E3 2002Auto Modellista impressions

Capcom's cel-shaded racing game is online, it's playable, and it's awesome.

Capcom recently confirmed that its upcoming cel-shaded racing game Auto Modellista would be coming to the US. At the time, its online playability was in question for the US market, but the game is here on the show floor at E3, it's online, and it's really quite cool.

The online version shown here at the show has two playable tracks. The test track is a basic oval, and it's a little dull. The Tokyo course on display, however, is much cooler. The cartoonlike presentation of the game really goes a long way. Cars kick up dust clouds, rain falling from the sky looks very nice, and when you really get moving, cartoonlike wind lines fill the upper half of the screen. Other little touches, like the way that small explosions pop off your car when you hit walls and the smooth, dark edges around the car models, really add to the game's overall style.

The game has several licensed cars from manufacturers like Toyota, Mazda, Subaru, Honda, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Daihatsu, and Suzuki. The single-player mode will probably feature more customization, but the online mode here had three available options: standard car, standard car with racing stripe, and car with stripe and rear spoiler. Five color choices are also available. Once racing, you have a choice of three different camera angles, one of which is a first-person view.

The game controls quite well. It doesn't appear to have the insanely powerslide-filled style of Ridge Racer, but it doesn't venture too far into driving-sim territory, either. The happy medium means that the game is very easy to pick up and play.

Auto Modellista is scheduled to ship later this year.

Written By

Jeff Gerstmann has been professionally covering the video game industry since 1994.

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