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Ridge Racer Unbounded

Ridge Racer Unbounded

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Ridge Racer Unbounded (XBOX 360) Review

Ridge Racer Unbounded (XBOX 360)

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Unbounded starts with a stylish introduction which was a very cinematic feel, giving us the backstory of Shatter Bay and a gang within it, the Unbounded. Through this we find that we are to start at the bottom of the organisation and work our way to the top, taking over the city and then taking on the world. There is something ominous about the tone which immediately makes the storyline stand out and the game from there feels noticeably different to the standard racing experience.

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Assigning Contracts Throughout the races there are a huge amount of destructible objects which our car can plough through sending debris flying and particularly large moments are followed by a slow motion replay of events which adds to the impact. Of course that isn’t quite the case when we have to watch a replay of our car being smashed by bad driving or fragged by a fellow racer.

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There are racing games out there which attempt ultra realism, often failing, and others which take a more cartoonish approach which seems to alienate some gamers. Namco and Bugbear Entertainment are much more towards the former design approach though the city itself doesn’t try to be photorealistic. Mixed in with some varied car models are a wide range of city areas that have their unique visual style and the developers make good use of sunlight and reflections within the game for impact. Slow motion replays look good and there is a massive amount of detail in each frame as we fly round the track with destructible environments looking very impressive as they shatter. As is often the case though there is some slowdown when things get hectic on screen but it is infrequent enough so as not to spoil the races.

http://bip.mosirradom.pl/?thesis-writers-in-pune Thesis Writers In Pune Due to the destructive aspects of the gameplay we also get large amounts of collision sounds but that’s really where things stop.

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The initial experience that Ridge Racer Unbounded gives is that there is a large amount of content to pick though, looking through the races and modes available from the menu could be daunting but at the same time it takes seconds from loading to getting into a race. From there the action is frantic and the pace fast which is very much helped by the minimal time from crashing or being fragged to dropping back into the game. This happens within a second or two of the replay ending with the game having updated to reflect our new position further back in the field and with the car in motion. Given that the game is littered with crashes, destruction and replays this quick return is very much appreciated.

In terms of mastering the game players need not have played a Ridge Racer before, though experience with drift racing would be a benefit and within a few minutes the basics are mastered, something which is assisted by on-screen tips to prompt new players in the right direction. Winning an event takes practice though and due to the frantic nature of the gameplay even experience gamers will find that the first few races result in failed objectives as we try to find the right balance between racing and fragging.

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Destructible cars and environments are nothing new for racing games but in Unbounded the concept is executed well. Tracks are designed for maximum eye-candy as we tear through objects and there is a real feel of this being something different as we clip a wall which would in most games bring us to a crushing halt, only to smash through sending debris flying. The developers also use this to the games advantage, having hidden shortcuts to discover. The amount of detail as we crash through the races is also impressive and light/reflections used well as is the idea of incorporating status updates such as how far we are behind the car ahead as part of the scenery.

As large as the single player mode is the intention of Namco and Bugbear to send us into creation mode and online is very much evident. Even the introduction to the single player plot teases this aspect and to be fair these aspects are well worth exploring. They add a huge level of longevity to the game which is lacking in so many competitors.

Before we close though it is worth noting, something Namco/Bugbear should have done in-game, that enjoyment of Unbounded is very much dependant on mastering the proper use of drift. Just hit the drift button and the races are average, combine it throughout corners with the brake and accelerator and the entire experience goes up a level or two becoming fast paced, frantic fun.

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Racing which is heavy on arcade rather than sim meets destructive environments and online battles. A heck of a lot of fun with huge potential for community creation and longevity.


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Stuart Davidson

Stuart Davidson is Senior Editor at HardwareHeaven having joined the site in 2002.