Ripcord's GorkaMorka combines car combat with straight racing action for the Dreamcast and SegaNet online gaming network.
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Ripcord's strategy of aggressively supporting online console gaming is manifested in the company's latest car-combat game, GorkaMorka. The demo that was playable was running off a PC, but I checked out one of the early levels and some of the peripheral features. In spite of the quirky name, GorkaMorka's debut at the E3 show was an impressive one. Essentially a car-combat title, the game combines elements of racing, battle, and customization into an impressive visual package. You must recruit your own Ork Mobz (of Warhammer fame), customize armored vehicles to your liking, and take to the racing circuit.
The circuits are gloomy, desolate arenas with metal walls and blood-red surroundings. The vehicles have an industrial look similar to that of those old Mad Max flicks. Overall, the vehicles and tracks are highly detailed. Although the colors are muted overall, the game has a crisp look, making very good use of Dreamcast's high-resolution capabilities. Each car has both a driver and a passenger, who handles all the shooting duties. You can choose to race exclusively using the driver and let the AI take control of the shooter, or vice versa. In multiplayer action, one person can control the driver, while a friend takes care of blasting other racers off the track. This system works quite well, as you can seamlessly switch between driver and passenger on the fly.
Adding to the gameplay, Ripcord is bringing GorkaMorka online through SegaNet, as part of Sega's multiplayer network kick-off. Online gamers can select and recruit their own gangs and race against up to 15 other vehicles, and a total of 32 people can play at once. In fact, Ripcord is looking into letting PC and Dreamcast players of GorkaMorka hook up online. According to a company representative, at this point this feature is yet to be successfully tested, but if at all possible, it will be available in the final version.
GorkaMorka will be released for the Dreamcast, with full online multiplayer support, this October.