A new MX vs ATV
game is coming. Dubbed Reflex
, the game is planned for a winter release across PS3, Xbox 360, PSP and DS.
It has a lot to prove. The last game in the series, Untamed
, failed to set the world on fire and with the likes of the two MotorStorm
games in the world and Fuel
coming up, average ain't going to cut it.
I could go through the new features that have been added to the series to try to ensure Reflex
measures up but, frankly, the game's Art Director, Ian Wood, has that pretty well covered for us.
Read on for details of the new game, where Untamed
went wrong and what Rainbow Studios has done to make sure the next instalment in its series is up to standard...
First up, how long have you been with Rainbow?
I've been with Rainbow three years now. I joined halfway through the Untamed
project and I've been on Reflex
since the beginning.
So, how long's Reflex
been in development now?
Around two years, a little bit less, but about two years.
So, what's the pitch for it, as far as you guys are concerned?
True innovation in a racing title, and we really don't just mean in an dirt racer – we mean in the racing genre. One of our big things is the rhythm racing, and has been with the franchise from the beginning. We wanted to blow that out and re-evaluate it and provide an even better system for that.
So, from several prongs we really attacked it in different ways - terrain deformation obviously being one of the larger features. It's true, physics-affected terrain deformation that stays persistent in a level and is everywhere in the level. It's not just built in patches, which several other products out there have done. We're very proud of having done this. We've always had this in our back pocket and we've never been able to optimise it well to work on a console, and we've finally done so.
So, with that we also have a new control mechanism. As one journalist put it earlier today who rides motorbikes – he always thought other games were racing games that feature motorbikes. This is having a rider control system that is independent of the steering control system, the machine controls. So, on the left stick you'll have your steering, the right stick will be all your body movements – forwards, back, left and right. With that also comes a couple of other features – (like) wreck recovery. One thing that's ultimately frustrating in a motorbike game is to fall off the motorbike and just sit there and wait as it resets – unlike a car game, where you just bounce off walls. So, this one you... actually have a chance to recover from that wreck (rather than crash out completely) by just pushing your body in the direction it needs to be corrected.
And also, what comes with that is the stunt system, that's also based around the right stick and body movement. So we have the stunts that go over the handlebars or over the front of the bike will be a gesture-based system as well. We've moved away from an up and down-style input. It's more about just the gestures of where your body is and where you want your body to be. So, pulling back on the stick will get you tricks off the back, pulling forward (gets you) tricks off the front and left and right, obviously, directional. And also, smaller rotations will net smaller tricks. A full 360 – start at three, end at three going counter-clockwise might end up in some fabulously large stunt.