Fuel (video game)
|Engine||A.C.E. (Asobo Conception Engine)|
|Release||PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
July 5, 2009
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, and June 5, 2009 for Microsoft Windows.
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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. 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 short loading screen.
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.
Driving around the parts of the open game world will lead to the discovery of new "challenges".
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.
Maverick Vehicles and Doppler Trucks
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.
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
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.
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.
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Fuel evolved from a game Asobo Studio announced in 2005, called Grand Raid Offroad.
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.
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.
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- Fahey, Mike (22 May 2009). "Fuel Is The Biggest Console Game Ever". Kotaku. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
- Jason D'Aprile (9 June 2009). "Fuel Review - Xbox 360". XPlay. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
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- Chris Roper (8 July 2009). "Fuel review: Codemasters races to an open world mess". IGN. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
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- IGN: Fuel Playstation 3 Review
- Fuel at Codemasters.com