Jeff Gordon XS Racing
Bang fenders with three-time Winston Cup Champion Jeff Gordon in ASC's futuristic new racing game, Jeff Gordon XS Racing. Rather than a true NASCAR simulation, which many initially expected it to be, the game is an imaginative forecast of the future of stock car racing; ultra-aerodynamic cars travel at speeds in excess of 300 miles per hour, screaming through dangerous corkscrews and hurtling over towering jumps on their way to victory lane.
The game's branching, high-banked courses have more in common with slot-car tracks than the typical NASCAR oval. In addition to the aforementioned jumps and corkscrews, each of the game's eight tracks is filled with colored and directional lighting effects, while each car is adorned with sharp-looking Gran Turismo-style environment mapping and spectral highlights. There's plenty of track-side eye-candy, too, including famous monuments, neon signs and roller coasters. Somewhat unusual for a racing game, all of the action in XS Racing takes place at night. According to the developers, this decision was made to show the game's advanced lighting effects to their best advantage.
In addition to acting as the game's codesigner and co-producer, Jeff Gordon also appears in the game. Initially acting as the player's mentor and driving instructor, jeff eventually becomes your fiercest competitor. An avid gamer since the age of five, Jeff is taking a hands-on approach to the game's design. In addition to offering advice on track and car designs, Jeff plays every successive build of the game, offering expert feedback on control and handling. The main thing Jeff hopes to convey is the sensation of speed and the rush of adrenaline one gets while behind the wheel of a stock car. Accurate engine sounds, tire squeals and track noise also have been added to enhance the illusion. Jeff Gordon XS Racing's gameplay is highly arcadelike, favoring flat-out speed over technique. The game's cars are highly stable, allowing players to "bump-and-run" while jockeying for position, just like stock car racers of today. On tracks with branching doverleaf segments, the player can opt to stick to the center oval or to utilize the outer loops, which are longer but contain speed boosts. On particularly high jumps, your car's rear spoiler extends to become a makeshift wing, allowing you to log some serious flight time.
At this juncture in the game's development, XS Racing still has a few wrinkles in need of ironing out. Control is a bit stiff, and the sluggish frame rate, which seems to hover around 25 frames per second, could use a boost. As a point of comparison, Fox Interactive's recently released Motorhead, another futuristic racer, manages an impressive 60 fps while racing among a four-car field. (The frame rate dropped to 30 fps, however, if the player opted to race against seven opponents.)
Count on Jeff Gordon's considerable star power and name recognition to give XS Racing an added sales boost when it hits stores this March.
Download Jeff Gordon XS Racing
Today's biggest name in American racing has been landed by ASC Games, but it's not using him in a NASCAR sim. Instead, the arcade-style Jeff Gordon XS Racing peels out on futuristic race tracks drawn with a dark and gritty Wipeout lookThe courses are packed with big jumps and banked turns as you race against the pack-- and eventually Gordon himself.
Adding to the futuristic flavor, these stock car-esque rides sprout altitude-maintaining wings when they bag air and also self-repair crumpled fenders and other damage on the fly. While the game still has loads of time in pit row before rolling across the starting line, it already packs enough unique, fun touches and promising gameplay to rank as an intriguing prospect.