Acclaim Entertainment has today announced that it plans to release Dakar 2, the sequel to last year's disappointing PS2 game Paris-Dakar Rally , on all current console platforms early next year.
"Dakar 2 is a totally new game rather than a simple improvement on the original," said Ned Browning, European brand manager at Acclaim. "Dakar 2 will provide a distinctive gameplay experience that really challenges the player and will offer a unique and exciting alternative to the traditional formulaic rally game."
The sequel will apparently be a radical departure from the original, although the list of features released by Acclaim today doesn't make it clear how this is the case. As in the real-life Paris-Dakar race, players will be able to compete in a variety of vehicles including cars, trucks, and motorcycles--all of which have been updated for 2003. Acclaim is promising that Dakar 2 will feature full damage modeling for all the vehicles this time around, and that the damage will not only be apparent visually but will also affect the handling. This would certainly be a welcome addition to the series, provided small stones and piles of dirt aren't capable of tossing vehicles up in the air this time around.
The actual Paris-Dakar rally pits 350 drivers against each other on a course spanning some 6,500 miles, and, while it would obviously be impossible to re-create this accurately, Acclaim is promising a huge variety of visually rich environments including towns in France, Spain, and Morocco. Also promised is "close interaction" with animals, villagers, water, bush, trees, and mines, which presumably means that players will have to attempt to avoid all these things.
Dakar 2 is currently scheduled for release on all current console platforms in February 2003. We'll bring you more information on the game as it becomes available.