One of the best things about video games is their versatility. A game can go in any direction it wants to and can lead to some pretty creative means of storytelling or gameplay down the line. Sometimes, however, it’s easy for some games to get caught up in the genre and limits start to get in the way. One such genre is racing games. Some genres, like adventure games for example, can explore and experiment with so many ideas and really get inventive, but racing games end up following roughly the same track, no pun intended. There’s nothing else you can do besides start the race, drive around, and finish the race; the only other thing you can do is introduce items like in Mario Kart, but outside of that it’s pretty much the same formula. Where else can the genre go?
Luckily, Swedish developer Cavelight Entertainment has been in touch and is seeking an answer in the form of its asymmetric racing game, Velocity Stream. On the surface it looks like a futuristic racing game like f-zero, but the more you look at it the more you see just how clever the game really is. Yes, cars are racing against each other, and yes it seems to be following the same pattern as other racing games, but Velocity Stream breaks the conventional boundaries of other racers with the inclusion of one simple gameplay mechanic: the paver.
The paver is a spaceship that flies about the environments of the game as it creates endless streams of energy from its tail and is controlled by one of the players. But there is more to it than that, it is then up to the other players to race on the reams of energy that are being created. So effectively, one player makes the race course at the same time that the others race on it.
The paver can also change the track's angle, its width, and whether or not it should have obstacles on it, in order to make the course as challenging – or as friendly – as possible. This pretty much means that the game has near limitless replay value as every single race will be different from the last with new courses, quite literally, being made out of thin air. Such diverse possibilities are sure to make it a hit for party-type gamers.
Cavelight Entertainment is well into developing the game for PCs and is hoping to have the game out by this coming summer, but with it being an official developer for the Wii U it wants to bring this creative racer to the Nintendo console. It certainly makes sense, what with the paver controlled via the GamePad and the other players using the TV, but even though the developer is enthusiastic, the studio's admitted to us that it doesn't yet have any devkits of the Wii U; it looks like Wii U gamers might have to wait a little bit longer than PC gamers on this one.
The game has already been showcased to players in Sweden and the reception was positive. It seems to be winning over some fans and it looks like just the kind of inventive game that would suit the Wii U. Check out the game itself - along with gamer impressions - in the video below and let us know in the comments what you think. Is this a creative step forward in the racing game genre, or is this endless road going to lead to a dead-end?