Milestone is a developer which doesn’t receive a huge amount
of mainstream media attention. The Italian developer, behind the likes of the Ride
and MotoGP titles, has always focused on motorbike racing games, and most of
their titles have always felt much the same. However, that’s about to change
with Gravel. It’s an upcoming off-road arcade racing game that’s slated to
launch on February 27th for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.
Today, the Italian developer shared a new video from Gravel,
giving us two minutes of Wild Rush race footage in the Toyota Celica from the
chase camera perspective, which takes place on a wintery Montebianco circuit where
the conditions acts as an obstacle for racers to be aware of whilst driving. It’s
certainly reminiscent of Blizzard Mountain from Forza Horizon 3, where players
were faced with thrilling blizzard conditions during race events that were
simply in a league of their own.
However, Gravel definitely pushes the boundaries of a rally game
by offering full blizzard-like conditions for its courses. The game also has a
similar appearance to Forza Horizon 3 as well, so you wouldn’t be wrong in saying
that Playground’s latest open-world racer likely inspired what Milestone has
been working on.
The footage shown also holds a solid 60fps, but it’s taken
from PC and the gameplay shown also comes from a gamepad. The final resolution
and framerate of Gravel on consoles has yet to be announced. The gameplay is
also backed by a rock-and-roll-style soundtrack, but this is one aspect that isn’t
too impressive. The core mechanics of Gravel shown are more attractive, with
intense racing showcased and promising level design overall.
Whilst DiRT 4 and WRC 7 have almost encompassed the off-road
racing scene, there’s plenty of room still left for competition, and Gravel is
shaping up to be a worthy competitor. With Forza Motorsport 7 also potentially
receiving an off-road
expansion later this year, and Gran Turismo Sport and Project CARS 2 both
featuring rallycross modes and tracks, there’s never been more diversity in the
off-road racing scene.
Figuring out which one does it the best, however – well that’s
the real challenge, as they all have their advantages and disadvantages.
Perhaps Gravel can fill in the gaps the others have missed. It’ll launch with
18 different locations, four disciples, and over 200 events for players to
engage with in the career mode. The car line-up consists of more than 50 vehicles,
including Group B rally cars, rallycross cars, and more, with BMW, Ford,
Subaru, Renault, Chevrolet, and even Porsche all being confirmed for the
roster. If it does manage to live up to expectations, we’ll find out come February