Do you see yourself as the Sultan Of Slide or the Texas Tornado? because now’s your chance as we giveÂ you an in depth preview of Milestones up and coming 2010 edition of World Superbikes, which has been given the name SBK X (because the X in the name makes it cooler, rather than just calling it SBK 10 ) So suit up, pick your helmet and join us as we take a walk down the virtual pit lane.
So, for fans of the series, you’ll have a rough idea of whatâ€™s in store .Though if youâ€™re new to the whole SBK scene, then here’s a brief SBK 101 history lesson to fill you in on it.
Well, SBK is a worldwide competition which pits various teams and various riders from many nationalities against each other, across the globe, from Laguna Seca in the States to Monza in Italy. These races happen throughout the year, with the riders racing at break neck speeds, competing to be crowned World Superbike Champion. Unlike MotoGp, where the bikes are built purposely for the race, all SBK bikes are just modified production bikes which you or I could buy. This means racing is always tense, with no real advantages for any specific team.
So now you have an idea of what the sport is about, letâ€™s get on to the game itself. To date the Milan-based developer Milestone have been the driving force behind the SBK games from their first outing in SBK 07 on the PSP and PS2 , to last yearâ€™s SBK 09 which was on the PS3, PSP and 360. They have had the rights to the full teams, tracks, and everything else linked to SBK and has lovingly crafted a great series.
So SBK 10 will feature an all licensed roster ofÂ riders and tracks and it has been rebuilt from the ground up as under the hood is a new engine, which will add a whole new element to the racing.
One of the complaints about previous games was that, although the bikes and riders were gloriously re-created, everything else in the game was a bit dull. The crowd was flat and the trees were just a little bit 2-D. But now, thanks to the new engine, itâ€™s all been revamped with 3-D spectators and all things track side given the treatment too. So now each track is teaming with vibrancy and colour, adding a whole new layer to the world.
On top of this there have been other tweaks in the game such as damage modelling which will show all manner of dings and scrapes from those trading paint encounters. Also there will now be wear and tear on your brakes and suspension as the race goes on. This will change the handling of your bike significantly.
But the biggest change in the game is what Milestone is referring to as the â€œevolving track” in that they have added a new weather system. This means that a nice sunny race weekend in Valencia could turn to a wet damp one at the drop of a hat. But unlike other racing games where the weather is just another visual layer, in SBK 10 it will affect the track, changing the all important racing line and the handling of your bike. But as the race goes on the track will dry which will change how you will race. The same will happen on extremely dry hot tracks like Qatar but instead of forcing you to use a race line, the heat will change the wear of your tires, which will affect your grip on the corners and in short will change your speed on areas such as exiting corners. This will force you to preserve your tyres at the start of the race so you’ll have something left on the later laps in the race.
It will also have a brand new arcade mode which Milestone are hoping will attract new fans toÂ the series who have been put off by the full on simulation of past SBK games so far. This arcade mode is not Road Rash-esque but does have more of a Super Hang-On feel, in that it will be nearly impossible to fall off your bike and it will have a much more forgiving turning circle. This mode will also feature a Turbo Boost button which will zoom the camera out and adds a nice blur effect to your bike.
So all in all at this stage in the game SBK X is shaping up to be the best instalment of the series so far and is attempting to attract a new crowd of fans rather than the hardcore crowd who stand by it year after year. But it does look like Milestone is going that extra mile to do this. So all thatâ€™s left to say is that we’ll see you back here on the starting grid in June for the full and in depth review of SBK X.
Race you to the line