Following the announcement of Milestone's off-road arcade racer GRAVEL, we assemble the team once more to give our initial impressions on the title coming to the PC, Xbox One an PlayStation 4 this summer.
We couldn't help but be reminded by the likes of Forza Horizon and Sega Rally with GRAVEL's visual presentation perhaps with a splash of Motorstorm thanks to the costal surroundings. Milestone returning to the arcade scene after years focusing on the sim market is a welcome shift especially considering arcade racing games have been slowly disappearing.
We love the bright and vibrant aesthetic of GRAVEL, the environments are made very quickly thanks to the Unreal Engine 4 which allows you to render a large environment in no time. With this environment you can essentially draw on where you want the roads to be and then add vegetation and track side detail to bring it to life. It's this speedy development which allows GRAVEL a release date as soon as this summer which raised our eyebrows.
GRAVEL has 18 environments and features 200 tracks and over 50 real-world licensed cars, ranging from Group B rally favourites to trophy trucks. Although this is an arcade experience, the handling has a surprisingly amount of depth and going from one vehicle to another will require a different approach to driving to get the most out of it, we found this especially noticeable when driving the heavier vehicles such as the Hummer.
If that wasn't enough, GRAVEL also boasts dynamic times of day and weather and a very impressive damage model which enables parts of the vehicles to flex and break off. This level of damage is rarely seen in games (particularly with licensed cars) so GRAVEL is really shaping up to be a great package.
You can listen to our full impressions along with some exclusive gameplay in the video below.