Arcade racing series Ridge Racer hasn’t had a true sequel in over 4 years. The series has been a staple brand for Namco, who are also known for their Soul Calibur and Tekken series of fighting games as well as their flight combat series Ace Combat.
Despite being a nostalgic trip down memory lane for many PS1 fans, the Ridge Racer series hasn’t really made a huge impact in the modern console market – something that Namco Bandai is looking to change.
At Namco Bandai’s Ignite showcase in San Francisco Namco Bandai revealed a teaser trailer for the its next installment in the series, Ridge Racer Unbounded.
The trailer features Ridge Racer queen Reiko Nagase as she drives into a dark alley populated with steam vents. She hops out of her car and slowly approaches a sports car which is hidden from view. Hopping in, Reiko then proceeds to defy all common sense and plows through a busy street destroying cars and buildings as she does.
Check out the trailer below:
This rather strange departure seems a little confusing at first for the arcade racer, but that’s only until you find out that the game is being developed by Bugbear Entertainment and not Namco Bandai. Bugbear may not be a familiar name for most gamers, but they’re the studio that brought the world the FlatOut series of racing games. The FlatOut games were demolition derby style games which were known for their use of ragdoll physics for drivers – who could be ejected from the vehicles they were driving.
This likely means that the new Ridge Racer will incorporate some of the elements that were popular in the FlatOut games. For example, you may find yourself driving through busy streets in this installment disrupting traffic or racing through public locales like . Destructible cars and environments might also be on the slate, as they’ve been a staple for the FlatOut series and the trailer seems to hint at both.
Namco Bandai’s UK Marketting Head Lee Kirton didn’t directly confirm any of this, but when he spoke to CVG he claimed the game is going to be a more dangerous and wilder take on the racing series in an attempt to capture a wider audience with this installment in the drift racing series.
“Ridge Racer Unbounded is a brand new title from developer Bugbear. I can’t disclose any major information on the gameplay as yet, but what I can tell you is that this is the kind of ‘dangerous’ version of Ridge Racer. We explained that we are very faithful with our franchises and with this Ridge Racer title we are showing a much ‘wilder’ side. It’s important to point out that it’s an important franchise and we hope to open the world of RR to a much wider audience. We have a number of Ridge Racer titles as you know across different formats, and each of these will have a unique style.”
If this trailer gets you excited about another Ridge Racer game, then you might find that you need to be a little patient. Ridge Racer Unbounded is scheduled for a 2012 release, which hopefully means we’ll get to see where Namco Bandai is taking this at E3 2011.
Ridge Racer Unbounded is currently expected to be released for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.