Fuel: Racing in 5560 square miles of terrain

As far as I can tell, there’s the same number of pure rally events in Dirt2 as the first one, now there’s just more other types of events.

I wouldn’t take too much away from that Ken Block “trailer” that was released.

So, lost in the train wreck of a Wallet Threat post on [Fidgit]( However, the actual driving was flat-out pants) was this little tidbit about FUEL:

Which, unfortunately, seems to me to be a fairly important bit. Anyone else try out an early version and can corroborate? The videos lately do seem to be have that bit of “fixed floating camera” feel, so my hopes are dwindling fast. :/

Hey speaking of Dirt, Union Carbide, did you ever go back and play through the game again to get the last achievement, like you were planning to do? (I had to play through the game once, and then play it a little more than that to get the ‘drove 500 miles’ achievement, therefore the ‘drove 1000 mile achievement’ would involve finishing the game at least twice).

Hmm, fidgit says it comes out this week. But it doesn’t. It comes out on June 2 for US and June 5 for Euro. I’m very very much looking forward to it, I’ve been dying for a new driving game!!

yeah, i think it was originally supposed to come out this week, but was pushed back at the last min.

Yeah, I finished that off ages ago. If you want to grind it out, go to the penultimate tier of the career, I think, and do full length Pike’s Peak runs. If that’s too grindy for you (wasn’t for me because it’s my favorite course anyway), just start at the bottom again and bump the difficulty up a notch.

Fortunately, Grid’s equivalent achievement counted mileage from ALL of the game modes, not just the career, so it was a lot easier to get.

Starflight on the Genesis most assuredly allowed the player to traverse more planetary environment using a ground based vehicle. Heck, you could visit Earth in Starflight.

I’ll check this out on PC if there’s a demo. The open-worldy-post-apocalypticality may be enough to overcome my usual dislike for the way Codemasters’ racers drive.

Well, it’s different when terrain is just abstraction in some way, versus if they have details in every bump and piece of grass, every mile of terrain. I remember there was a flight sim I used to play on my Amstrad, I think it was called F15, which had miles and miles and miles of terrain. But it was all represented by a solid green “ground”. Heck, you couldn’t even see mountains or elevation in any way. The only way to tell that you would crash into the green ground you saw was by comparing your altitude from the cockpit view with the map’s reading how high the mountains were that you were passing over. There was no visual way of knowing you were flying over something other than a runway, which was drawn with straight lines.

Now, I would hardly call that terrain out as being in the same league as a game like Far Cry 2, and it’s miles of detailed terrain that have jungles and cliffs and desert and waterfalls and rocks and villages, all drawn in beautiful detail. None of that is abstraction. I doubt if anything in Fuel is abstraction either. I bet it’s all detailed terrain. Which is a different ball of wax compared to older games, or even more recent flight sims. Even if you take a game like Crimson Skies (on the PC, I didn’t play the sequel that came out for Xbox), where the whole point is to fly really close to the ground the whole time, the detail on the terrain on the ground is not the same as the detail in a game like Far Cry 2 or (possibly) Fuel. A lot of the ground detail is still abstraction in some ways. They have highways and roads, but they don’t have the kind of detail on the road and the drawing of the traffic lines as you would expect from a game which actually draws detailed terrain.

Tom Bramwell’s review is up:

Ouch. I’ll read a few more reviews and what-not but for now this has cemented its position as a distant third behind Red Faction and Overlord II this month.

Hmmm, I never did get GRiD anyway…


well, the reviews of this have not been so good. some choice quotes from the ign review that make me never wanna touch this game:

The immensity of the world is lost on the actual events since you don’t actually need to drive to any of them - you can just choose to start them from a list. What’s dumb from a presentation standpoint though is that even though you can see them on the overhead map, you can’t choose to start them from here. Instead, you need to go the camp’s pause screen and choose them from a text list. But, when you want to change camps, it’s way easier to do it from the map screen since that gives you info on how many events you’ve cleared at it.

Once you’re in a race, there are multiple issues. Firstly, the AI is really cheap, stupid and poorly implemented. It’ll make dumb decisions such as trying to climb a hill that it can’t and just sit there with the throttle cranked as it just kicks up dirt for a while. There’s no rubber-banding per se, but the way that the game makes things “challenging” is by having the guys at the front of the pack take off at a million miles an hour and then stay ahead for the bulk of the race. Near the end, it’ll just slow down a great deal to let you pass on by and win the race. Once you realize that this happens every time, it’s not a matter of taking risks to catch up but simply playing it safe and waiting for the computer to let off the accelerator and let you take your place on the podium.

Unfortunately, if you don’t win, the whole event was for naught as you don’t get anything for finishing second. I’m not sure who decided that this was a good idea, but it’s not fun in the least. At least give us some cash for taking the time to finish the race, and in a solid place no less. But nope, you get nothing to show for finishing anywhere but first.


So did anyone else pick this up?

I was tempted, but I got scared away by the terrible reviews.

Is it actually better than the reviews made it sound?

I did.

Bad things:

  1. 95% of the world is locked behind the career races
  2. Replaying career races at higher difficulty is mandatory to progress
  3. The racing AI does exactly what the IGN guy describes
  4. Load screens when hitting the button to put your car back on the track

Good things:

  1. The world is really, really big
  2. The world is so big it deserves to be mentioned twice
  3. There are plenty of side challenges
  4. There are plenty of collectibles to give you a reason to be out in the world

The driving model is better than I expected but between the exaggerated way your car reacts to terrain and the “start insanely fast and just get slower” AI, races are only occasionally fun. Of course you have to do the races because otherwise you’ll never unlock the world. And then you have to do them again on higher difficulties because otherwise you’ll never unlock the world. I had been doing okay with mostly completing races on the easiest of the three difficulties with only the occasional win on the middle, but now I need so many stars to unlock the next set of map grids that I need to go back and beat every race on the middle difficulty.

But the developers’ delusions aside, this isn’t a racing game. It’s a driving game. And the driving is great. Car skins and vista points are located in hard-to-reach places, and at times the game evokes that great “now how do I get up there?” feeling of a platformer. Doppler trucks and mavericks cruise the roads (once you unlock them through the career, natch) waiting for you to smash into them for rewards. It sounds like a marketing bullet point but actually navigating the giant world is an experience that no other game can match.

Sounds like a budget buy for me. I do like just driving in TDU, but if the races both suck and are needed to unlock the map, yuck. Still, it’s sure to drop in price drastically so I’ll snag it then. Thanks for the impressions.

Tornado races are the best thing ever.

Blasting along at 100MPH with tornadoes tearing shit up and flinging it onto the road, rain pouring down like crazy, lightning going off everywhere, and then you get swatted off the road by a flying semi. Awesome.

My only real complaint is that the races are all or nothing. Either you win, or HAHA USUK. Need For Speed does that too, though, so it’s not like it’s a huge glaring “nobody else does this” issue.

Burnout Paradise does it as well.

And yeah, I love the tornado races too. It’s a shame they didn’t go as over the top with all the races. The upcoming racer Split Second looks to be taking this sort of thing to the extreme.

It’s still a huge glaring issue to me. Racing games with solid gameplay don’t do this.

I don’t know if it’s a matter of being older or having more games competing for my time or having less patience, but I really resent games that ask me to repeat gameplay with nothing to show for it. It’s one of the two problems that absolutely kills Fuel for me (the awful driving model being the other problem). These are long races, especially later in the game when they get up to around ten minutes long. If you don’t come in first place – not even second or third! – you have nothing whatsoever to show for your time.