Namco • MSRP: from $59.99
After getting the chance to play a couple of short rounds of Ridge Racer Unbounded with friends at some Vegas parties during the week of SEMA, we’ve been given the opportunity to sit down and play the full length game on our Xbox 360 and had great time smash our way through the city. The single-player campaign begins with a movie-style opening that depicts a city taken over by high-octane fueled cars that race the highways with little regard for each other or their surroundings.
Single Player Campaign
Shatterbay is a city with seven towns that reflects similarities to New York City with names like the Lower Eastside and Upper Westside with our campaign starting out at The City Limit putting us up against 11 opponents. Ridge Racer Unbounded is a pedal to the floor fast pace survival race for the first two rounds in each town’s Dominate Challenges, followed up by a drift competition and a high-speed city run.
We found that drifting the car through corners gained power up advantages as well as smashing into opponents or destroying city features. These power ups could then be used to take out opponents with replays of the destruction and points awarded for flips, damage and style of the crash. Also the different cities have shortcuts that can be utilized by using a power up to blast through features like a car dealership, train station or even a jump through a billboard and into a gas station.
We started to feel comfortable amongst the flying rumble and flaming cars passing overhead after the first two rounds the Dominate races. However the third race was a 30sec drift challenge with points added for distance and style. If the drifts were classy enough to be awarded points, time increments would be added to the clock to carry out more sideways action. We had a blast connecting drifts and trying to keep as much time on the clock as possible.
Then came a high-speed challenge in the next event. Following racing lines gave more of an advantage, while the nitrous boosts were awarded for drifts or smashing up the town. Each time we came away victorious we were awarded with different cities on the map becoming available for game play and new cars to choose from.
Additional winnings came in the form of “city tiles” that could be arranged to design a custom track. After dedicating most of our time to the flashy explosions and cool replays we earned quite a few tiles to build a sizable track. The design area is impressive, with tiles for corners, straight ways and even the option to dictate the type of weather along with the number of laps of competition. While we are still touching up our track, online users can share and compete against other players within their own created cities.
Overall the game play is a fast past thrill ride with arcade style driving. We were initially disappointed that our friends on the couch couldn’t join in on the fun. However, with Xbox Live’s 2-8 online multiplayer mode we are sure to find some new friends to compete against.