GC 2008: Ride to Hell First Look

We climb on our hog and check out this open-world adventure game set in 1960s California.

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Take one part Easy Rider, throw in a little Hunter S. Thompson, and add plenty of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, and you just might come up with something like Deep Silver's upcoming open-world adventure game, Ride to Hell. Set in the 1960s at the height of the counterculture movement, you'll hop on your bike and explore a world full of bikers, hippies, cops, and more.

Set in California, Ride to Hell will have you play as a recently returned Vietnam vet trying to find his place in the world again. As the game begins, you'll be recruited to join a biker gang known as the Devil's Hand and, from there, your adventures will begin. You'll eventually work your way up in status in the gang and will encounter rival gangs and even the police during your adventures. The game will have an open-world, nonlinear format, and you'll be able to take missions as you see fit.

Beyond a few screens, character art, and a trailer, we don't know a lot about Ride to Hell's gameplay. We do know that motorcycles will play a huge role in the game--which makes sense, considering the setting--and it sounds as if there will be a ton of customization options for your bikes, which can be built from the ground up. Everything, including frames, engines, wheels, handlebars, and more, can be customized, and you'll always be earning new engine parts that you can use to make your bike more a reflection of your personality. As the developers explained, the cooler your bike, the more respect you'll earn from non-player characters, and the more attention you'll receive from the ladies (or the guys, if that's your thing).

As for the sex, drugs, and rock and roll part of the game, the developers told us that they were not going to ignore any of the counter-cultural things that were happening in the 1960s in America; at the same time, we'd be surprised if there was anything too explicit happening, given that the developers are still aiming to get this rated in the U.S. Nevertheless, there seems to be a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor about the whole thing. Consider "cruise mode," which will let you quickly cross large areas of the game's map by getting on your bike and heading down the highway. Eventually, as your rider settles into a groove, the game will take on a psychedelic look and you'll be able to quickly get from one point to the next. In other words, you'll be tripping out.

It's still very early in the development timeline for Ride to Hell, and we hope to get a better look at the game in the coming months. The game's setting and its open-world nature is enough to have us intrigued; here's hoping they deliver on the sex, drugs, and rock and roll part of the equation as well. Ride to Hell is currently scheduled for release in the first half of 2009 on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.

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