6176591Burn Rubberhttp://image.com.com/gamespot/images/misc/movies/gsm_169_juiced2_gp_x3601_081007.jpgCheck out this new gameplay footage of Juiced 2.
A few days ago, after receiving a new work-in-progress Xbox 360 version of Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights in the mail, we were invited to spend an hour or so checking out some of the game's online features alongside staffers from THQ and a handful of other media outlets. We had an opportunity to check out a couple of different competition types on two very different circuits, but first, of course, we had to customize our car and create a driver avatar to sit behind the wheel.
Actually, your avatar in Juiced 2 does a lot more than just sit behind the wheel of whatever you're driving. He or she will stand around looking uncomfortable in a club filled with pole dancers while you choose your next event, will celebrate on the podium when you win races, and, among other things, will line up alongside the opponents before each race while you decide which of them you might want to place bets with. Even in the relatively short amount of time that we were afforded to customize our drivers, everyone in our group managed to create someone with a different look. The driver editing tools are easy to use but quite powerful, giving you the freedom to perform virtual plastic surgery on everything from noses and mouths to brows and cheekbones. There are also several different items of clothing to choose from when you start the game, and that number is sure to grow as your career progresses.
The cars in Juiced 2 offer an even more impressive array of customization options, and after opting for a somewhat underpowered Toyota MR-S, we set about transforming it into something that would hardly be recognizable as the same car from the showroom, in terms of both its appearance and its performance. The first thing we did was replace the standard bumpers, hood, trunk, mirrors, headlights, rear spoiler, and side skirts with licensed aftermarket parts, of which we generally had at least four or five each available to choose from. Next up were the rims, which we chose from an almost intimidatingly large selection, and a coat of paint far more fetching than the gray that, as far as we could tell, was the only color available at the Toyota dealership. The customization was all very easy up to this point, but became a little more confusing when we tried to apply decals to our creation.
Decals in Juiced 2 are sorted into the usual categories, such as flames, stripes, manufacturer logos, and geometric shapes. In addition to those, there are at least a few dozen (that we saw) themed decal packs to unlock, which feature great-looking artwork depicting robots, anime-style characters, skulls, and the like. The themed decal packs make it easy to achieve a finished-looking car in minutes, though in using them online you'll certainly run the risk of competing with players who've opted for very similar designs.
Among the event types that you'll be able to play online will be the two that we tried out: Circuit Racing and Drift Obliterator. Circuit Racing, predictably, is a straightforward race to the finish, and the only feature that really sets it apart from a garden-variety racer is that you need to drift around corners in order to accumulate nitrous for speed boosts. The track that we raced on, Nitrous Maximus, was set in and around a caricature of Rome, complete with the Colosseum. Drift Obliterator is a more interesting mode in which, while attempting to be the first across the finish line, you're required to score a certain number of drift points on each lap to stay in the race. The points don't play any part in determining your position, but if you fail to score the required total on any lap, then you're eliminated. The Frost Bite circuit we were drifting on was relatively short, with only a handful of corners, but because it was icy we had no trouble getting drifts started. The hard part was sliding around corners without colliding with barriers or opponents, which would result in us losing any points accrued for the current drift.
In addition to those of us who were racing, a number of THQ staffers were serving as spectators, and they were able to influence the outcome somewhat by cheering and booing specific drivers. Quite how significant the effect is of having spectators cheer and/or boo you (which each spectator can do up to three times per lap) isn't clear, but when we were cheered on while bringing up the rear of the field during one race, we definitely noticed our nitrous bar filling up as a result.
A new Juiced 2 multiplayer demo is scheduled for release on Xbox Live on September 6, and will include at least two tracks (Rome: Gladiator's Shadow and Sydney: The Phantom) and at least four cars (Nissan 350Z, BMW M3, Holden Monaro, and Saleen Mustang). You'll also have an opportunity to customize your avatar and chosen car.
Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights should be arriving in stores toward the end of September. We look forward to bringing you more information on the game as soon as it becomes available.