One of the joys of a show like EGX is discovering indie games that you might have missed otherwise. While I was wandering through the Rezzed section of the show (where all the indie games are shown), I came across an interesting little racing game called Velocity G. Whenever I see a racing game; my interest is piqued. What particularly pulled me into this one was the 3D nature of the track. Obviously, all racing games have tracks built in 3D nowadays, but this has you racing in a kind of tube with the ability to go all around the tube whenever you like. Check out this trailer, and you’ll see what I mean.
At first glance, the game looks a little messy. There is so much happening on screen with lines, colours, and movement. After a minute or so of playing, though, you soon understand what is going on. Which elements you have to concentrate on and which you can just let fly by. Once you get into the groove of what is happening, you can fully concentrate on the track and follow the flow of it.
On my first time playing the game, I tried to play it like a normal racing game. Whenever the track curved left, I turned left. However, I quickly learned that the best way is to just let gravity and your car do what it needs to do. What you really have to be aware of are your fellow racers, crashing into whom do considerable damage to your vehicle, and obstacles in the track. There are only really two obstacles; these are bars across the track and jumps. Bars will not only slow you down (to almost a complete stop), but they will damage your craft. Jumps are put in the middle of the track, and if you go over one too quickly, you will fly up and hit the ‘roof’ of the track damaging your ship.
This all sounds pretty basic, yet it is surprisingly fun. The game flies along at a rock solid 60 frames-per-second. This is the sort of game where the vehicles are travelling so quickly that at 30 frames-per-second it might look a little jittery. With the three-dimensional movement of the track, it could also lead to more people getting motion sickness with it. Fortunately, that is never the case, and you really get a heightened sense of speed. And you will need to be fast as your fellow competitors won’t hang around to see how you are doing. Hit one of the bars and slow down just a bit and you will find yourself lagging behind.
Vertical G is a brilliant example of a good idea done simply and well. It will have a fairly niche audience but the developer is talking about it having an extreme budget type price, and that should help to bring in an audience. The game currently supports 4 player split-screen races, and that is something I would love to try when the game finalises a release date on Xbox One. If you are into racing games, and in particular titles like Wipeout, you really should give Vertical G a chance when it launches.