San Francisco--When we last played Ideaworks3D's System Rush back in January, we enjoyed the game's rapid pace and arcade-style control, but a lot of pieces seemed to be missing from the puzzle. What was the deal with the game's story? How was the online functionality going to work? Will the game start to run slower when the developer puts in more complicated textures? We didn't know at that time, but after a run-through with a far more advanced version of System Rush, we have a better idea of what N-Gage fans have to look forward to this summer. By all indications, System Rush will be a stellar racing title for the still-developing mobile console.
The first major addition to the new version of System Rush seems pretty elemental: a backstory. There were some murmurings about hackers infiltrating corporate systems a couple of months ago, but nothing too specific. This time around, the two hackers in question have names--Vert and Ikko--as well as specialized attributes. The game also has some graphic novel-style cutscenes that explain their motivation for seeking a so-called "data bomb," which they hope will wipe out the corporate networks of the conglomerates that are trying to set them up.
Said corporate networks have been fleshed out a lot, too. Each network has a unique visual theme: the Russian network, for instance, uses a lot of red (the same red from the USSR flag), complete with Soviet stars hovering in the sky, while the South American network will have a greenish jungle theme. These touches build on this version's generalized addition of visual detail. The textures are now much more visually complicated, and there seems to be many more pulsating lights and other effects, too. Impressively, these additions haven't affected the game's performance much. Everything still seems to move at more than 20 frames per second. Perhaps this isn't such a surprise, given Ideaworks3D's amazing performance results with its first N-Gage racer, Colin McRae Rally 2005. The music is also much further along. The futuristic feel has been greatly augmented by employing some of London's hottest underground drum 'n' bass DJs.
Finally, more light has been shed on the game's online features. System Rush comes with 10 preloaded vehicles, but there will be another three to five available over N-Gage Arena once you complete the game.
Our look at the updated System Rush has only confirmed our belief that this game could be one of this year's breakout N-Gage titles. The project is shaping up into a very slick arcade-style racing game that is starting to look a lot like Nokia's very own version of Wipeout. We'll have more information as it becomes available prior to the game's release later this year.