Abandoning licensed cars from the secret to preserving old racing toys

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Abandoning licensed cars from the secret to preserving old racing toys

Screenshot: UniqueGames Publishing GmbH

Just before the new year, World Racing 2: Champion Edition – a remake of the 2005 racing game from defunct German developer Synetic – has found its way to Steam. Available at low low price $10, he never wanted to set fire to the storefront. But still, it’s a very important re-release, because it shows that classic racers, often caught in the chains of expired licenses, can make a comeback just like other games in the genre. It’s actually very simple: fix the licenses.

This was one of many changes made when UniqueGames, the current owner of the rights, re-listed WR2 a few weeks ago again on Steam. The original title featured over 40 cars from real brands. Because Champion Editionthe car models were kept largely unchanged, with slight editing to remove badges and slightly differentiate the vehicles from their real-life counterparts.

A screenshot of a yellow supercar on a road in World Racing 2: Champion Edition.

Screenshot: UniqueGames Publishing GmbH

The four-person transformation team also implemented it a bunch of other improvements and bug fixes, including support for modern gamepads, a Steam Workshop mod, and remote play (so friends can play online split-screen style without each owning the game). They are WR2s Photo mode has been developed and now there are even results. It’s nice to see a classic racer get this kind of love, ensuring it’ll be readily available on modern PCs for years to come.

Now, let me be clear: I do not like this game. I got a code WR2: CE from the publisher, and I’ve delved into it several times over the past few weeks. The treatment is weird, the AI ​​is disgusting, the career is boring and pointless, and the music is bad. I have no memories of the original game in my brain, so the favorable lens of nostalgia cannot save it here. I wasn’t one of those who asked for it WR2 to escape licensing hell, even though they are a couple of retro racers I would sacrifice a year or two of my life to come back.

In this game, the AI ​​has a really hard time dealing with turns and traffic, which is a problem because its tracks tend to have a lot of turns and traffic.
Gif: Adam Ismail

although, me do it I love seeing old racing cars for sale, no matter how bad they are. Too many people have real cars, so they never make them again or again, so that the publisher has to cough up a fee with the car manufacturers a second time. The only exception I can think of is Criterion Need For Speed ​​​​Hot Pursuitwhich was originally released in 2010 and was ported to modern platforms in 2020 by Stellar Entertainment. Only the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722 and Stirling Moss, but the rest of the roster remains amazingly intact, badges and all.

In fact, it is not always possible to delete licenses from old games. I would never try to do it back in the day The Gran Turismo for example; there are so many makes and models it would be crazy and the franchise’s entire raison d’être is real-world accuracy. But you could get away with it Sega Rally Championship, which originally had two low pole cars. Or in 1986 He runs out. In fact, that’s exactly what Sega did He runs out several times, most recently for the Sega Ages version on Nintendo Switch, which was ported by M2.

Screenshot of rally cars on a gravel road in World Racing 2: Champion Edition.

Screenshot: UniqueGames Publishing GmbH

In other words, while World competition 2 not the racing game I personally would have chosen to get this meticulous treatment, I’m glad it was done for the sake of preservation, though. Ideally, it is far from the last; if anything, here’s hoping this forgotten contender starts a trend.

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