Anticipation of Metropolis Street Racer has grown steadily ever since the basic concept was revealed to the public. It's arguable whether this is because Metropolis lets us fulfill all of our wildest racing dreams - to be able to drive down the most famous cities of the world at ultimately crazy speeds - or because it boasts a physics engine that challenges the mightiest of racers. It's most likely a combination of both and a whole lot more besides. Luscious visuals, unsurpassed attention to detail, and a long list of features make MSR one appealing package.
Graphically, Metropolis is looking superb. The subtle enhancements created by the expert lighting effects help make MSR look and feel as realistic as ever. You can't help but notice the eerie atmospheric glow that creates a sphere around the lamps in the nighttime courses. Indeed, practically every visual effect you can name is put to use here. Another very noticeable aspect is that the cars leave those delicious retina burns, a feature that was also put to use in Tokyo Highway Battle. But it's not just the lighting that will leave you drooling. Bizarre Creations has encapsulated an uncannily real representation of the cities featured: San Francisco, London, and Tokyo. By spending time studying over 32,000 photographs and 30 hours of video footage of the world-famous metropolises and their landmarks, Bizarre has created racing circuits and background scenery identical to their real-life counterparts. Houses, restaurants, coffee bars, advertisements, and even the roads are all featured with correct detail and locations. The vehicles themselves are jaw-droppingly beautiful too. Each car is made up of up to 4,000 polygons and, amazingly, multiple onscreen cars appear to be no problem for MSR.
The number of licensed vehicles in Metropolis is reaching an undeniably astounding point now. The fact that Peugeot, Fiat, TVR, Alfa Romeo, Mitsubishi, Mercedes, Renault, Ford, Rover, Jensen, and Honda have all signed up means that Metropolis may well prove itself to be what Sega GT tried so hard to be - Dreamcast's Gran Turismo. Unfortunately, as with most games using authorized vehicles, Bizarre is not allowed to put any level of damage on the cars. Do the manufacturers want us to think they make indestructible cars?
MSR is chock-full of game modes. Time trials, street races, two-player, championships, and interestingly an online league will offer the most enthusiastic of players plenty of options. Couple the multitude of racing modes with changing weather conditions that result in different track handling, and you've got a plethora of options.
The game, which was announced several years ago as the first Dreamcast game by Bizarre Creations, still has not been released. Recent rumors suggest we will see it sometime around fall. Contacts have fortunately informed us that a July release date is still possible. Whatever it ends up as, you can be sure that Metropolis Street Racer will be welcomed.