THQ has released a 9MB trailer showing off Juiced, its first stab into the burgeoning sub-genre of tuning arcade racers for PS2, Xbox and PC. You can find it on Eurofiles.
The trailer demonstrates a good-looking, fast-moving racing game with real cars, nice reflective effects, the promise of accurate handling, and - it proudly states - "7 Trillion Possibilities" when it comes to customisation.
Obviously Juiced is aiming to capture the hearts, minds and crumpled fivers of Need For Speed Underground fans, and the ace up its exhaust may be online support. All three versions of the game will allow players to race head-to-head for bragging rights - and also the keys to their respective motors. With each car in Juiced representing a good deal of tweaking and investment, losing one to another racer online is a serious risk to run. Juiced should certainly qualify for that most galling of clichés "adrenaline fuelled".
It's enjoyed a chequered history, though, with the team at Juice Games - the UK start-up behind the project - seemingly tumbling from one failing publisher to another in their fight to get the game to market. Back at the start of 2004 when the game was unveiled, it was seen as a nice break for the guys and gals behind the promising Lamborghini licence (canned in the aftermath of publisher Rage's demise), and the game a challenger to Need For Speed Underground, which was top of the charts at the time.
Fast forward almost exactly 14 months and Need For Speed Underground 2 has only just surrendered its chart position, and despite a relatively warm response to review code sent out by original publisher Acclaim, Juiced is still in development - with the team having once again suffered for a failing publisher after Acclaim imploded last September.
According to new publisher THQ, however, all is rosy, with the game due out on 13th May by its latest schedule - and the only chequering Juice Games can expect in the next few months will be waiting for them on the finish line.