Need for Speed Payback is a racing game developed by Ghost Games and published by EA. Its story centers around three distinct characters who team up to take down a criminal cartel that controls most of the fictional Fortune Valley the game is set in. As a much-requested feature from the series’ fans, the single-player campaign can be played offline.
As expected of a NFS installment, it also offers an open-world environment, an extensive roster of cars (including the brand new BMW M5), cop pursuits, and, new to the franchise, high-stakes heist missions. Payback also boasts the deepest car customization in the series thus far, according to the developer. The players will find scrapped vehicles and parts as they explore the Fortune Valley, and build their perfect car from the ground up.
Gran Turismo Sport is a racing game developed by Polyphony Digital and published by Sony for their PS4 platform. Like the previous installments in the series, the game aims to provide a realistic driving experience and accurately recreated high-performance cars. Campaign, Sports, and Arcade modes are included with both online and offline play. GT Sport is also fully compatible with the PlayStation VR headset.
What’s new in the upcoming title is a focus on structured competitive play and eSports. There will be two FIA-sanctioned online championships, one for countries and the other for manufacturers, with the winners awarded at the FIA’s annual prize-giving ceremony in Paris just like real drivers are. Not only that, players will be able to earn a Digital Race License recognized by real-world motorsport clubs in 22 different countries, according to the game’s producer and professional racer Kazunori Yamauchi.
WRC 7 is an upcoming installment in the World Rally Championship racing game series developed by French studio Kylotonn and published by Bigben Games. Based on the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship season, it brings the latest cars, teams, and drivers to the screen. There is a total of 13 rallies and 52 special stages with faithfully reproduced environments, as well as 55 official teams.
According to an interview with Alain Jarniou, game director at Kylotonn, WRC 7 offers a more intense driving experience through narrower and bumpier roads that challenge the player like never before. The game also introduces Epic stages, which take up to 15 minutes to finish.
Forza Motorsport 7 is a racing simulator developed by Turn 10 and published by Microsoft. The game features 700 ForzaVista cars, including the largest assortment of Ferraris, Porsches, and Lamborghinis yet, as well as 30 world-famous locations and over 200 ribbons. There is a dynamic weather system, with weather changing every race or during one, which affects track conditions and vehicle handling. FM7 also makes the drivers more prominent, allowing the player to customize the look of their character.
On the new Xbox One X, the game runs at 60 FPS and in true 4K resolution with HDR support. PC gamers will also be able to enjoy 4K HDR graphics, as well as support for 21:9 ultrawide monitors, and an extensive list of wheels and other peripherals. Xbox Play Anywhere, which grants a Windows 10 copy, requires a digital purchase.
Project CARS 2 is an upcoming racing simulator developed by Slightly Mad Studios and published by Bandai Namco. Much like its predecessor, the game aims to provide an authentic and technically advanced motorsport experience. According to the developer, it comes with over 170 licensed cars, 60 locations, full VR headset support on PC, and revamped controller pad handling.
Project CARS 2 includes the latest iteration of LiveTrack 3.0 technology, which powers dynamic weather and road surface conditions, affecting tire performance and vehicle handling in a realistic, physics-based manner. All tracks feature a real-time day/night cycle with varying atmospheric conditions.
NASCAR Heat 2 is an officially-licensed NASCAR racing game developed by Monster Games and published by 704Games. Notable improvements over its predecessor include a deeper career mode with support for three NASCAR national series (Monster Energy, XFINITY, and Camping World Truck), upgraded graphics, and better physics including more realistic drafting. The game also offers an expanded online multiplayer with up to forty participants, and adds a new two-player split-screen mode.
F1 2017 is a racing simulator developed by Codemasters for current-gen consoles and PC. As the official Formula One game, it includes all 20 race tracks, 20 drivers, and 10 teams from the 2017 season. The title also brings back a total of 12 classic cars for use in several game modes, one of which is available with the Day One edition detailed after the jump.
New features in F1 2017 include an expanded, non-linear career mode, various multiplayer enhancements, and a completely new Championships mode with unique Medals and Unlocks.
MotoGP 17 is a motorcycle racing game from Italian developer Milestone. Based on the 2017 world championship season, it includes all this year’s riders, teams, tracks, the new rules, and the Red Bull Rookies Cup championship. A total of 110 official riders and 76 historical riders are included, as well as over 20 bikes from the official 2017 season and over 40 historical ones.
More than just a seasonal update, the title also comes with several innovations, according to lead designer Matteo Pezzotti. First for the franchise, the game will run at 60 FPS on all platforms. It also has a new competitive online mode, a revamped career mode, and more robust character and bike customization. For added realism, the physics system has been improved, and the new sound design features engine samples extracted by putting each single motorbike through its paces on a dynamometer, once again demonstrating Milestone’s dedication to a realistic racing experience.
DiRT 4 is a rally racing game developed by Codemasters for current-gen consoles and the PC via Steam. The game features over 50 off-road cars, as well as tracks in five locations from three continents: Australia, Spain, Michigan, Sweden, and Wales.
New in the upcoming title is a system called “Your Stage”, which according to the developer blog allows the players to create a nearly infinite number of unique stages at the press of a button. This ambitious feature should provide more variety and give DiRT 4 more replay value.
WipEout Omega Collection is a racing game which combines the content of WipEout HD, WipEout HD Fury, and WipEout 2048, and brings it up to par with current-gen console capabilities. All the textures have been reworked and the sound effects remastered, according to Sony, and the game runs in 1080p on the PlayStation 4 and dynamic 4K with HDR support on the PS4 Pro, both targeting 60 FPS. 28 licensed music tracks have been added from artists like Chemical Brothers, Swedish House Mafia, DJ Kentaro, and The Prodigy.
