First Look: Ballistics

We take a look at this futuristic racing game from Stockholm-based developer GRIN. Exclusive screens inside.

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Swedish development studio GRIN sent us an updated look at its futuristic racing game Ballistics. The developer is focused on high-end games that take advantage of the latest 3D cards, and it has developed a proprietary 3D engine called the Diesel Engine to power Ballistics and its future games. The game is based in the year 2090, when civilization has stabilized and most of the world's problems have been solved. The people have turned to extreme sports for entertainment, and Ballistics is one of the most popular. The high-speed sport, evolved from Formula 1 races, pits pilots of hoverbikes against each other on a magnetic track that allows for full 360-degree movement at supersonic speeds.

The game features a variety of tracks based in some of the world's most exotic locales, including the Grand Canyon, the jungles of Belize, and the urban center of Tokyo. The tracks are built with magnetic levitation technology that lets the speeders float in two different ways: either just inches from the track walls or in free space further away from the track. Each mode has advantages - the first has better control due to the proximity to the track wall, while the other allows for almost limitless speed but increases the possibility of a catastrophic collision with the concrete.

The characters in the game receive substantial prize money for winning races. This money can be used to purchase upgrades to both the speeders and the pilots themselves. Speeder upgrades include modifications to the chassis, engines, coolers, or boosters. Each modification has advantages as well as drawbacks; for instance, an engine upgrade will increase speeder performance, but it will also increase the heat output, which could cause an explosion. Pilot upgrades include pressure suits, gel-filled lungs, electronic reflex enhancers, and even titanium skeleton implants.

In addition to the single-player league play, Ballistics features both head-to-head and team-based multiplayer modes. Ballistics is almost complete, and it's scheduled to go gold before the end of the month. GRIN is still in negotiations for a US publisher for the game.

These new screenshots from the game are taken from the first four tracks. They are the first screenshots to show the obstacles and booster zones, which are highlighted in red and yellow, respectively. For more information about the game, visit the official site.

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