Fatal Inertia EX

Fatal Inertia EX

Fatal Inertia EX

Stranger than friction.

You never get a second chance to make a first impression...unless you happen to be an oft-delayed and eventually underwhelming futuristic racing game only available on one console. In that case, you can always hop over the hardware divide and try to impress the other lot instead.

So it is for Fatal Inertia, the futuristic hover racer that briefly made promising noises at the start of this hardware generation. Lest we forget, Fatal Inertia was originally a PS3 launch title that fell by the wayside and eventually only turned up on the 360 last September, preceded by a demo of such legendary awfulness that the game's lead designer expressed public regret that it had been allowed to see the light of day.

Fatal Inertia is the name given to some vaguely-explained far-future racing tournament in which giant corporations provide nippy hovercraft ships for reckless pilots to battle in. You don't have to look too far beyond the meaningless buzzword title, which sounds more like an erotic thriller for physicists, to see that this is a magpie game - snatching popular ideas and imagery from other popular games and shuffling them together in the hope of attracting enough "make do" second-tier purchases. Following its predictably muted 360 reception last year, and after yet more delays, it's finally on the PS3 in a noticeably tinkered form. As well as new tracks, new tutorials and a lot less ugly slowdown, it's also now a mid-priced PSN download rather than a full-priced game on a disc, all of which are good things and should be praised now before the dirty work begins.

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Fatal Inertia EX

Lead designer Mike Bond on what's changed since the 360 release.

After the Xbox 360 original took a bit of a kicking, KOEI could have been forgiven for slinking away and giving up on Fatal Inertia - its stab at a WipEout-style futuristic racer - altogether.

Fatal Inertia team "regrets" 360 demo

But says PSN one will make up for it.

Members of the Fatal Inertia development team "really regret" releasing the Xbox 360 demo of the game that caught such flak in the run-up to the game's release last year, lead designer Mike Bond has told Eurogamer.

Fatal Inertia coming to PSN

With demo and raft of improvements.

KOEI has announced plans to release Fatal Inertia EX as a PlayStation Network download at the end of May.

Fatal Inertia PS3 rated by ESRB

But KOEI declines to comment.

KOEI is keeping quiet about the future of Fatal Inertia on PS3 despite the game receiving a rating from the American Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). "E10+" in case you care.

Fatal Inertia

Ludicrous speed, go!

In Fatal Inertia, the first game from Japanese publisher Koei's new Canadian development studio, you drive futuristic hovering race vehicles at ridiculous speeds and fire weapons to impede the progress of your opponents.

Koei sizes up 2007

Wheels out new games.

Koei has revealed that it will release eight games this year, unveiling some previously unheard of titles in the process.

KOEI delays two PS3 titles

Fatal Inertia and Bladestorm slip.

KOEI has announced that PS3 titles Bladestorm and Fatal Inertia, originally scheduled for March, will now launch in summer 2007.

KOEI brings PS3 titles to 360

Fatal Inertia and Bladestorm.

KOEI has decided to share the love, announcing Xbox 360 versions of its previously-PS3-exclusive titles Bladestorm: The Hundred Years War and Fatal Inertia.

Fatal Inertia

Koei's PS3 launch title is a racing game. This is the same Koei, right?

A flying car zooms through a canyon, hot on the heels of another. Twin machineguns pop out of its bonnet and start spraying lead. Hurrah! Flying vehicular combat - we've done that. Aha, buuuut, it's not shooting the other guy; it's shooting the wall up ahead of him; and as the bullets cut across the surface they loosen a selection of rocks which fall just in time to smash the other guy to the ground and leave him stunned. A couple of seconds he's up again, and the chase resumes.

Koei unveils new PS3 titles

Koei unveils new PS3 titles

Will support X360, Revolution too.

Koei unveiled two new PlayStation 3 titles at a press conference in Japan today and showed what it described as "CG concept work" on another - before pledging support to all three next-generation formats and saying some nice things about the newly announced Revolution controller.

The new games come from Koei's Omega Force studio and its new Canadian outpost. Omega Force, best known for its work on Dynasty Warriors, is working on a game called Bladestorm: Hundred Years War, which is - yes - about that rather lengthy medieval conflict. Producer Akihiro Suzuki said it was "an age that hasn't been covered as much in games," and that Bladestorm would be "a type of action game that presents something you've never seen before" - and indeed haven't seen yet, since Koei declined to show anything other than the logo.

Koei Canada meanwhile is working on a racing title called Fatal Inertia, of which more a bit later. In short, it's a combat racing title that lets for which Koei is pushing the physics side heavily [very good - Ed]. You'll be able to fire non-lethal weapons at opponents, and even at the landscape - sending rocks crashing down to derail your enemies. We saw some demo footage of this - CG and early in-engine prototypes - and it'll be a neat concept if it's realised properly.

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