Games such as WipeOut and Rollcage have garnered small, albeit loyal, fan bases. Wander into a gaming chat room or peruse a print mag, and you'll likely come across a preview of the next futuristic racing title or a strategy for an existing one. Seeking to take advantage of this breakout niche, Crave is gearing up to release MagForce Racing, a futuristic Dreamcast racer that takes hold of the gameplay pioneered by WipeOut and runs with it.
MagForce racing features 22 of the fastest Tripods around. "What's a Tripod?" you ask. Only the fastest, most frenetic racing vehicle ever invented. Imagine taking three tiny gravity pods and linking them together. What you end up with is a vehicle that can float in any direction, climb walls, and generally haul some serious tail. Unlike WipeOut or Rollcage, MagForce lets you race anywhere on the course, including ceilings, buildings, and other racers. Speaking of courses, there are nine in all, such as Moscow, Hawaii, and Mars. To keep things challenging, four unique skill classes and 13 insane power-ups are present to ensure that you don't get bored. Depending on your mood, you can grab a magnetic power-up for hang time, take a speed boost for that extra oomph, or just snag a homing missile and beat your opponents the old-fashioned way.
In features alone, MagForce will be a solid contender. However, it has a few additional surprises waiting to spice things up. First, not only does the game run at a full 60fps, the developers have managed a way to make the four-player split-screen mode run just as fast, with no loss of overall detail. Secondly, the game's multiplayer modes don't have to be restricted to the run-of-the-mill races. For that added touch of variety, there are last-man-standing and scramble modes. Worthy of note, the scramble mode takes the game's power-ups and jumbles them. Think you're getting a homing missile? Think again.
While it can be said that the last thing the Dreamcast needs is another racing game, MagForce has a lot going for it. First and foremost, it's not your standard auto-racing title. Those tired of Formula 1s and stock cars will find new challenges. Plus, if that weren't enough, the game offers four-player support. On a system lacking futuristic racers, MagForce racing brings something to the Dreamcast to satiate the science-fiction pit boss in all of us.