The much discussed, much anticipated, always copied but never matched PGR4 even brought its own set of stylin' and profilin' cars to X'07 for attendees to take a passenger seat spin in. The line grew enormously after the infamous power outage at the event and kept going despite over-heating engines and police reports. Many an ear was filled with the roars of engines, as were windows. And so, the block was closed off for the cars to continue. Inside we got a hands-on with the almost-final build of PGR4, and what a build it is.
Before the TV blacked out as I played, I got enough action in to report that PGR4 is indeed looking to add to its already perfected formula. Bizarre has added bikes to the mix, and the hold out well to this, what I like to call slightly-left, arcade racer (left being arcade racing, right being simulation, with a more-so right example being Forza 2). I quickly confirmed the continuation of Photo Mode, which is back and better than ever, featuring things like applying a blur effect specifically on cars and not the whole image. I followed up by confirming the addition of yet another mini-game within PGR4 much like Bizarre did with Geometry Wars within PGR3. The mini-game is (drum-roll) Geometry Wars: Waves and boasts the same play as its predecessor but with new power ups and levels. Geometry Wars: Waves will be a PGR4 exclusive and (so far) will not be released on Xbox Live Arcade.
Aside from the aforementioned, there's little to say about PGR4 itself as its predecessor really brought the bulk of the formula to the table. The weather system is new; the career mode has been remodelled as has the kudos point system. Obviously PGR4 boasts a fair amount of new vehicles and tracks, taking you to new spots on the globe and adding cars like the 1993 Toyota Supra Turbo, which is on the podium position for many people's top ten list of favourite cars. PGR4's bikes have selections from Ducati, BMW, and Honda among others (nothing model specific announced yet). The two can race simultaneously as suggested in the trailers. A new content system is in place for users to save their favourite races onto, search for others content, and check their standings on the leaderboards for almost everything down to the longest wheelie per level. The play is still somewhat arcade based with very minimal damage effects and handling. Custom setups don't seem to change your ride too extensively, so you can just pick it up and go but still feel like you're driving a real car.
Much like the power did to me, I'll cut this a little short and close with saying that PGR4 ultimately looks like the proper sequel to its predecessor and although it does have big shoes to fill, it looks like it's on the right track. Bizarre has announced a release date for October 2nd, 2007 so be sure to get your race on then. If you're really chomping at the bit, be sure to check out PGR4's achievement list, just posted on the Bizarre Creations website.