Days Of Thunder Updated Hands-On

Earlier this month, we went hands-on with Days Of Thunder at Freeverse’s booth on the Macworld show floor. We now have a near-final build to toy around with, and we like what this fast, action-packed arcade racer has to offer. Deets and vid inside!

There are a lot of differences between this build and the one we saw a few short weeks ago. Most importantly, Cole Trickle no longer looks anything like Tom Cruise. He’s turned blond! We’re just kidding–that’s hardly the most important change. The story’s been finalized, certain UI elements have been cleaned up, and the gameplay is way more violent than we remember it.

That’s right. This is not elegant vehicular ballet, it’s all-out warfare. The tracks are filled with southerners turning left, and they hate Trickle’s Yankee guts. You’ll ricochet off so many rival cars in this game that you may start to feel like a small child trapped in an industrial clothes dryer.

It’s good fun, though–Trickle can dish out a lot of punishment too, and when an enemy car finally gives up the ghost, it rockets into the air with a huge explosion, ala the Burnout games. The trick is to watch your damage meter carefully and time your pit stops accordingly, so that you don’t give up too much ground.

Another nifty addition is the famed “drop the hammer” move, which basically works like a supercharged nitro boost. If you drift behind an opponent for long enough, a hammer icon will pop up on the right side of the screen. Touching it gooses your car forward with tremendous force for about two seconds–it’s usually enough to put you in first place, while flattening every other can you run into.

Days Of Thunder should be out sometime next week. We have no information on the price at this time.

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