Pro Race Driver impressions

Codemasters drops by to show off its upcoming racing game.

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Codemasters came by the GameSpot office yesterday to show off its upcoming racing game, Pro Race Driver. The game has been in development for about a year and a half, and the build we were shown was about 60 percent complete, with a few playable tracks and cars. The full version should have 38 different tracks and 40 different cars.

The game is aimed at the general gamer rather than the hard-core racing sim enthusiast, and while the complete version will have a number of car set-up options, the developer admits that's not the main focus of the game. Instead, Pro Race Driver is described as the first "CarPG"--a story-driven racing game that will draw players into the character of the driver. The game's story will advance through a series of in-engine movie-style cutscenes, progressing from the driver's initial inspiration to become a professional racer to his world championship races.

Pro Race Driver will have an adaptive difficulty system that will automatically adjust the game to be challenging for different levels of players. If a player comes in first or second in a race, competitors in the next race will be slightly more difficult, whereas if the player comes in fifth or sixth, the successive races will be slightly easier. This system is designed to keep the game and the story moving. Codemasters estimates that the full game will take between 20 and 30 hours to complete.

In addition to the adaptive difficulty system, Pro Race Driver has three damage realism settings: indestructible, moderate, and realistic. Cars will not absorb damage in the first setting, making it easier for players to bump their way around the course. On the moderate setting, cars will be damaged by collisions, and their performance will eventually be affected, but rarely to the point of not being able to limp their way around the track and finish the race. On the most realistic setting, cars will absorb damage as they would in real life, making it very difficult to complete a race after a serious crash. Pro Race Driver uses a finite element modeling damage system that models damage realistically based on the specific conditions of the impact.

Along with the movie-style single-player storyline, Pro Race Driver will include a multiplayer mode with support for up to 20 players over LAN or Internet connections. We've posted some new screenshots in the gallery above that show off some of the cars and tracks that will appear in the game. Pro Race Driver is scheduled for release in June. For more information, take a look at our previous coverage of the game.

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