Strategy First will have Xpand Rally, an upcoming PC rally racing game, on display at this year's E3. The game is being developed by Techland, which is also developing a first-person shooter called Chrome for the PC. Xpand Rally will be built on the same engine as Chrome, using its capabilities to display vast and detailed outdoor environments.
Xpand Rally is based on the real-life (and partially illegal) Xpand Rally Championship, which was created by a group of car owners who were unable to get their own professional rally licenses. The game will feature more than 30 different real-life cars, each of which has its own handling and performance characteristics. Of course, each of the cars can be tuned and tweaked with your choice of 70 different parts for added performance. You'll also be able to tweak certain settings on your car to better adjust to weather conditions and road conditions. Xpand Rally's engine will accurately render the visual effect of damage and weather on your vehicles.
The game includes 60 different tracks from all over the world, including Europe, Africa, and the United States. Xpand Rally's landscapes include picturesque vistas and detailed terrain. Perhaps most interesting is that the game will feature dynamic weather conditions that can change the characteristics of the courses. For example, rain in the middle of a race might turn a dry, dusty track into a muddy one, or wind blowing across a road could have an effect on cars making sharp turns. The game's physics engine promises to be quite realistic, as careless drivers can easily overturn their vehicles if they take a turn too sharply or hit bumps at a poor angle. Adding to the atmosphere will be animated surroundings including spectators and animals.
Xpand Rally is expected to ship in fall 2003 for the PC. We'll have more information on the game as it becomes available.