Namco Bandai has been overhauling its Ridge Racer franchise, and the results are almost ready for a road test. The publisher today announced that Ridge Racer Unbounded has been given a North American launch date of March 6, 2012.
Developed by Bugbear Entertainment, Unbounded takes the circuit-racing franchise onto city streets with a new emphasis on havoc and destruction. Players will be able to choose how they race through cities, both in designing the city layouts and opting to take shortcuts through storefronts when expedient.
Bugbear's previous work includes the FlatOut series of demolition derby racers for Empire Interactive, which featured minigames requiring the player to crash such that the car's driver would be ejected through the front windshield and into targets, such as a set of giant bowling pins. The studio also developed the PSP edition of Sega Rally Revo in 2007.
Unbounded will be the first installment in the Ridge Racer series to appear on the PC, and the first to hit consoles since the 2006 release of Ridge Racer 7, a PS3 launch title. However, the series hasn't been completely dormant in the meantime. It debuted on the iPhone in 2009 with Ridge Racer Accelerated, and Ridge Racer 3DS launched alongside Nintendo's newest handheld in March.