NEWS - Sunday, October 27, 2002

Atari’s "APEX" On Xbox

Choose a design, build a prototype and race against the world’s most elite cars to build an international racing dynasty! Atari is creating APEX, the ultimate racing game for racing enthusiasts, exclusively for the Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft. Scheduled for release in March 2003, the game is in development by the racing geniuses at Milestone, creators of the well-respected Superbike(TM) series. "Developing a racing game specifically for the Xbox has allowed us to create the most graphically stunning and technically sophisticated racing game," said Jean-Philippe Agati, senior vice president and head of Infogrames, Inc.’s Los Angeles studio. "With an astounding number of both prototype and licensed vehicles, more than 50 tracks, extensive single player story mode and robust multiplayer options, APEX will deliver the most exciting racing experience available." APEX has been designed to be THE racing game for true racing enthusiasts. The game transports players into the role of a young race car manufacturing mogul. After inheriting a small garage, the player launches their own high-end sports car company by choosing from among 45 authentic prototype designs and building a cutting edge vehicle to their own specifications. In their quest to be the best, they must take their creations to the track and race against the world’s most elite auto manufacturers. As a simulation style racer, APEX will challenge players to execute real world racing techniques. The title of the game is a racing term that refers to the perfect line a driver should take to execute a turn. To "hit the apex" is to take a turn at the optimal angle. Taking correct racing lines and powering through turns are techniques that will achieve success in APEX. Technically, APEX will far surpass the competition in the genre. Leveraging the power of Xbox, the developer is producing amazingly high polygon counts, long draw distances and highly detailed environments. Cars will feature up to 11,000 polygons each and real-time reflections while tracks will boast around 500,000 polygons for stunning panoramic detail and beauty. Additionally, the vehicle engine sounds have been captured from real world high performance cars to further enhance authenticity. The game boasts more than 70 vehicles, with both licensed and original designs. Each vehicle is equipped with numerous performance enhancements and adjustments that allow the player to tailor the vehicle for each competition’s track design and conditions. A complex damage model lends reality to each crash. Races will take place across more than 50 varied environments based on real-world locations across three continents -- North America, Europe and Asia. Course designs range from winding mountain roads to narrow city streets to standard racetracks. Each track features unique characteristics that will keep players tuning and perfecting their creations for optimum performance before each encounter. APEX will be unique in its detailed story mode that will provide gamers with a role-playing element unseen in other titles in the genre. The story will progress through cinematics and will vary based on decisions the player makes regarding the auto factory and the performance on the track. Sophisticated AI will make snap decisions based on the situation at hand and add tough competition in every race. APEX will feature several styles of play that lead to hours of varied gameplay in both single and two-player multiplayer modes. Modes include Quick Race, for instant racing action against computer controlled opponents; Time Attack, a challenge to see how fast a single vehicle can complete a course; Story Mode, where the player builds their own prototype vehicle and strives to join the elite of performance automobile manufacturers; and Head-to-Head two-player multiplayer mode for racing against friends in Xbox split screen.

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