Empire, the game developer, has announced that its Off-Road game
will be ported to the Nintendo
Wii gaming console, making full use of the Ford license it currently possesses.
Ford has been rather slow in admitting the value
of damage in a racing game. They even created a contract clause that made sure that their cars would not get damaged during races. Apparently, they have changed their position somewhat and squeaky-clean tires are out of the picture to be replaced by mud, gravel and scratches. Expect light-to-medium body damage for the cars. An on-the-fly system to repair the car is featured, which makes sure you never get too badly damaged to go on racing.
A host of four-wheeled monsters from the manufacturer's famous motoring catalog will be playable and 24 detailed tracks, ranging from mountains to forests and deserts. All tracks will be specially designed to offer true off-road challenges, with the possibility of your vehicle to get stuck.
Game modes will include Time Trial, which lets you compete alone against the clock, and Show Me The Money, where you take on challenges from other drivers. There's also a single player campaign that's around 15 hours long. Off-road hours, that is.
Driving games these days are a mixed bunch, with some aiming for true-to-the-road realism and customization of the cars, while most of them go for a more arcade-oriented approach that emphasizes the adrenaline rush of diving at high speeds and tackling difficult tracks. Off-Road hasn't really made up its mind on which side of the fence it is. There's some realism in there, mainly in the track layout, but the gameplay feels arcade like and not engaging enough.
The game has already been out on PC, PS2 and PSP
since March and it has received mixed reviews. Expect the game to be released on the Nintendo Wii in July.