Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights Preview
If you look at the racing genre lately, it has become populated with run-off-the-mill tuner titles that are all trying to bring some new to the table, while also retaining that Fast and the Furious theme. There's no doubt about it that the movie has truly influenced every non-simulation racer, and as repetitive as these games can be...we can't seem to get enough of them. Need for Speed has, arguably, mastered the tuner sub-genre of racing games, but it looks like THQ is really set to make their newest Juiced game something special.
The first one was widely regarded as mediocre, but the sequel definitely looks like a whole new ballgame. Visually, it's plenty vibrant and superbly detailed. The cars look sharp and the environments are well lit, on top of being well textured. With so much of the eye-candy already out of the way, Juiced 2's most pivotal aspect will be its framerate, and I hope it comes out right.
With Juiced 2 featuring the Hot Imports License, this means that showing off will be the game's main focus and the career mode will revolve around the event, too. And not only will you have to show off your car, but most importantly your driving skills by drifting your best, and racing your damnedest. Juiced 2 promises to implement terrific artificial intelligence to keep the racing exciting and intense.
Additionally, the game will track your driving style and compile your habits into a specific Driver DNA profile that can then be downloaded by other gamers. What makes this Driver DNA feature interesting is that, according to THQ, DNA profiles are universal to consoles, which means Xbox 360, PSP, PS2 and PS3 owners can share their profiles. And for the fun of it, there'll also be celebrity Driver DNA that you can download, too.
And what would a tuner title be without pink-slip races? Juiced 2 will allow you to gamble either your in-game money, or your car, with up to 1000 other gamers. While we're on the topic of other gamers, Juiced 2 will support up to 10 online racers at once, which is quite impressive. Moreover, there will also be an option to configure an online crew and race in packs against other teams.
As far as customizing goes, Juiced 2 will include over 250 aftermarket modifications for every one of the game's 90 cars. While it doesn't seem like Juiced 2 will feature as much as the Need for Speed games have had recently, it's still a fairly decent number. Furthermore, there could still be plenty of other mods that we aren't aware of, just yet. Lastly, and maybe even most importantly, Juiced 2 will feature a damage model - so when the cars take a beating, it'll show.
Look for Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights to hit shelves in early September on the PlayStation 2, PSP, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.
5/28/2007 Arnold Katayev