evolution this fall. More screenshots and gameplay details when it becomes available.
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