Street Trace: NYC Preview — Multiplayer

May 15, 2007 at 12:14 pm (Gaia Industries, Gaming, XBLA, Xbox 360)

[Reposted from XBLArcade.com

This is the third and final part of my Street Trace: NYC preview.  Part 1 is herePart 2 is here.

Multiplayer is where I think Street Trace: NYC really shines.  The first bit you should notice: 8 player matches over Live and up to 4 players locally in split-screen.  Thank you Gaia for understanding the importance of both setups!  And yes, there are bots too.  Beyond that, it gets better and better. 

Go ahead…you know you wanna read the rest.

First, you choose a tournament type.  There are three: Cash Tournament, Pickup Tournament, and Exhibition.

Exhibition gives you one-off events, just like in single player. 

Cash Tournaments are exactly like the tournaments in single player.  You compete in a set number of events collecting both points (to win the tournament) and cash (to spend upgrading your board between events).

Pickup Tournaments also contain a set number of events in which you compete for points.  However, between events there is no upgrade cycle and everyone is reset back to normal for the beginning of the next event.  In order to boost your tracer’s board and weapons you need to pickup wrenches during the events themselves.  The wrenches will give you temporary and permanent boosts (well, they last until the event ends) to your board (blue wrenches) and weapons (orange wrenches).

Tip: In some events it pays to spend the beginning of the event just collecting wrenches until you are fully upgraded.  Then, you can obliterate the competition with ease.

Both of the tournament types come in a short, medium, and long variety.  For Cash Tourneys that means 5, 10, or 20 events respectively.  For Pickup Tourneys it’s 3, 6, or 9 events.  Which tracer you choose may depend not only on the events in the tournament but also how long the tournament will last.  Some tracers are good as a flash in the pan while others can grind it out over the long haul.

At this point you can let the game randomly choose events to fill out the tournament or you can choose a specific type.  Event types are tied to the map types (Street or Arena) so let me break down the maps a bit first.

Maps:

As I said in a previous post, there are 6 maps total split evenly into two types: Arena and Street.  It might seem like a small number at first but there is a lot to learn about each of them.

Street:

The three street maps are Hudson Raceway, Red Hook, and Brooklyn Bridge.  All the street maps are a closed loop, no point-to-point racing.  As you face tougher competition (solo or against the world) you will need to learn the shortcuts placed throughout the street map loops.  Some shortcuts just shave seconds off your lap time but others lead to important powerups and objectives.

Hudson Raceway: Race along a dilapidated and crumbling piece of the highway.  Try not to fall in the river!

Red Hook: Dodge between shipping containers and wrecked cars in this loop.  Plenty of risky shortcuts here…do you have what it takes to jump the gaps?

Brooklyn Bridge:  A long stretch of bridge with some city bits thrown in for good measure.  Bring a fast board cuz these straights are long and perfect for boosting!

Arena:

Personally, I think the arena maps are the most fun.  Chaos and carnage rule when you can only run so far.  Learning the quirks and hiding spots in each arena is paramount to survival and domination.  The maps are: Governor’s Island, Dockyards, and Dumbo.

Governor’s Island: A run down stadium with a wrecked plane.  A good place to place ring around the rosie.

Dockyards: Race amongst shipping containers and cranes.  Brings new meaning to the phrase “jump ship”.

Dumbo: Based on an actual warehouse in NYC’s D.U.M.B.O. neighborhood –get used to stairs and grinds cuz that is the only way you can win.

Event Types: 

Now that you are familiar with the maps, here is a full breakdown of the event types.  In Street maps you can choose from the following events:

Screamer: Pure racing.  Horde boost, be fast, take shortcuts.

  • Tip: If you cross someone’s trail you will get a speed boost — Street Trace’s answer to drafting.

Street Trace: Still a race, but this time with guns.  (Isn’t it just more fun that way?)

Chaos: Shoot targets, pickup flags, and annihilate anything that moves.  Sounds chaotic, right?

  • Tip: Learn to listen for the lock on when trying to use your rockets and pulse laser.  Weapons are only effective if they hit your intended target.

Arena maps have the following event types:

Flag: Grab the flag and take it to a scoring zone.  Don’t have the flag?  Shoot people till you do.  The twist?  The scoring zone moves.  The other twist?  If you score in succession without losing the flag, you get more and more points each time you score (e.g. 4 pts, then 6, then 8, etc.).  In other words, one great run can obliterate tons of your opponents single score runs.

Hunter: (My personal fave.)  Those that have played Halo’s “Oddball” will be familiar with the concept.  Pickup an orb and you are “it” and everyone else hunts you.  You score points based on how long you can hold the orb (although it looks more like an energy shield surrounding you when you have it).  Two ways to lose the orb: get taken out or have someone cross your trail (‘Scuse me Egon? You said crossing the streams was bad!).  The only problem with avoiding the trail stealing method?  The longer you hold the orb, the longer your trail becomes.

Chaos: See above.  Still Chaotic.

Takedown: Deathmatch.  Pure and simple, first to 10 takedowns wins.

To sum up: Pick a tournament type, choose a length, choose the event type (or randomize), pick a tracer, throw in some buddies and bots, and play your brains out.  And there you have it, the full 3 course meal that is multiplayer.  Tons of events, tons of options, tons of tracers (9 to be exact), and tons of fun to be had.

Street Trace: NYC fills a large gap between retail titles and the more casual fare in XBLA as a result of fast and furious gameplay and robust multiplayer options.   This game will provide a great hardcore gaming experience at a more casual price.  It may not be for everyone (and may only hit an unusally hardcore XBLA demographic) but, if you like combat racing and dig gaming bargains then get ready to break out the boards and bullets when this game finally drops.  See you on Live!

This concludes my extensive preview of Street Trace: NYC, but it doesn’t have to end here.  Got pressing questions about Street Trace: NYC that I did not cover?  Comment away and I will try to answer to the best of my ability!

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