Changing Lanes: Sega Details New Sega Rally Title

We chat with the creators at Sega Racing Studio about the PC and console game due this year.

Change is never easy, but for those looking ahead to Sega's new rally game, it's going to make things a lot more interesting. Nothing in Sega Rally embodies this spirit more than the tracks themselves. Whether cut through snow, mud or gravel, the tracks will react realistically to the pounding they take, Guy Wilday, director of UK-based Sega Racing Studio, told Kikizo recently.

"The key philosophy behind the new Sega Rally game is that it's a multiplayer arcade game on looping tracks," Wilday said. "By the time you're down to the last laps, the track's going to look completely different. It's going to be much more deformed."

The team made this happen by layering two very different surfaces over one another and then letting you grind through the top layer to the bottom as you drive over them. If it's a gravel track, the upper, more slippery layer is worn off and your tires will bite into the track that much more easily. On the other hand, the cold-weather tracks will actually become icier the more you erode them.

Still, the studio isn't straying too far. Sega Rally may be coming to PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, but it's still essentially an arcade game. That means that complication setups found in more simulation-style rally games are here replaced by more holistic choices.

You won't adjust the ratio of your gears in Sega Rally but you will be able to choose between cars that favour gravel, mud or tarmac. Each has its own strong points - your task is to take advantage of them.

Tradition is strong too in the Sega Rally series, most noticeably in the cars that appear in each instalment. This latest one will include more than 30 vehicles - some new and some classics veterans of past instalments will recognize.

At its heart, said Wilday, this new take on Sega Rally brings the best of the past into the present. It's all part of Sega's more progressive slant on games, most evident by its confidence in tapping a European studio to handle what has always been a Japanese product.

"Sega Rally for me was pretty much the defining moment," Wilday said of the series. "It's the star of the whole off-road genre."

"What we're looking to do is take that with next-gen to the next level. We're looking to create another landmark in off-road racing."

Sega Rally will be out for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 later this year.

Alex Wollenschlaeger
Editor, Kikizo

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