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Hands-On: Hummer 4x4

As we have mentioned before, there seems to be a glut of off-road racing games on the PC and other platforms lately. However, most of these games tend to be of the "move as fast as you can" variety. Some offer some car customization features but for the most party they don't have a lot of realistic features.

That's what the upcoming Hummer 4x4 title is aiming to provide. Developer Avalon Style Entertainment and publisher 1C Company are trying to make this game not just an advertisement for the giant GM vehicle brand nor just another arcade style racing game but a full fledged vehicle sim title. During 1C Company's press event this week we got behind a Logitech wheel and drove through a build of the game.

The full game features 10 different GM vehicles to drive, including a variety of Hummer styles along with rides like the Chevy Tahoe and even the Cadillac Escalade (for those of you who want to drive like a hip-hop artist). However you won't be taking these rides out for a night on the town. The game will feature a number of different locations like the Grand Canyon, Iceland and Egypt where you will have to deal with a variety of different terrains.

In fact, that's actually the whole point of the game. While you can race against other cars, Hummer 4x4's main focus is as a simulation. You can't just drive a Hummer through the various locations with the pedal down to the floor. You have to be able to use items like the center differential well to drive through places like water, mud, ice, heavy rocks and others. Even with the driving wheel support in our demo, it was clear that this was mostly a sim. You are not going through checkpoints at top speed but rather taking the time to navigate through the various environmental challenges that you encounter on the tracks.

Visually, Hummer 4x4 is a bit of a mixed bag. The vehicle models themselves are extremely detailed but the tracks themselves are a little bit bland looking in the current build. Also, while we didn't experience this part of the game in our press demo there is actually multiplayer racing support for up to eight players. Again, don't expect the kind of fast paced game you might see in other off-road titles. You will have to plan your attack on not just the other drivers but how to use your car to navigate the various environmental challenges.

This is, without a doubt, an extremely niche game. It's a racing sim that will make the player use far more than just the accelerator and brake to get through the tracks. We wonder if there will be much of an audience for this kind of hard core racing title but if you are a gamer who can appreciate a highly realistic driving experience, Hummer 4x4 might be the game for you. Look for the title to ship to stores in the US before the end of the year.

Gallery: Hummer 4x4

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