Fuel (video game)

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Fuel
FUEL.jpg
Developer(s) Asobo Studio
Publisher(s) Codemasters
Engine A.C.E. (Asobo Conception Engine)[1]
Platform(s) PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
Microsoft Windows
Release date(s) PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
  • NA June 2, 2009

Microsoft Windows
July 5, 2009

Genre(s) Racing, open world
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Distribution Optical disc, download

Fuel is a 2009 open world racing video game developed by Asobo Studio and published by Codemasters. The game was released on June 2, 2009 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360,[5] and June 5, 2009 for Microsoft Windows.

Gameplay[edit]

Fuel is an open world racing game set in a Mad Max-like post-apocalyptic world ravaged by extreme weather fueled by global warming, with players experiencing varying weather effects such as occasional tornadoes and sandstorms, as well as an accelerated day-night cycle.[5] The world of the game is over 5,560 square miles (14,400 km²) in size, which is roughly the size of the U.S. state of Connecticut, and completely free to roam. In the free roaming mode, the game features the ability to drive anywhere in the game world without incurring loading times, however crashing a vehicle - or invoking the reset function to return to the road - does invoke a loading screen.

Vehicles[edit]

The player starts at one of 19 camps, with a few vehicles at the start of the single-player campaign, which is called "career" mode. When the career is fully completed, the player can use seventy different vehicles across six different classes, including bikes, ATVs, muscle cars, SUVs, buggies, and trucks as well as a hovercraft. The currency used in the game is Fuel and it serves as money to pay with for new vehicles. In the game the player can customize vehicles and the driver up to certain limits.

Fuel contains several thousand square miles of terrain.
The open-world setting of Fuel allows players to seamlessly drive all the way towards and up into the snowy regions of these hazy mountains.

Exploration[edit]

Driving around the parts of the open game world will lead to the discovery of new "challenges" (i.e. races out in the wilderness), new liveries for vehicles, and "Vista points", which offer picturesque views of the environment and are collected by driving through the flagpole. Once a vista is activated properly, a "FUEL-flag" will spawn on the pole and the player is notified they have collected a Vista point. Also to be found in the wilderness are numerous caches of fuel barrels, which the player must knock over to collect.

Challenges are found by driving through the environment and finding their start grids. Challenges vary from A-to-B races against opponents or within a time limit, up to long distance racing, helicopter chases, and "Seek 'N' Destroy" races. In "Chopper Chase", the player needs to stay close to a helicopter flying ahead of the player, and eventually the player must get ahead of the chopper and reach its landing site before the chopper gets there. In Seek 'N' Destroy challenges, the player must eliminate a specified amount of opponents by touching them, before the time runs out. Challenges are awarded with fuel only. Just like career races, challenges can only be done in certain vehicles.

Races[edit]

To advance through the game, the player must earn stars and fuel. Stars are earned with Career races, the locations of which are shown on the map as a 5-point star in a circle indicating a camp. Each race has 3 difficulty levels. For completing a race, the player earns one star for each difficulty level and an amount of fuel. This can only be done once; completing the same race for the second time on the same level will not be rewarded. With enough stars the player can unlock new areas of the open world map, with a total of 216 stars to be collected in the game. To get all stars, all races must be won on all 3 difficulty levels, although winning on the lowest level gives most rewards. Next to earning a star and fuel, the player will also unlock new clothing items, new vehicles (which still need to be bought), and Doppler Trucks will appear in the specific area.

Once the player has completed a race, the star-icon will get a ring around it, matching the color of the difficulty level with which the race was completed. Career races can only be completed in certain vehicles, usually the player gets restricted to choose out of maximum a dozen vehicles. Career races are restricted to one class of vehicles.

HOWEVER, the player CAN select any vehicle they currently own by completing the following steps: 1) At the beginning of a race just when the countdown goes to "0", press the select button on the game controller, 2) Press L1 on the controller to activate the menu bar and to highlight the vehicle menu, then press "A", 3) Use the "L1" or R1" buttons on the controller to scroll through all the vehicles you own, 4) When you have identified the vehicle you want to use, press "A", then "B". The race will begin with the alternative vehicle you have chosen. Later on in the game, after you have acquired a large portion of the vehicles available in the game, you can go back and retry the races, and challenges, that have been difficult to win or complete. Personally, I have used the motocross bike "Valkarie" to complete just about every race and challenge in the game (it's fast and you can shortcut across many different terrains rather than following the suggested route).

Maverick Vehicles and Doppler Trucks[edit]

The game's lighting system.
The game features a dynamic lighting and weather system.

Completing races will, alongside rewards, also bring Doppler Trucks and Maverick vehicles in the specific map area in which the race took place. Doppler trucks are shown with either a red, blue, or green arrow. These are linked to what they unlock: hitting a red Doppler truck will give all locations to challenges, a blue truck will give all locations of liveries, and a green truck will give all Vista point locations. Maverick vehicles are shown by a purple arrow. These are bonus vehicles which can be unlocked just as Doppler trucks can be defeated: by hitting them. These vehicles will be available to the player instantly (without having to buy them) after hitting them, unlike vehicles which are unlocked by winning career races, these will only appear in the vehicle list.

Fuel supplies[edit]

In the game the player pays with fuel. Fuel can be earned in 3 ways: by winning career races, by winning challenges, or by hitting the white fuel barrels scattered on the whole game map. They can be found in 2 amounts: one barrel, or a pyramid of 4 barrels. One barrel earns the player 100 fuel, 4 barrel pyramids earn 400, not depending on how many barrels fell on the ground. Fuel barrels are found both on land as on top of building ruins, where a jump usually leads to the roof on which the barrels are.

Character and vehicle customization[edit]

The driver can be customized with skin colors, helmets, upper clothing items, and lower clothing items. Every clothing item and helmet also has several liveries to choose from, these are instantly available when the items themselves are unlocked.

Vehicles can be customized with liveries and base colors. Liveries have to be found, however. They appear as blue spheres on the game map and as blue spheres with spray cans on the compass in the top of the screen. Like vista points, which appear as green spheres and triangles, liveries are usually positioned offroad, forcing the player to sometimes go to the edge of a cliff to get liveries or vista points. This usually comes down to the right combination of vehicle and approach route.

Multiplayer[edit]

Fuel has a competitive online multiplayer mode for 2 to 16 players and a co-operative online multiplayer mode supporting 2 to 4 players. There is no offline multiplayer mode (LAN) available.

Development[edit]

Fuel evolved from a game Asobo Studio announced in 2005, called Grand Raid Offroad.[6]

The award for largest playable area in a console game was awarded to Fuel developer Asobo Studios. Guinness World Records presented the developer with a certificate to commemorate the achievement.[7]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 63.62%
Metacritic 66/100
Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com C
Edge 8/10
Eurogamer 5/10[9]
GameSpot 6.0/10[11]
GameTrailers 5.2/10[12]
IGN 5.1/10[10]
Official Xbox Magazine 7/10
X-Play 4/5[8]

Fuel has been met with mixed reviews. Many of the rewards available to be unlocked were seen as not worth the effort and the racing mechanics have been noted as sloppy, with the AI opponents leading for most of the race only to slow down towards the end to allow the player to win.[13]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Fuel at Codemasters.com