OutRun Online Preview
OutRun is easily Sega's most accessible franchise, it doesn't require any grasp of vehicular physics, and in fact, requires that you toss any sense of realism out of the window. Drifting cars at speeds of over 150MPH is ludicrous, but OutRun lets you do it. When Sega brought OutRun to the Xbox, it brought an all new audience to the franchise, and it has since appeared on the PlayStation 2, as well. Now, we're getting a downloadable online OutRun game.
Before I continue, know that the PlayStation 3 version of OutRun Online will be available only via PSN Europe, and that's because the X360 has exclusivity for the American market. But, and someone correct me if I'm wrong, American gamers can still purchase content off of foreign PlayStation Networks, so I don't see this as being a major problem.
OutRun Online looks essentially like the Xbox game that Sega brought us years ago, albeit with a few polished touch-ups here and there. So don't expect a whole lot as far as visuals go, because this is a four year old graphics engine. But you also won't be getting a complete stinker, either, like I said, Sega has gone and enhanced the visuals to be a bit more presentable, with sharper textures, better lighting, and best of all, no aliasing (jaggies) or screen flickering.
As far as gameplay goes, you can expect the game to feel very much like the last two OutRun games, but the difference here is that this one's for the online world. 15 courses in total will be featured and boast the signature vibrancy that the game's design has always been known for. You'll drift through the streets of San Francisco, to the beaches of California, through a beautiful jungle, even New York City, and many more cities all across the United States!
Ferrari's will, again, be the center of the game, and there will be 10 to choose from, ranging from the current Enzo to the classic 365 and 308, with the in-betweens featuring the F360, F40, and the quintessential Testarosa. Six gamers can go toe-to-toe in either Heart Attack or Time Attack modes, complete with voice chat, trophies, and leaderboards.
Choose the best route for the highest scores and emerge the victor. If you've dropped numerous quarters in OutRun machines as a kid to play with friends, well those days are about to end soon. With the series finally going online, you'll be able to play against your friends anytime you want. Expect the game to cost about $10, and watch for it to drop this Spring.
1/30/2009 Arnold Katayev