Ridge Racer Unbounded

Spotlight

VideoRidge Racer Unbounded Demolition Race gameplay capture

Brammers smashes his way to the front then throws it all away on the last corner.

VideoRidge Racer Unbounded Drift Attack gameplay capture

Watch us master the game's amazing drift button.

Key events

Eurogamer.net Podcast 108: Ridge Racer Unbounded/Smash the Homophobes Special

We dissect the self-inflicted "fun button" saga and talk about EA's stout defence of BioWare's wooden sex scenes.

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.

Game of the Week: Ridge Racer Unbounded

What a difference a button makes.

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.

Ridge Racer Unbounded Review

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.

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Ridge Racer: Unbounded release date revealed

Ridge Racer: Unbounded release date revealed

Gritty smash and crash reboot for 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.

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Ridge Racer Unbounded

Crash course.

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.

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.

Ridge Racer Unbounded announced

Ridge Racer Unbounded announced

Due out next year for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.

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.

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