TOCA Talk

Codemasters promise dramatic cutscenes and storyline for TOCA Race Driver

Source - press release

When they announced the latest installment in the TOCA series, Codemasters promised it would be a little different from your average motor racing game, with a focus on characters and storyline as well as on track action. Today the developers have revealed the first details of this plot, which will follow a rookie called Ryan McKane as he works his way up through the field as a professional racing driver. Overshadowed by both his famous father and an elder brother, Ryan must prove he's got what it takes to make it in the competitive world of motor racing under his own steam, while dealing with short tempered rivals and the attentions of gorgeous women. Poor fellow. The game's cutscenes are fully motion captured, recording both voice acting and character movements simultaneously in a Motion Analysis system similar to the one that Square used for their Final Fantasy movie. To add to the atmosphere, the cutscenes will apparently be rendered in real time by the game engine, allowing the developers to include the right race track scenery and the car you were just driving in a cinematic shot along with the various pre-scripted characters as they deliver their lines. Codemasters were quick to point out that it's still the actual racing which makes up the vast majority of the game though, and this is no Metal Gear Solid 2. "Each story sequence lasts between just 15 and 45 seconds", according to producer Gavin Raeburn. "This avoids players feeling the need to press buttons to skip scenes. Certain characters will also feature in other parts of the game, replacing text information and option displays with actual speech. This helps dispense with the impersonal documentary feel of many licensed racing games and keeps TOCA Race Driver a dramatic and fast, though personal, experience throughout." With the game due out in June 2002, we should soon be able to see for ourselves whether this novel approach has worked. In the meantime, if you want to learn more about the storyline and the game's use of motion capture, there's plenty more information (along with possible spoilers) in the press release. Related Feature - TOCA Race Driver screenshots

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