Online servers for Ridge Racer Unbounded have been shut down in Europe, publisher Bandai Namco has announced.
Brammers smashes his way to the front then throws it all away on the last corner.
Watch us master the game's amazing drift button.
29th March 2012
29th March 2012
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3rd November 2011
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FlatOut and Ridge Racer: Unbounded developer Bugbear Entertainment has announced its Next Car Game (they still haven't decided on a name) will be released on PC as a download in early 2014.
UPDATE: Bugbear has issued Eurogamer a press release that officially announces the game for PC and "yet to be announced platforms".
Outside of a few evergreen titles like Gran Turismo, Forza Motorsport, F1 and Mario Kart, the racing game genre has been in a state of chaos and decline for a few years now, with great games like Blur and Split/Second pitching up to fanfare from genre fans and then disappearing into bargain bins a few days later. We love them, but the audience just doesn't seem to be out there.
The game that would become Ridge Racer Unbounded first existed as an unrelated prototype before publisher Namco stamped its Ridge Racer brand on it, developer Bugbear has revealed.
Ridge Racer Unbounded developer Bugbear Entertainment has admitted it cut an in-game tutorial that helped explain the game's polarising drift controls.
Namco racing reboot Ridge Racer Unbounded has swerved into the UK all-format charts in 21st place, one of several new game releases to miss the chart's top 10 this week.
Amongst all the doom and gloom this week - GAME's administration, THQ cutting more development jobs it can't afford, SEGA cancelling titles and "streamlining" its business, Raspberry Pi's delay, rumours of Prey 2's cancellation, not refuted, the lovely Yoshinori Ono's horrible health scare, the government charging us more to drink and smoke, and the threat of more industrial action in the UK (now abated, but only because of PR gaffes, panic-buying and mass safety concerns) - it's been hard even for resilient gamers to look on the bright side.
I feel it's important to state up front that some reviews of Ridge Racer Unbounded will be a cautionary tale for developers about the importance of including a tutorial. Diligent critics such as myself will labour away at Bugbear's new arcade racing game for hours on end and their experience will be horrible. It will be a war of attrition and nothing will make sense.
Envisaged as a counterpoint to the traditional slide-happy Ridge Racer - a sort of evil twin with destructible scenery and violent takedowns - it feels like a poor cross between Split/Second and Burnout 3. By drifting, drafting and smashing through scenery, you fill a Power meter, which you can then deploy to either create shortcuts through smashable walls, set off explosives, or crash into other cars directly to "frag" them - Unbounded's version of the classic Takedown. But it's all so perilously bland.
You can blast your way through all sorts of buildings, highlighted by on-screen icons when you're powered up, but the carnage lacks the punch of Split/Second's collapsing airports or MotorStorm's apocalypse, and the shortcuts you create seldom give you much of an advantage anyway. The takedowns, meanwhile, require little skill and hardly feel explosive; they're more like mild prangs elevated to slow-motion extravaganzas so as to inject spectacle into otherwise-flaccid racing.
Ridge Racer Unbounded's US delay doesn't apply to the game's European launch, Namco Bandai has told Eurogamer.
Ridge Racer Unbounded has been delayed by four weeks.
Namco Bandai Europe has revealed the Ridge Racer Unbounded Day One Edition, due out alongside the standard edition on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on 30th March.
Ridge Racer: Unbounded will zoom into shops on 2nd March 2012, Namco Bandai has announced.
That date fits EMEA territories and Australasia.
Ridge Racer: Unbounded is the next big instalment in this long-running racing series. Developer Bugbear is making it for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.
Car crash screens pile-up.
It's more than just the concrete that comes tumbling down in Ridge Racer Unbounded. In this, Finnish developer Bugbear's first game in coming up to five years, the very definition of a series that's been about overstated drifts and nitrous trails is smashed to pieces too. In the rubble that's left at the end of a race, it's hard to pick out where exactly Namco's racing staple has got to.
This year's Eurogamer Expo will be the biggest yet, with our doors open for longer than ever before.
Five seconds can be a long time in a racing game, but there can't be many titles out there that cram more into that space than Ridge Racer: Unbounded does.
Namco hits a brick wall.
Drift too unleashed?
Namco has announced a brand new multiplatform Ridge Racer game, due out next year for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Little is known about Ridge Racer Unbounded. A teaser trailer, which does not contain gameplay footage, is available to view below.
It's in development at Bugbear Entertainment, the Finnish developer behind the FlatOut series and 2007 PSP game SEGA Rally.
When Sony unveiled the Next Generation Portable in Tokyo last week, one PlayStation stalwart was conspicuous for its absence: Ridge Racer.
Launches for PC, PS3, 360 in 2012.