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Xenon Racer Review

Edited by: Chiara Burns

Xenon Racer, developed by 3DClouds and published by SOEDESCO Publishing, is a futuristic arcade racer created in Unreal Engine. Sporting appealing graphics and great attention to detail, this is one to watch out for. The title doesn’t take itself too seriously and combines the arcade fun of games like Ridge Racer with somewhat improbable futuristic elements. Set in the year 2029, it’s optimistic in believing that magnet-powered hover cars will not only be available but will take over the racing circuit.

Vroom, vroom!

Still, the backstory — a “retro” tournament from the future — isn’t really what it’s all about. It’s about slick, shiny cars and gorgeous tracks for multiple types of races and competitions. While stationary, the surroundings do leave something to be desired. The viewers and fans around the starting area are not animated at all, but as races tend to happen at 300+ km/h, this is a very minor issue.

Racing through the tracks at high speeds, everything looks great. The different tracks, which have a fair bit of variation (including different lengths, layouts, and times of day), really do feel like familiar but futuristic versions of locations like Dubai, Tokyo, Miami, and others.

Garage sales? Not here

While in the real world bumper stickers are all but political statements, Xenon Racer lets you customize your car with all sorts of stickers and decals, covering nearly the entire vehicle! That’s only one of several customization options. The already quite futuristic cars allow for different rims, windows, and front, middle, and back wings. With bright colors and a surprisingly neat randomizing option, changing the look of your vehicle in between races is fun and easy.

There are also several different vehicles available, although most of them have to be unlocked via gameplay. This is also true for customization options like body decals. All the customizations and car models can be found in the garage, where both cosmetic and functional changes can be made.

Not all that glitters is gold… or functional

Some elements like the colors and body designs are only cosmetic, while others, like the wings and ERS (boost system) affect the actual performance of the car. The different parts do significantly affect speed, acceleration drift, and handling, but this generally has little impact on the difficulty and simply takes some getting used to. With diverse cosmetic options, creating your ideal futuristic race car is not only possible but great fun. Most of the models available are extremely futuristic and quite well-designed at that.

Ready, set, race!

True to the arcade racer genre, Xenon Racer has simple and intuitive controls without the need for dozens of different functions. Both on controller and keyboard, the controls are well-mapped, and the cars feel responsive. This, coincidentally, is actually one of the main issues with the game — the controls are almost too accurate.

The cars handle incredibly well, making most races all too easy to win and leaving several seconds between the player and the next-best racer. While this makes the title great for casual players and those not looking for anything too challenging, it lowers the appeal for experienced players that want to fight for first place.

Drifting through life

One of the major aspects of the racing experience here is drifting. You’ll spend more time drifting around corners than you will racing along straight tracks. Although it’s quite easy to do so, drifting around corners and past other cars is great fun; at speeds of above 400 km/h, it does get a little more challenging!

With tracks ranging from official racing tracks to woodland drives, there is a variety of tracks and turns to drift through. The selection of cars differs in key stats like speed, acceleration, drift, handling, and boost stats. Speaking of the boost, drifting (or driving over certain panels on the track) charges a boost counter. Effectively using these boosts is a major element of play and it adds some nuance to the otherwise easy racing elements.

Old-time feelings

One of the interesting elements of Xenon Racer is that it allows for split screen racing along with some other modes. In a time where the genre is all about online racing and co-op, it’s a pleasant nod to the past (especially in a futuristic game) to be able to play on a split screen. In addition, there is also a single-player campaign with many different types of races — between timed races and 1v5 races, there is a good variety of challenges.

Online races are an option too, as are a quick mode and the so-called Edge mode that lets players participate in endless practice if they want. Different modes for different folks.

7

The Verdict: Great

For a game from a relatively small development team, Xenon Racer is extremely good — it features pretty environments, futuristic cars, and varied tracks. Gameplay is intuitive but quite easy, and while car customizations and the different cars available make for a decent amount of variation, the overall difficulty is quite low. Xenon Racer is ideal for casual players or arcade racing fans not looking for too much of a challenge.

See About Us to learn how we score

Melanie Hawthorne
Written by
Tuesday, 14 May 2019 16:52
Published in Sport

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Mel is a London-based copywriter that has been writing about video games for a few years now. After growing up in Vienna, Austria she followed her dreams and moved to London. Said dreams took her through a few different jobs (which included working as a web developer, shopkeeper and translator) before she settled on what she really wanted to do – periodically anger video game fans by expressing her opinions on games through various online publications. When she’s not writing about video games, she’s probably playing them... or walking her dog in a park. Since that depends largely on the English weather, Mel has plenty of time to indulge in her favourite games. These include but are not limited to Ark: Survival Evolved, Skyrim, GTA V, and oddly enough, Amnesia: Memories. She loves Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. She thinks Star Trek is way better than Star Wars and isn’t afraid to admit it – Live long and prosper!

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