Sadly, Acclaim are the company that followed up Alien 3 with George Forman's KO Boxing, and Super Smash TV with The Incredible Crash Dummies. So, even after the truly astounding Turok, the sight of their winter racing game may not induce sudden spasms of excitement.
And yet early word on their Wipeout look-a-like (provisionally labelled 'Extreme G' and being developed by Mortal Kombat/Alien Trilogy dabblers, Probe) is extremely promising.
Taking control of a hover-bike, the player must work his way through 12 tracks - all apparently 'rollercoaster-like' in their structure -- which vary in style from abandoned water pipes to city scapes. In fact, several of the tracks lead into underwater caverns and lava-filled pools as well as hazard-strewn valleys complete with falling boulders.
Weapons-wise the game is likely to deliver in spades, with the usual melee of bullet-spitters accompanied by some wonderfully original mayhem-makers such as the Control Swap Missiles, which have the ability to reverse the target vehicle's controls, and Phospor Flares, which blind all the competitors behind you. Invisibility and Turbo Particle Accelerators -- last seen in Turok -- will also be given a run-out.
The game will also lay claim to a Mario Kart-style four-player mode where the screen quarters itself up and provides players with a chance to test their metal against three friends.
Blighty boys Probe believe the game to be faster and smoother than Nintendo's kart-'em-up and, certainly, early word is enough to back them up. Having been in development for almost a year already, the game - soon to be properly named, thank God - looks, moves and bodes wonderfully well.
Extreme-G DownloadsExtreme-G download
Take on a trackful of hi-tech bikers in this dementedly fast futuristic racer. An array of weapons and the option to have up to four players compete on either the rollercoaster racetracks or the confined battle arenas adds to the fun. Probe Software's attempt to out-Wipeout Wipeout does a fine job. although some of the twisting courses do involve more luck than skill.
Futuristic bike game with weapons and rollercoaster tracks. Sometimes sheer speed makes you rely on luck, not skill.
Never likely to displace Wipeout 2097 as the ultimate future racer but still hugely impressive. Face-melting speed and beautiful tracks.