First look: World Rally Championship 2 Extreme

SCEE releases information on and the first screenshots of its rally-driving sequel.

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and Evolution Studios have today released information on the sequel to World Rally Championship , which was published in North America by Bam Entertainment earlier this year.

World Rally Championship 2 Extreme promises to be the most realistic rally driving title to date, as Evolution Studios looks to improve upon the original in every conceivable way. The car models, for example, will be made up of some 20,000 polygons as opposed to the 8,000 in WRC, and the fully destructible car bodies will feature panels that can be torn away to reveal the inner workings.

Other graphical improvements for the sequel will include realistic water effects for rivers and puddles, improved particle and kick-up effects, fully modeled car interiors, and much bigger environments featuring twice the number of objects and including country-specific landmarks such as villages, bridges, castles, and churches.

The game's performance will also be significantly improved under the hood thanks to a new physics model that has been developed specifically for it. The more realistic slides, skids, and flicks that Evolution Studios is promising sound daunting given the nature of the sport, but we're assured that making the game easy to pick up and play is very high on the developer's list of priorities. Perhaps more daunting still is the fact that players will be able to tune all aspects of their chosen car in a prestage service area, with approximately 600,000 different setup combinations available for each of the seven official cars.

The game's 11 different gameplay modes--five of which are multiplayer--will see players racing on some 115 different stages across 14 different countries, covering around 800km of asphalt, gravel, and snow along the way. The track surfaces themselves promise to be a big feature of the game this time around too, as they apparently feature a resolution several times greater than that of any other driving game, allowing for realistic bumps and ruts.

World Rally Championship 2 Extreme is scheduled for release in Europe before the end of the year. No North American release has been confirmed at this time. We'll bring you more information on the game as it becomes available.

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