E3 2004: Street Racing Syndicate Impressions
Yet another title making its second E3 appearance is Street Racing Syndicate. But this year, instead of being found at 3DO's booth, SRS was found at Namco's booth. After 3DO's bankruptcy, Namco purchased SRS and kept Eutechnyx behind the wheel. The game's changed quite a bit since we saw it last year. In 2003, it had a bit of originality in it. But in 2004, it's nothing more than just a Need for Speed: Underground clone. The tracks we saw took place only during the night and were all wet -- a trait NFS: Underground was very noted for.
The gameplay was lackluster and was missing a core ingredient that made Underground so much fun to play: speed. SRS didn't feel very quick and it most certainly did a poor job of showing off what a shot of turbo feels like. The handling was downright terrible, and one of the SRS banners even advertises that the game features realistic physics...and it doesn't. SRS' physics were rather terrible to be honest. What's more is that the game looks very generic and uninteresting. The Xbox version has a cleaner look to it, but it still suffers. The framerate wasn't up to snuff, and seemed to be running at 30 frames, which is a no-no for the racing genre.
Street Racing Syndicate is far along in development, and at this point it's just not looking good. We hold out optimism, but we're not holding our breath. SRS is scheduled for release on September 1st.
5/13/2004 Arnold Katayev