Ridge Racer Unbounded is, as its name suggests, Ridge Racer without limits. Your cars are no longer simple drifting machines, but tools of destruction, and the fictitious, urban tracks of Shatter Bay are your calamitous playground. Cars leap, streets explode, and buildings crumble, all while your competitors are turned into fiery, slow-motion heaps of wreckage. This is no mere update to the series. It is a declaration of change, one that confidently throws out the tried-and-true but rapidly aging formula of Ridge Racer to create a blend of all-out destruction and high-speed racing that's tremendously exciting, if not entirely original.
6368824Note to self: don't crash into a wall at 100mph.
It's easy to see where Unbounded's influences lie: the crumbling cityscapes are lifted from MotorStorm: Apocalypse and ; the slow-motion takedowns are those of ; and the fast-paced multiplayer action is akin to . But it's thrown together with a great deal of care. Your cars are varied, plentiful, and oh so shiny. You can pick from all manner of machines, some faster and lighter, others stronger and better in the drift. All have a unique look that mimics real-world classics, yet they retain the pseudo-futuristic style that Ridge Racer is famed for.
Their handling is a blend of old and new too. Drifting still plays its part, but gone is the on-rails feel of old, replaced with a much more dynamic and exciting system that rewards careful timing of the hand brake and judicious tweaks of the steering to make it around corners. Overdo the steering, and you slam straight into a wall. Undercook it, and you won't even make it around the bend. Put simply, you can't coast through drifts anymore. This makes them more challenging, but the rewards for such skilful manoeuvres are greater than before.
The boost bar that fills during drifts isn't just for bursts of speed; it's your primary weapon of destruction. Competitors can be turned into twisted heaps of metal with a well-timed boost to the rear, resulting in spectacular--if overly long--slow-motion wipeouts of flame and shrapnel. Buildings that stand in the way of a straight path down the track are ripe for your boosts too, exploding with a vigour that propels you out the other side in a display of broken glass and rubble that would be worthy of any great action movie.