Hands-On: N.Gen Racing

We recently received a playable version of the jet-racing game N.Gen Racing, developed by Curly Monsters. Read our hands-on impressions.

Developed by the former Wipeout crew, Curly Monsters, the jet-racing PlayStation game N.Gen Racing has a lot in common with the racer Wipeout. For example, there are racing teams that have their own unique logos, which look as if they were created by Designer's Republic, though in fact weren't.

There are two basic control schemes available in this game: an arcade- and a pro-control setting. We opt for the arcade-controls since it might be a little too much to start with the professional (and more realistic) handling of the jets.

It becomes quickly apparent that you need to accept that in the first races you will not win until you get better with the controls. One of the most clever aspects of the game is that you gain more speed the closer you are to the ground. So if you decide to fly in secure height, you will be far too slow to win the race. This forces you to fly as close as possible to the ground and thereby fly the most risky manouevers since Top Gun, an aspect that becomes very apparent in two-player split-screen mode.

Of course weapons appear as well. Rockets, machine guns, and other weapons are available to help you get rid of the competition. The music is mainly techno and Euro-beat stuff, similar to Wipeout, perfectly supporting the semi-futuristic and already hectic mood of the game.

After coming to grips with the normal jets you can also opt for the more powerful ones, which are noticeably much faster - fast enough that you won't want to blink your eyes for fear that you'll hit a canyon or a bridge.

The graphics are impressive, even at this point. The 3D terrains look incredibly detailed, and the jets appear very stylish. There's also no noticeable slowdown when you play the game in two-player split-screen mode.

Look for it to hit European shelves around May and then shortly after in the US. Keep an eye here for updates.

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