No Fear Downhill Mountain Biking
Mountain bikes. The preserve of amateur drug dealers, rank buffoons and grown men who are too embarrassed to ride a BMX. Not so, cry the Pepsi Max brigade. Mountain biking is a serious sport; in fact, it's an Extreme Sport, an adrenaline-fuelled challenge practised by ultra-fit athletes in Day-Glo lycra pants. It's an exhilarating test of nerve, skill and balance, pushing man and machine to their respective limits, with danger and pain never more than a skid mark away. Apparently, it's great.
Whatever, someone's making a game about it. That someone is Swedish developer UDS, whose previous outing was a top-down racing game of little repute - the graphically unremarkable but supremely networkable Ignition.
Swapping four wheels for rwo, UDS are currently locked in a shed poring over the instructions to No Fear Downhill Mountain Biking. When they've finished building it, Codemasters will let them out and you will be able to buy the game in a shop using your money. Why should you want to do this? Because it might be all right. Here's how.
No Fear Downhill Mountain Biking will feature tracks in ten international locations, ranging from the dusty deserts of Morocco to the volcanoes of Japan. The cycles can be adapted to suit the terrain, with upgrades awarded as you achieve winning times. The suspension and brakes can be altered, maximising durability and enabling you to negotiate corners at previously unattainable speeds.
More tomfoolery will become evident as riders race against 15 opponents over treacherous narrow tracks, with grazed knees proving a distinct possibility as twisted metal scrapes against warm flesh. Fortunately, it's only a game, the TCP can stay in the bathroom cabinet and you can launch yourself down as many mountains as your mind can cope with.
The game offers a full range of competition modes, including single-player championship, single races, time trials and multiplayer split-screen tournaments. There's also the opportunity to pull off loads of tricks, so get ready to practise your wheelies, bunny hops and endos.
And for the ultimate in pretend mountain bike excitement, the first-person perspective offers thrills galore, accompanied by some pumping audio tracks and the obligatory whooping and hollering.