The Omega Collection includes nine game modes, 26 tracks, and 46 ships in total. It supports two-player split-screen as well as online multiplayer for up to eight players.
Ride 2 is a motorcycle racing title developed by Milestone S.r.l., a video game studio based in Milan, Italy, and specializing in racing simulators. Like its predecessor, Ride 2 aims to provide a highly realistic experience, with an accurate physics engine and true-to-world graphics. The game features over 230 licensed bikes, all of which are highly customizable using over 1,200 real-world parts and accessories. Even the rider has many options in clothing, riding style, and gear.
American fans were in an unenviable position when the game’s release was delayed in the NA, while going ahead as scheduled in Europe. However, they can take solace in the fact that nine free DLC packs will launch from February to July, and the game will also have a Day One Edition with added bonuses. Square Enix is to publish Ride 2 in the region.
Forza Horizon 3 is an open-world racing game developed by Playground Games and published by Microsoft. This time the Horizon Festival takes you to Australia, where you’ll be able to tear through roads, beaches, rainforests, and the dusty outback while listening to one of the eight radio stations or your own music collection on OneDrive.
The game has an impressive total of 350 Forzavista-enabled cars, and a map twice as large as that of its predecessor. Horizon 3 also offers more customization including widebody kits, vanity licence plates, tire lettering, and even horn sounds. Finally, the fan-favorite Auction House and Storefront features are returning in the upcoming installment.
Forza Horizon 3 is an Xbox Play Anywhere title, which means you can play it on both Xbox One and Windows 10 at no additional cost. Cross-platform play is supported in the four-player seamless campaign co-op.
NASCAR Heat Evolution is a racing game developed by Monster Games and published by Dusenberry Martin Racing (DMR) for current-gen consoles and Windows. It includes all 23 tracks from the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, as well as 43 drivers from the most popular race teams. The game features a dynamic AI system which adjusts to the player’s skill level. There are several game modes: Race, Season, Chase, Career, Online, and Challenges. In the latter, the player can try to surpass a real-world NASCAR record.
The game’s cover athlete is Carl Edwards of Joe Gibbs Racing, who earned the spotlight by being the first Toyota driver to cross the finish line in the 2016 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. DMR is also working with Toyota in regards to in-game branding.
Assetto Corsa is a racing sim developed by an Italian studio KUNOS Simulazioni and published by 505 Games for the current-gen consoles. The game prides itself on realism and features an advanced physics system, over ninety authentic cars reproduced in collaboration with automotive manufacturers, and more than twenty track configurations recreated using laser scan technology. There is both single player and multiplayer functionality, with different game modes available.
Assetto Corsa has been out on PC since 2014, and several “Dream Packs” containing new circuits and cars have been released for the platform. All of these will be included as part of the base game ($49.99) on Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
Need for Speed is an upcoming reboot of the franchise developed by Ghost Games (responsible for the 2013 racer NFS: Rivals) and published by EA. Its key features are nocturnal open world, extensive car customization, and street races similar to those in Undergound or Most Wanted. EA boasts that their collaboration with car culture website SpeedHunters allows them to deliver an authentic urban car scene experience to the players.
Like its 2013 predecessor from the same developers, the new Need for Speed runs on the modern Frostbite 3 engine. It has a fresh soundtrack featuring 61 artists from 16 countries. The game also comes with a controversial always-online requirement.
Forza Motorsport 6 is an upcoming Xbox One exclusive racing sim developed by Turn 10 Studios and published by Microsoft. Compared to its predecessors, the game boasts improved graphics, audio, AI, and physics. The latter is said to be particularly impressive, with Forza 6 featuring accurately simulated rain and puddles, as well as all the hazards associated with racing in wet weather such as hydroplaning.
The ambitious game includes more than 450 cars and 26 tracks, ten of which are new to the franchise. The story mode offers 70 hours of content, and multiplayer allows for races with up to 24 cars. Forza Motorsport 6 also includes nighttime driving for the first time in the series.
Project CARS (short for Community Assisted Racing Simulator, as the game was crowdfunded) is an upcoming motorsports sim from a British developer Slightly Mad Studios. It aims to provide a realistic driving experience for different types of cars and forms of racing. Players can experiment or practice in Solo mode, immerse themselves in their driver’s Career, compete against each other using the Online mode, and participate in various Community events. Project CARS supports a wide variety of steering wheel peripherals, 4K surround setups, and even Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus VR gaming headsets.
The Crew is an MMO racing game developed by European video game studios Ivory Tower and Ubisoft Reflections. It requires no monthly fee to play.
The game takes place in the United States and offers a massive open-world environment to drive across, a multitude of cars that can be tuned and customized, and various challenges and activities to keep the players occupied. There are missions ranging from delivery to race and takedown, different mini-games for testing your skills as a driver, and PvP races.
Gran Turismo 6 is an upcoming racing simulator developed by Polyphony Digital for the PlayStation 3 platform. This sixth major release of Gran Turismo boasts 71 layouts of 33 tracks – including brand new locations for the series – and as many as 1,200 different cars.
Other improvements in GT6 include a fresh handling system, more detailed environments complete with accurate constellations during night racing, and a variety of challenges for the player to enjoy.
Need for Speed: Rivals is an upcoming open world racing title developed by a new Swedish studio, Ghost Games, and published by EA. This latest NFS installment features gameplay similar to that of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, in that it gives the player a choice of playing either as a cop or a racer, with the option of switching between careers as you please. The game uses Frostbite 3 engine and offers seamless transitions between single and multiplayer.