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E3 2001 Preshow Hands-onProject Gotham Racing

Bizarre Creations' Xbox driving game is set to feature real cars and real damage. We took the game for a brief spin earlier this week.


Project Gotham Racing follows closely in the footsteps of Bizarre Creations' last racing game, Metropolis Street Racer for the Dreamcast. Gotham adds New York City to the three locales--Tokyo, London, and San Francisco--found in MSR. The NYC course we saw was modeled after Times Square, and it looks simply amazing. The backdrop and sides of the course are filled with advertisement-laden skyscrapers and video displays. The streets are slick with fresh rain, making them an excellent showpiece for the game's realtime reflections. The cars also reflect the world around them incredibly well. Other impressive graphical feats include smoke that pours out of manhole covers, trailing after your car whenever you drive over a manhole, and the ability to see through the rims on your car and actually see the brakes working.

Gotham carries a few different car licenses, including Ferrari and Porsche, and though it took some discussion with the car manufacturers, Project Gotham Racing will be one of the few games on the market allowed to show licensed cars in a damaged or wrecked state. While it wasn't too dramatic in the build we played, Microsoft assures us that cars will get dented up after hitting walls. When all is said and done, Project Gotham Racing will feature over 20 cars.

Project Gotham Racing sticks to MSR's system of kudos, or points that are earned as you race. So while you may finish first by driving like a maniac, driving with finesse will take you a bit further. Most tracks are filled with cones that must be avoided to earn points. Taking turns particularly well and sticking close to the optimal driving line will also earn you more kudos.

Project Gotham Racing is scheduled to release alongside the Xbox console on November 8.

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