Developer: Tammeka Games
Publisher: Tammeka Games
Release Date: 12/09/2017 (PlayStation 4, PlayStation VR) 2016 (PC, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift)
Format(s): PlayStation VR (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, PC, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift
There’s no denying that racing games are perfect for VR, and it’s something I’ve already got to appreciate with Driveclub VR and Dirt Rally VR proving to be two of my favourite experiences on the PlayStation VR so far. Naturally then, I’d been pretty stoked for the release of Radial-G: Racing Revolved – a futuristic racer that sends you across huge twisting tubular tracks as you race against your opponents. Unfortunately though, whilst being fun to play, it lacks the appeal to keep you hooked in for the long-term.
Radial-G: Racing Revolved puts you in futuristic hover cars as you speed across topsy-turvy 360-degree tubes in hectic races. You’ll be hitting speed boosts to try and zip ahead of your opponents, rotating across all 360-degrees of each track, dodging dangerous red barriers and the perilous falls, and making your rivals feel your wrath by using the weapons that are littered across the track. Sounds exciting, right?
It’s all very old-school in its approach, with Radial-G: Racing Revolved offering enough fun racing to keep you entertained for a short while. The only problem is that it is lacking in longevity; the whole novelty of speeding around in VR wore off quite quickly, whilst the uninspired career mode and track selection meant that the game didn’t really offer enough for me to want to stick with it for the long term. Don’t get me wrong, I was never bored whilst playing the game and there’s no denying that speeding across the tubular tracks is neat – I just wanted a bit more variety.
Radial-G: Racing Revolved’s career mode consists of eighteen events that are played across each of the different game modes on offer. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get through all of those events in just over an hour, whilst the different game modes don’t really do enough to spice up each event all that much – it’s just your typical selection of standard races, time attacks and elimination races. There are combat events thrown in that allow you to use weapons against your opponents, though they were a little difficult to be too excited about seeing as the 360-degree tracks mean that sometimes you’ve got to go out of your way to launch attacks at each opponent.
Don’t get me wrong, the different game modes do add some variety to the experience and it’s nice that there are plenty of different ways to play the game. It’s just that when they’re all stacked together in only eighteen events, it’s hard not to feel a little underwhelmed. If there was just a bit more character to it, the career mode really could’ve been the highlight of the experience; instead, it was just something I indulged in for the unlockable tracks and vehicles.
That being said, if you just want to jump into the game for a quick race here and there Radial-G: Racing Revolved offers accessible single races that you can plough through for fun. Whilst the career mode itself is underwhelming, actually playing the game isn’t – the hectic nature of the action ensures that it’s the ideal game to pick up and play when you fancy some quick-paced, futuristic VR racing. You’re not going to be playing it for hours on end, but even I find myself returning to the game for the odd race every now and again.
The track design in the game is decent enough with a good variety of courses on offer across varying difficulties, though I wasn’t overly impressed with their visual style. Despite offering a different layout, they all felt the same from an aesthetic viewpoint with nothing on show that really made them differ up too much. I always like my racing tracks to have a bit of personality to them, but instead it’s simply a set of tubes that outside of being different in design have very little to differentiate them from a personality standpoint.
Still, when racing across them you’ll definitely notice the differences in design, with some of the later tracks featuring a lot more turns, hazards, and twists where you can fall to your demise if you aren’t careful. Whilst the earlier tracks of the game won’t pose too much of a challenge to players, the latter ones will definitely require a bit more finesse in your reactions. My only real issue was that you can’t always see what’s ahead of you thanks to the 360-degree design of each track; there was nothing more frustrating than swinging to the other side of the pipe only to find that I’d hit one of the (frustrating) red barriers.
The game has eight player online multiplayer, though unfortunately I haven’t managed to find a race yet. The game has been out for a short while now too, so the lack of other players was disappointing. If there was a community for the game that was active, I think it’d offer a whole new dimension to Radial-G: Racing Revolved’s gameplay; after all, the competitive aspect of racing titles is often the best part. Seeing a lack of online races so soon after release was just disappointing though. I’m sure if you can get on the game with friends or actually manage to find an active race online that it’s a hell of a lot of fun to play – I just wasn’t able to give it a try.
If you’re not used to VR then Radial-G: Racing Revolved might not be the best place to start. Whilst the fact that you’re meant to be stationary in a vehicle might be a bit easier on the gut than actual walking movement is, the amount of twisting and turning you’ll be performing in-game will certainly leave those who aren’t well versed in virtual reality with their stomach turning. I’m actually quite used to VR and don’t really suffer any problems, and I was absolutely fine with the game – I had a family member try it out though and they had to turn it off at the risk of vomiting. It’s something that’s worth bearing in mind if you’ve still got your VR training wheels on.
Whilst Radial-G: Racing Revolved doesn’t really do anything wrong in its approach to quick-paced action-packed futuristic racing, it doesn’t do enough to blow you away or keep you entertained for a long time either. The single player career mode is over in just over an hour, the tracks lack any personality, whilst I also haven’t been able to get into a single race in the online modes (though that’s not something that can be held against the game too much).
That being said, there’s certainly fun to be had from playing the game and I still return to it now and then for a quick race (and to check the online servers). There’s nothing bad about it at all – it’s just lacking that edge that’d make it stand out in the racing genre.
If you’re a fan of racers and want some virtual reality racing action full of twists and turns it might be worth checking Radial-G: Racing Revolved out, but those who’re looking for a meatier experience that’ll keep you hooked in for the long-term might want to give it a miss.