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'Lotus Challenge' (PC/NGC) - Gamestory & Features

by Thomas on Nov. 26, 2002 @ 2:41 p.m. PST

Published by Xicat Interactive and Developed by Kuju, Lotus Challenge is the first truly complete driving game. The game features licensed vehicles from the famous British sports car company Lotus. Included are the Esprit (made famous by Roger Moore's James Bond), the Lotus 7 (made famous in the classic TV series The Prisoner), as well as all the hottest new models such as the Elise and 340R, vintage classics, F1 Lotus Racing vehicles, and even concept cars from Lotus Design. The game also features stunning graphics, exquisite lighting and weather effects, realistic damage modelling and a pumping soundtrack provided by cutting edge electronica/breakbeat artist Hybrid. Release Date: March 2003.

"Lotus Challenge is an exciting addition to XICAT'S 2003 line up" enthused Ray Smith, Sales Director, Xicat Interactive. "It is such an honour to be working on this project with such a prestigious team to guarantee an exhilarating and challenging game....The proof, of course is in the playing!!

As Lotus is renowned for winning on the track, famous racing cars will also feature prominently, with a powerful mix of Formula One and sports cars available to whet the game player's appetite. It will involve not only racing against other, much improved computer-controlled cars, but also driving challenges ranging from daring stunts on movie sets, to pursuing other cars through city traffic. Lotus Challenge will mix the adrenaline rush of racing with the challenge of great driving skills from one of Britain's most famous sports car manufacturers.

Lotus Challenge recreates one of the most complete driving experiences to date. Players can opt for a pure adrenaline rush or a more tactical long-haul race. Each course is set across a variety of landscapes and tracks, and will see players racing around such diverse and amazing locations as London (including Park Lane, Trafalgar Square, Whitehall, St James Park, Buckingham Palace), Hethel (the Lotus test track), Tokyo Rainbow Bridge, Minato-ku, the Tokyo Bay Tunnel, Arizona Speedway and Jupiter Beach Raceway in Florida.

The special effects are particularly outstanding, with rain, storms, snow, fog, dirt and mud all superbly represented. Advanced real-time particle systems handle the dirt, smoke and damage effects. For instance, drive across grass, wheel spin in gravel or handbrake turn in sand and you'll notice your tyres pick up grit, but work themselves clean after racing for a time. Scrape your Lotus down the side of a tunnel at over 100 miles an hour and see scratches, and dents realistically form on the bodywork. Whilst multi-pass rendering, projected shadow casting and directional light make each frame - and there are 60 of them per second - a work of art.

A range of challenges awaits each player - from lapping the fastest, to completing trials or missions. An improved "Story Mode" mixes gaming styles, with players able to choose different characters, each with a different path through the game. These modes are based on the fictional exploits of a world-famous Lotus Challenge Team, which not only race in world championships across the globe, but is also called upon to perform stunts for films and adverts. Players will be able to endure an Italian Alps hill climb, whiz around Hollywood film sets, or take part in a tyre commercial on an Oil Rig. In addition, players can race through rush-hour traffic and fly past speed cameras in the English countryside, ensuring that Lotus Challenge lives up to its name.

A multi-player option is available for those willing to take on others. These are spread across Championships or decided on a single race. Specific modes and challenges result in hidden tracks or cars being unlocked and available for play in any other mode - so once you've finished a particular section of the game, you'll be able to replay it in a faster car, thrashing down lap times in single- or multi-player sessions.

All the Formula One cars featured in Lotus Challenge will be courtesy of Classic Team Lotus representing the Formula One achievements of Team Lotus. The virtual models have been extensively tested by real Lotus test/development drivers, to ensure the game is as accurate as can be. Even the World Famous Lotus Designers have become involved creating two Lotus concept vehicles for inclusion in the game.

Special Features:

Story mode, requiring the player to perform a variety of stunts, missions and challenges - weaving through oncoming traffic to escape the paparazzi, hill-climbs on treacherous, snowy alpine tracks, being filmed jumping lines of school busses for adverts and many others!

A revolutionary new control method that provides higher fidelity driving control without extra peripherals.

An impact dynamics system allowing all cars to sustain full chassis damage - shattering windows and lights, bumps, dents, ruptures, scratches and even detachable wheels!

A realistic yet accessible driving model tested and endorsed by the Lotus test drivers themselves.

A full compliment of cars licensed from one of England's most prestigious manufacturers.

About Group Lotus plc

Today three divisions operate within Group Lotus plc: Lotus Cars, the prestigious performance sports car manufacturer, Lotus Engineering the leading engineering consultancy, and Lotus Sport and Performance - a new division which is taking Lotus back to the race track.

At Lotus production of cars is greater than at any time in the last 25 years. Demand for the Elise has continued to grow and production of this sports car is running at over 3000 units per year. The new 2002 model year Esprit is elevated to even higher levels of performance and refinement drawing upon the strongest demand for this classic super car in several years.

The Lotus philosophy is to produce exciting and fun cars that people desire with an emphasis on achieving performance through lightweight, fun to drive and great handling. Lotus continues to be one of the most innovative forces the automotive industry and has been throughout its history. Lotus' F1 team was one of the most successful in history with some of the world's greatest drivers honing their skills behind the wheel of a Lotus racing car.

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