Argonaut Announces Powerdrome

Argonaut is working on an updated version of the classic racing game for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox.

Argonaut Software has today announced that it's working on an updated version of the futuristic racing game Powerdrome, which appeared on the Amiga and Atari ST in 1988, for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. The game is being developed at Argonaut's Sheffield studio by a team headed by the game's original creator, Michael Powell.

"We looked at the genre and decided at some point it had taken a wrong turn," Powell said. "With Powerdrome we intend to offer ultra high-speed racing in its purest form, no floating pick-ups, no tacked-on weapons. You only need those when the racing itself isn't good enough. We are dumping the gimmicks and putting the skill back in."

In the game, you'll assume the role of one of 12 different blade pilots, blades being the jet-engine antigravity aircraft that you'll be racing in the game. Powerdrome will feature a total of around 24 different circuits in eight varied locales including a subtropical ocean dam and the underside of a terraformed ring world. One of the team's main focuses has been to deliver a totally compelling driving experience by ensuring not only that the vehicles handle well, but also that you'll receive plenty of feedback from your craft.

"When players are able to really understand what is happening to the vehicle, suddenly they are able to gain mastery of it," said Will Vale, lead programmer on the game. "They need to feel every aspect of the vehicle, and that means giving players lots of feedback cues. One of the unique feedback mechanisms we have introduced is a dynamic pilot character who reacts to each movement of the blade. This enables the player to react skillfully to what is happening."

Both the PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions of Powerdrome will support online play and are scheduled for release next year. We'll bring you more information on the game as soon as it becomes available.

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