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Radial-G Demo Hands-On Preview

Hover, rotate and whoosh along sci-fi tracks that swirl through the sky in this amazing racer, exclusive to the Oculus Rift.

There’s something special about Radial-G. Maybe it’s the vivid science fiction tracks that loop and swirl through the sky, or maybe it’s the blazing-fast hoverships that are finely tuned for racing along them. Whatever it is, Radial-G is a polished and thrilling experience, even in it’s first public demo.

The game has come out of nowhere, being the first title by a dedicated development team at Tammeka Games, based in Brighton, UK. It takes inspiration from classic games such as F-Zero and Wipeout, featuring hover ships and a sci-fi look with neon lighting, force-fields and metallic tracks; but here in VR it comes to life like never before. With head-tracking it’s possible to look around the cockpit, or gaze out of the windows at the track that stretches onwards into the distance. The sense of 3D is finely tuned and easy on the eye, and the game runs at a steady 60FPS, even at its highest detail setting at 1920×1200.

Recently we were fortunate enough to play the first public demo, which features a single track with timed laps and a leaderboard that’s viewable via the hoverships cockpit dashboard. The track is lengthy and at times heart-stoppingly thrilling, with rotating force-fields that need to be dodged, booster pads that launch the ship forwards and some gravity-defying corners that are thrilling to race along. As it twists and turns through the sky there’s plenty of track-side detail, including advertisement boards that hover in the air and buildings made up of giant pipes that stretch across the track. The game is fast – at time blazingly fast – but it’s never enough to cause motion sickness. In fact, the game often echoes the best roller coaster demos available for the Rift, except this time you’re in control of the ride.

Even through there are no AI players to race against and only one looping track to race along, it’s clear that there’s talent at work here, with the best parts from Wipeout and F-Zero melded into one satisfying demo that comes alive through the Rift headset. The final game promises to include multiplayer matches with up to 32 players, tracks split across three diverse environments, multiple ship classes and the ability to customise your own pilot. Best of all, it’s clearly been designed from the ground up with VR in mind, making it a thrilling experience on the Oculus Rift.

A demo of Radial-G is expected to hit Oculus Share any day now, enabling everyone with a Rift headset to experience the game for the first time. We’ll let you know as soon as that happens. In the meantime, enjoy our hands-on video at the top of this page.

Radial-G website: