By Ray Barnholt 05/10/2007 At a Sega press event earlier today, we took a look at the long-awaited addition to the classic Sega Rally series, Sega Rally Revo, which was treated as the true second coming (apparently even Sega would rather forget the dismal Sega Rally 2006). In development for well over a year, Revo is the first title from Sega's European "Racing Studio," and though the staff has had minimal intput from Sega of Japan and those responsible for the original Sega Rally titles, the team is striving to nail the arcade feel of the originals while producing an impressive game for today's systems (the version we saw was running on PS3, but the game will be on PC and Xbox 360 as well).
The three things the Racing Studio wants to succeed in with Revo -- and what the series is known for -- are graphics, handling and close racing. The press presentation mostly focused on graphics, but that ties into the handling. The tropical course we saw showed off the game's track deformation as tires dug into the ground on different surfaces. The realistic looking indentations are visually impressive and also affect vehicle handling.
[Click the image above to check out all Sega Rally Revo screens.]
In this regard, Revo looks to pull things off better than MotorStorm, where track deformation affects handling but doesn't look like actual indentations in the ground. Here, the tires deform the polygon "mesh" of the track, which affect cars from the rubber on up, creating realistic toss and jounce as you race across a bumpy road. But tire deformations aren't the only factors in how the road feels. Track surfaces play a large part in how your driving feels and sounds -- Sega was quick to turn up the volume to accentuate the car's engine struggling through a muddy patch of road.
Revo seems to be shaping up considerably from the very early version we saw back at E3 2006 (check our earlier preview). It's hard to reconcile the images of dark, dirty roads with brightly-colored course backgrounds, but Revo might pull it off if it gets closer to an arcade feel rather than a simulation one. After all, the courses are exotic in theme (with a hint that some classic tracks could return) and the stilted announce voice makes a welcome return.