Outside of straight up arcade racers, which this year delivered in spades, 2019 looks like it will have plenty going for fans of racing games. There’s rallying, there’s sim racing, there’s even a healthy amount of kart racing, both old and new.
Here’s some of the main racers to keep an eye on.
Dirt Rally 2.0
Platforms: PS4, XBO, PC – Release: 26/02/19
For a variety of reasons, Dirt 4 didn’t really scratch the same itch that Dirt Rally had done for the die hard rally enthusiasts. So what were Codies to do? Well get to work on Dirt Rally 2.0, of course!
It features a revised handling model that better tracks loose surfaces and different tyre compounds, there’s bespoke rallying stages in six new locations, including New Zealand and Argentina, and with Phil Mills delivering finely tuned directions as the co-driver. If you’re after something bit more wham, bam, thank you ma’am, then there’s the full WRX license with eight tracks from the calendar there at launch.
It’s more of Dirt Rally, basically. What’s not to like about that?
Team Sonic Racing
Platforms: PS4, XBO, PC – Release: 21/05/19
Sonic driving a car has never made any sense when he’s one of the fastest animals on the planet, but it does even the playing field and Sonic’s irregular kart racers are rightly considered some of the very best. Sumo Digital are back behind the development wheel for Team Sonic Racing.
As the name implies, this game is all about racing as a team, so while you can still vanish off into the distance and try to come first, the best results will be if you’re able to stick with your teammates, boost each other in a variety of different ways and try to place highly together.
Can Sumo pull it off? Well, Sonic All-Stars were some great racers, so I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt.
Assetto Corsa Competizione
Platforms: PC – Release: Summer 2019
With the Blancpain GT Series license in hand, Kunos Simulazioni are turning their sim handling model and expertise to a more competitive style of racer. Assetto Corsa Competizione is in Early Access right now, building up from scratch within Unreal Engine 4 and adding cars and tracks at a steady rate.
A full release is planned for the middle of 2019, when the game will gain the full 2019 season of the Blancpain GT Series Championship, but it’s already grown to feature four of the series’ cars and tracks, as well as introducing multiplayer modes and different race types.
Fingers crossed it also makes the jump to console when it reaches 1.0.
Platforms: PS4, XBO, Switch, PC – Release: 12/02/2019
After a few years in the wilderness after the frankly awful Trials of the Blood Dragon, the series looks to be back to its best in Trials Rising. It’s Trials, so you’re on a bike following a 2D path through a 3D world and trying to outwit gravity through death defying leaps, ramps and ridiculous environments.
When so much of Trials is about the finicky physics-based traversal, is it really a racing game? Well, you’re up against the clock and there’s head to head multiplayer for up to eight players, so it is in my books.
Crash Team Racing
Platforms: PS4, XBO, Switch – Release: 21/06/2019
Activision are really making hay with these remasters, aren’t they? But when people are lapping up a return of some fan favourite games from the mid-late 90s, can you blame them?
As with the N.Sane Trilogy and Spyro Reignited Trilogy, no graphical expense is being spared in doing up Crash Team Racing for modern consoles, not to mention online multiplayer. Is it as good as people remember though? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.