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With the multiplayer beta set to commence on March 8th for Xbox 360 users (sadly no word yet on a beta for PS3 or PC) Bizzarre Creations have put up a list of details of what to expect from this taster up on their blog. In addition, they also confirmed a release date of May 25th for the US and, as usual, a slightly later release of May 28th for Europe after it was previously delayed.

Blur‘s unique fusion of licensed automobiles and frenzied power-ups make for some intriguing gameplay prospects, which Bizarre Creations hopes will inject some new life into the racing genre.

2010 is shaping up quite nicely for racing game fans – along with Blur, there’s Split Second, Modnation Racers, the new Criterion developed Need For Speed and the newly announced Test Drive Unlimited 2 to look forward to. Oh and Gran Turismo 5, assuming that will be released in this millennium.

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After a 4 year hiatus since  the original Test Drive Unlimited, Atari announced today that the keys have been handed over to Eden Games, who have been assigned with the development of an upcoming sequel Test Drive Unlimited 2, due out later this year in the Autumn for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. Aside from delivering a robust open world multiplayer component and an assortment of supercars you’ll never own in real life, it is said the sequel will deliver new features such as vehicle damage, a day and night cycle and weather, while taking place on a new exotic map.

Test Drive Unlimited became renowned for putting the floundering franchise back on track and introducing MMO racing back in 2006, so it will be interesting to see if this new sequel lives up to its predecessor.

For the first time in 7 years, Ferrari has made a comeback for the long running Need For Speed series. From today, you can download a Ferrari centric car pack for the latest iteration of the series, Need For Speed Shift, which includes 10 new cars and 46 Ferrari themed challenges to bolster the game’s career mode, including hot laps, endurance races, eliminators and a new world tour.

There is just one snag however – if you own PS3 version then you are out of luck, as this is currently exclusive to the Xbox 360 for 800 points. You can watch a new shiny launch trailer along with a breakdown of the featured cars after the break.

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Racing games aren’t for everyone. Car enthusiasts may clutch their $100 force-feedback wireless steering wheels in anticipation of Gran Turismo 5, but most others think these people are just spinning their wheels. In the absence of narrative and varied objectives, what remains to appeal to the average player?

There’s quite a lot, actually. If you haven’t been following racing games in recent years, then you’ll be surprised at just how varied and downright fun some of the genre’s latest offerings are. Best of all, racing games are constantly borrowing from some of your favorite franchises and genres, giving players of all persuasions more and more reasons to slip on a nice pair of racing gloves. Pokeracing, driving to maim, and a racing game with clowns and cream pies all await you after the jump.

GT5

The unveiling of GT5′s box art made the release of Polyphony’s forthcoming racing simulation that little more tangible, but that optimism has once again been quashed with the announcement of yet another delay.

The Japanese release date was previously pinpointed for this March, but Sony confirmed today that the game has been delayed due to production issues, and admitted it doesn’t know when the final game will be released. While this delay only applies to Japan, a European and American release date have yet to be announced, so I can only hope that this delay will result in a simultaneous worldwide release.

So there you have it: nobody has the faintest idea as to when we can expect GT5. Spiffing.

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Some of you may remember my ambitious machinima car chase project Collateral Collision from last year which involved a huge collaborative effort by the Live For Speed community and countless hours of work. For those who are not familiar with it, you can watch the full movie here.

This is a bonus supplement to the aforementioned movie which details some of the cinematic inspirations that applied to the project.

My goal was to create the most authentic and definitive machinima car chase possible within the PC racing simulation Live For Speed, which drew inspiration from just about every movie car chase scene known to man. The Influences is therefore a montage of movie scenes compared against equivalent or similar scenes from Collateral Collision – I will be duly impressed if anyone can identify some of the more obscure movies featured.

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GT5

The release of Gran Turismo 5 is drawing ever closer now that 2010 is underway, but being able to visualise the final box art makes it all the more feasible. Gran Turismo 5. It’s actually happening. Except nobody knows exactly when.

As I recover from the shock of it all, can you guess which car has been given the prestigious honour of becoming the new Gran Turismo cover star? Find out after the break along with a new commemorative video.

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GT Academy

Two years have now passed since the release of Gran Turismo 5: Prologue, an elaborate teaser that has left eager fans gasping for more. To my dismay, Gran Turismo 5 is still pinned for an uninformed release some time in 2010 however, and to ease the pain, Polyphony have conjured up Time Trial Challenge, a free playable demo of sorts designed to give us a fleeting taste of what to expect for the full works.

As the resident racing devotee, I am naturally fixated with even the smallest morsel of what is expected to be the most comprehensive driving experience for the current generation. Read on to find out how it performed after taking it for a thorough spin.

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Black Rock Studio’s forthcoming racer Split Second has now been confirmed for release in May 2010.

To put it simply, Split Second is a game which features cars, racing and enough high octane explosions to fill a Michael Bay blockbuster. It features a unique gameplay mechanic known as the “powerplay” meter, which can be used to trigger events of explosive proportions, such as collapsing buildings, to make life that little bit harder for your fellow opponents.

It all looks very promising so far, so I will certainly be keeping my eye on this one as a self-confessed fan of racing and wanton destruction. In the meantime, check out the new trailer for a glimpse of what to expect.

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Gran Turismo 5 may feel like it’s an astronomically long way away, but enthusiasts will be pleased to learn the news that the GT Academy 2010 commences on December 17th.

What’s exciting however is how the competition, whereby players in respective countries will compete against each other for the best times, will work, as it is essentially a free playable demo of Gran Turismo 5. The demo will feature a tuned version of the Nissan 350Z on a specifically customised track, which GTPlanet believes will be a portion of the Indianapolis GP Circuit.

The top 20 players of each country will  be invited to a national final event, which will then be narrowed down to an elite top 20 for the GT Academy. Successful entrants will then get an opportunity to hone their skills out on the track for real in an intensive driving course at Silverstone.

A list of eligible countries can be found after the break.

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After debuting in 1994, the Need For Speed series of racing games have clocked up quite a few miles over the past 15 years, but EA has now announced that 100 million units have been shifted worldwide.

What’s more, fans who devote their social lives to Facebook could land themselves with a 25% discount code for any Need For Speed title – see the official fan page for further details.

There have been a total of 15 Need For Speed games to date, and the latest title, Shift, successfully put the ageing series back on track – to find out how, why not read our verdict? In addition, Need For Speed: Nitro and Need For Speed: World Online are still set for release later this year. I’m still holding out for Hot Pursuit 3, myself.

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Bluuuuuuuuur THUNDER!
By: | October 11th, 2009

So I’ve been following a bit if Blur coverage, but I had no idea it was basically Hydro Thunder on wheels. Ok, so it might actually have more in common with Wipeout in the sense that Blur is favoring neon super-charged futuristic weaponry and visuals, but hey, I can dream!

Does anyone think this game stands a chance? Or is it just going to be Midnight Club with powerups?

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