Twelve champions from the far ends of the galactic hegemony compete for an interstellar trophy by racing their Blades - jet-engined, anti-gravity aircraft. The drama-filled competition is staged at break-neck speeds around spectacular tracks. The game features 24 circuits across 8 dramatic environments, ranging from a sub-tropical Ocean Dam to a race on and under a terraformed ring-world.
The original Powerdrome for the Amiga and the Atari ST was written by Michael Powell in 1988 and kicked-off the entire future-racing genre. Powell now heads the team developing the new Powerdrome and despairs of the lack of distinctiveness in recent future-racing titles.
"We looked at the genre and decided at some point it had taken a wrong turn. With Powerdrome we intend to offer ultra high-speed racing in its purest form, no floating pick-ups, no tacked-on weapons, you only need those when the racing itself isn't good enough. We are dumping the gimmicks and putting the skill back in" rants the veteran developer.
Powerdrome's designers have achieved a totally unique format by rigorously applying their focus on delivering a totally compelling driving experience. The team tackled this by not just developing the vehicle handling but on creating unique player-feedback mechanisms.
"When the player is able to really understand what is happening to the vehicle, suddenly they are able to gain mastery of it," explains Will Vale the lead programmer on the project. "They need to feel every aspect of the vehicle, and that means giving the player lots of feedback cues. One of the unique feedback mechanisms we have introduced is a dynamic pilot character who reacts to each movement of the blade. This enables the player to react skilfully to what is happening."
The Sheffield based studio has developed their own technology, centred round a multi-player engine – making the product ready for Xbox Live and PS2 online play. Powell is keen to open the game to the online audience, "One of our key objectives is to make online play ruthlessly competitive. It's a tough game but is so much fun, even losers walk a way with a big grin on their faces!"
Joss Ellis COO of Argonaut and confirmed petrol-head is already hooked on the title. "The only problem with it is that it is so intense you can't afford to blink" he joked.
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