As we found out last night, Codemasters' Race Driver 2: The Ultimate Racing Simulator (or the phonetically worrying abbreviation "Race Driver 2: The URS") will be an Xbox exclusive when it launches in Spring 2004, and there's still no mention of a PC version in Codies' extensive morning press release. Or screenshots.
What we do know is that Codemasters is implementing a new physics model, a new deformation damage system, a new graphics engine, and revised AI to take Race Driver 2 that little bit further beyond TOCA Race Driver. According to producer Gavin Raeburn, "Every physical nuance of each vehicle type is accurately modelled, from tyre deformation when cornering to the centrifugal engine forces and complex aerodynamics." As for the visuals, apparently "it's going to be stunning."
"Our new rendering engine features complex dynamic lighting, perspective mapped shadows, multipass textures, procedural standing grass and a host of post production techniques including true motion blur, depth of field and iris effects - all at a rock steady 60fps," says Raeburn. We can also expect Codies to continue its use of a cinematic plot with a narrative played out entirely from the first person perspective. Hurrah! Death to Ryan McKane!
And, as revealed last week, the developer has expanded the range of activities, dumping the single motorsport approach in favour of cramming everything in - GT Sports Car Racing, Street Racing, Rally, DTM, V8 Supercars, Global GT Lights, Rally Cross, Formula Ford, Open Wheel Grand Prix and Classic Car Racing. You name it, and it's probably in there, sculpted into a 56-circuit championship structure, which takes players as far afield as Miami and Tokyo (confirmed tracks include Laguna Seca, Surfers Paradise, Euro Speedway, Donington Park, Kyalami and Road America).
In terms of licensed cars, we can expect 35 of them, from the likes of Aston Martin (V12 Vanquish, DB7 and DB5), Jaguar (XJ220, XKR and E-Type), Ford GT, GT90, F150 Lightning Pick-up, Falcon BA), Holden Commodore VY, Mitsubishi 3000 GT, Mitsubishi EVO 7, Subaru Impreza WRX, ABT-Audi TT-R, Opel Astra V8 Coupe and AMG-Mercedes CLK.
Oh, and it probably goes without saying these days, but Xbox Live support is well and truly on the agenda.