Face off against seven other racers in this F-Zero-esque racer with real-world driving mechanics.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: VR is in desperate need of more quality racing games. While it’s true AAA racing simulators such as iRacing, Grand Turismo Sport, and Project Cars 2 offer fans of automobile racing an easy way to sit behind the wheel of their favorite real-world vehicles, very few developers have been willing to take a chance on something new.
Similar to competitive VR experiences such as Sprint Vector, Wipeout, and Rush, XOCUS’ Z-Race offers a unique take on the conventional VR racing genre, dropping you into the cockpit of futuristic anti-gravity racing ship operated using real-world driving mechanics. Promising “the next-generation of VR racing,” Z-Race appears to be equal parts Mario Kart and F-Zero.
Composed of eight total competitors, each zero-g race will have you navigating a variety of visually-stunning “hypertunnels” located everywhere from outer space down to the city slums. Along the way you’ll need to keep a lookout for energy traps scattered throughout each track as well as fellow competitors.
For an additional edge, you’ll want to collect as much nitro boost as possible. When used strategically, these powerful bursts of speed can mean the different between 1st and 2nd place. In terms of competitors, the asynchronous multiplayer experience will allow you to compete with racers from around the globe. Stats for each racer will be tracked via the Global Leaderboard, allowing players to compare themselves against both friends and rivals.
One of the coolest features we’ve seen so far, however, is the unique take on customization. Z-Race will allow players to unlock additional skins and cosmetics for their zero-g ships, some of which you may already recognize. Since announcing Z-Race, XOCUS has revealed several ships skins inspired by multiple VR companies, such as Virtual Desktop, as well as prominent influencers within the community, including VR YouTuber Eric For President. It’s sort of like a NASCAR sponsorship, only instead of sporting a giant TurboTax logo you’re advertising for Vive.
“In this racing game, your ship can do anything,” states XOCUS on the official Steam page. “Use it to collect nitro boosts, avoid energy traps, and steer past the competition as you strive to become the best racer in all of Z-RACE. With carefully crafted controls, Z-RACE provides the most unique virtual reality racing experience of all time, assuring little to no motion sickness.”
Z-Race is expected to launch January 13th, 2021 on SteamVR headsets. XOCUS will be launching a closed beta in the near future, so be sure to keep a lookout for any updates via their social media.
Image Credit: XOCUS