Acclaim has released a one-level playable demo of its forthcoming PS2/Xbox/PC racer Juiced, featuring a single track (San Ricardo) and three cars. You can download it (134MB) direct from Eurofiles right now. Here.
Before you dismiss the idea out of hand (cynics, you), it's worth pointing out that Juiced isn't just about picking a car and racing, whatever the demo might have you think. In actual fact it's competing with Need For Speed Underground, in a sense, allowing you to tune every individual aspect of the car, customise the exterior and turn it into something far more than the sum of its stock parts.
On the track, there's more than racing, too - like the Show-off mode, which Acclaim told us about just recently. The idea is to take your car - your own, personal, licensed car, souped up with all manner of brand name parts and customisation kits - and perform a number of different stunts and classy manoeuvres to impress the crowd. Things like U-turns, J-turns, donuts, 360-degree turns, burnouts, etc.
You can link the moves together to perform combos and boost your score, giving the whole thing a kind of extreme sports feel, except in this case you'll have to take into account things like how much it'll cost to repair your customised car if it gets damaged. It should prove popular though, and ideal for in-game 'race meets', since Juiced will also allow you to build up racing 'crews' with your car-loving mates and race off online - even betting the whole car on the race if you're up for it. Show-off mode's support for global rankings will doubtless give that idea some extra oomph.
At the moment we understand Juiced is on its way out this September on PS2, Xbox and PC, all featuring online play. You can download the aforementioned demo here, and see some screenshots of the Show-off mode in action on Xbox by heading here.