It still feels like the year just started, does it not? If you are a fan of racing games, you probably are nodding your head vigorously right now. There have not been many racing games released so far this year — especially very few new ones. Fortunately, there are some great releases coming out later in the year. For now, however, take a look at the two racing games released so far that are not just worth playing for the time being, but are actually surprisingly enjoyable in their own right.
Ridge Racer: Unbounded
Ridge Racer: Unbounded was a real surprise, and a pleasant one at that. After the horrible mess that was the Ridge Racer release on the PSVita, most critics and fans alike were ready to hate this game. So, imagine everyone’s shock when it actually turned out to be a solid racing title. It is fairly standard on the surface, a street racing game that allows you to customize your car as you go, with a new emphasis on crashing — both into your opponents and into the scenery — to sniff out hidden shortcuts. The game implements this component well; although the physics are a little bit odd, that is par for the course for the Ridge Racer series.
Where this game really shines, however, is in its included track editor. This feature allows you to build your own tracks and share them online for anyone to try. Virtually every major reviewer has agreed that this is one of the best track editors available in any console racing game, and with good reason.
After a good race through the city streets, the obvious next step is to go off-road with DiRT: Showdown, this year’s other major racing title. This is the latest game from the Colin McRae Rally series, and it delivers a solid, fun experience. You should be aware going in that this is less of a game for “purists,” and more of an all-around racing lover’s game. As all fans of the DiRT series know, most of the series’ fun is in the different game modes it offers, and Showdown delivers that and more, with 13 different modes included altogether — some classic and some brand new for this edition. Oddly enough, almost all of the cars you can drive in the game are completely fictional. In fact, the only places you can use real world cars in the game are in the Party and Hoonigan modes.
It may be true that the pickings for racing game fans are a bit on the slim side so far in 2012. However, you still have two very solid games to enjoy already, and there are more on the way. A lot of companies opt to wait until the fall to release their major titles, so do not worry too much about the lack of options this early in the year. Most likely, come November you will wish that you only had two games to choose from, rather than the thirty staring at you from stores shelves.
Guest post contributed by Lauren Atkinson, for Wish.co.uk -. Laura is a freelance instructor and choreographer for fun days out such as the increasingly popular zombie days out. For more information on the Wish UK experience visit their website.