In a game that’s sure to turn some heads and open some wallets, XG3 races to the finish line with cool bikes, ultra-futuristic tracks, and bump-and-gun fun that’s sure to impress racing and sci-fi fans alike. With a racing field that contains up to 12 bikes, you speed through a dozen tracks of twisted, gravity-defying roller-coaster speedways, narrowly banking off of walls or other riders, and making difficult jumps. It’s all done with a super speedy frame rate, and a mind-blowing soundtrack.
It also brings back memories of the joys of Wipeout racing. As a matter of fact, this game not only evokes those memories, it enhances them with better tracks, cooler weapons, and more thrills. Acclaim has really put their best pedal forward with the spectacular XG3. It’s the best futuristic racing game available for the PS2, and one of the best we’ve seen in recent years.
The graphics are the game’s launching pad to glory. The slick, Tron-like motorbikes are just the beginning – each bike is detailed with small nuances like air flaps that open and close, and weapons that don’t merely sprout from the front of the bike, but launch from separate components on the bike. The tracks are glorious in their scope and design – it’s not like racing on the freeway or highway, but like accidentally hooking on to a roller coaster that never seems to end. With a slight bit of draw-in on some levels the only annoyance, this game’s look and feel is clearly the standard by which other futuristic racers will be held accountable.
The sounds mix eclectic music with superior ambient effects. The beat-driven house and techno music perfectly compliments the insane action, while the mechanical sounds of the bike revving up (or gearing down) are subtle, yet effective. This seems to be the only bike-driven game where the whine of the engine isn’t a teeth-grinding annoyance, and the weapons each have their own distinct sound that fits their explosion. How much better can the sound get? How about throwing in your standard sexy female computer to tell you when the weapon systems are active? Perfect.
For newbies who aren’t used to bike controls, you’d better get some practice in quick. The physics of the bike are as real as any large motorbike would be – turn to fast and you’ll plaster a wall with your face. Slow down into the turns and expect someone to pass you. To compliment the bike’s size, there’s also a boost for your bike, but it is dependent on your shield level, so if you keep slamming into walls, you won’t have much left for the straightaways. Firing your weapons is also kind of lost in normal play, because your so intent on cornering the tracks that you won’t have much time to let loose with the rockets. Some weapons are guided, but most are blast and pray.
XG3 is a proud moment in Acclaim’s history. They’ve erased the distant memory of XG2, and kept the thrills and spills that made Extreme G Racing so much fun. But more importantly, they will blow any chance of Wipeout Fusion taking up your PS2 shelf space (if it’s released at all). If you like your racing action filled with fun and excitement, and just a little revenge, than XG3 is just the game you’re looking for. If you play it and don’t see what we’re talking about – bike me!