Superstars V8 coming in June

Console vers to cost 30 quid, PC cheaper.

Black Bean Games has told Eurogamer that Superstars V8 Racing will be out on 26th June, costing GBP 30 for PS3/360 and GBP 20 for PC. There's also a demo planned for June.

The first official screenshots were released last week, accompanying the scraps of information offered so far. This is often a worrying sign so close to launch.

"You are absolutely right, this does have the hallmarks of something worrying," a spokesperson for Black Bean games retorted. "It is, however, simply a case of this being the first game in a franchise from a smaller publisher known for bike racing, and we wanted to ensure we released quality assets we could honestly say were from the title."

Fabio Paglianti, senior producer for developer Milestone, added: "The game has very high quality, but the licence is not so famous. So we start with a mid-price so we can show to the audience we can do a very good game, a very beautiful game, to play, to see, to watch, with a good price. Because a mid-price game with that graphics, that content is a very good game for the audience."

Paglianti said Superstars V8 has around 80 per cent of the content of a full-price title like SBK, the motorbike racing series Milestone is noted for - although the studio's racing heritage goes right back to 1995 and Screamer on PC.

Superstars V8 will be a friendly simulation racer, according to senior producer Fabio Paglianti, that will be "easy to start" and feature racing aids that can be turned on and off. One of the special features is an Orbit mode, where races can be paused and a camera flown freely around to assess positioning.

The game is based on the real-life Superstars V8 championship, where well-known racers show what road cars are capable of around a track, a bit like Top Gear but less hairy, fat and obnoxious. "The hook for the audience is to see their own car [in action]," explained Paglianti.

Superstars V8 Racing has quick-race online multiplayer for up-to 12 players, who can be substituted for bots if needs be. This is Paglianti's favourite part of the game. "It's really, really fun," he said, "it's easy to play, it's aggressive."

The AI will be no push-over, either. "The AI have the same behaviour as the human," explained Paglianti, pointing out that different drivers have different skills as well as different cars.

"It's a very good game, but we have absolute faith that in the future we can improve Superstar a lot," said Paglianti, who would like a bigger championship mode and a racing school mode in the future.

He also said the real-life Superstars V8 event "can become a very interesting championship for the audience", and he hopes the game - via annual releases - can grow with it.

That's the benefit of a licence like this, he argued, although he isn't allowed to smash cars up more than mildly, front and back, and has no customisation. So is a licence more important than creative freedom?

"I don't think the limits a licence can have are so high," said Paglianti. "In our view the licence is, every time, a very good opportunity to give to the players a branded game that he or she already knows. "

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