|Release date:||3 October 2003|
Acclaim's futuristic racer blazes onto the PS2 with polished graphics, a new weapons system and ridiculously fast Akira-style gravity defying bikes
The latest instalment in Acclaim's Extreme-G series, XGRA takes the ultra-modern motor-sport to a whole new level. For the uninitiated, XGRA stands for Extreme Gravity Racing, and is a sort-of futuristic Ben Hur chariot race, only on floaty motorbikes, and um, did we mention it's set in the future? So you'll be taking part of lots of team-based bikathons that involve blasting the opposition into next week with a variety of heavy weaponry, including machine guns, missiles and electric beams - think WipEout on two wheels and you're in the right ball-park.
The story goes that in 2025, the motorised bloodsport XGRA is the proles' entertainment of choice, attracting a huge following, and a fair few 'daredevil' competitors thirsty for glory, too. Consisting of teams of racers, each with their own set of unhinged members vying for the title of racing Champion, XGRA is a high-speed chase across vast landscapes on death-defying tracks.
There are three different modes to try out, including Arcade and Time Trial Races, but the main action is in the Career mode. Your first task here is to select a team that you want to ride with from the eight on offer; each has its own unique history, sponsors and, apparently, rivalries. Once you've joined a team, it's time to start taking part in challenges, or 'contracts', which are different for each group. These contracts involve anything from finishing a race in a certain position to assassinating a member of the competition. And once you've completed set missions, you'll begin to gain credibility and status amongst your peers, and can choose to relocate to a different team in order to upgrade your vehicle. But beware, in the world of Extreme Gravity Racing, competitors bear grudges, and if you've done something to rile another racer, they'll come looking for you in subsequent events.
XGRA features seven different futurescapes to sample, from underwater worlds to arid plains, each with two tracks, and both a day and night variant too. Graphically, the environments are atmospheric and create a genuine sense of immersion when you're clipping along at a gratifyingly stupid speed. And the bikes and riders themselves don't look too shabby either, with biker babes and robots amongst the perfectly pixellated competitors.
With the addition of CNN-style news commentary, keeping you up-to-speed on all the latest stats throughout the race, and an array of teams, riders and, of course, weaponry to get to grips with, XGRA should give other futuristic racers a run for their money...
- Transfer teams as you progress - the better you ride, the better your bike becomes
- Fully destructible, totally immersive environments
- New fluid weapon system allows you to stay focussed on the race whilst you unleash attacks on the opposition