Racing is very often a solo affair. When you’re throwing out Blue Shells, hitting Nitro boxes or just straight up taking a corner better than everyone else, you’re doing it solely for you. Few racing titles have a co-operative flair to them. A central idea that makes thinking about where your teammates are as important as hitting the apex on the next corner. So in that way, Trailblazers already has my attention. But it’s the stuff around it that truly makes it stand out.
In Trailblazers you aren’t racing alone. Instead teams are formed with three players on each side, with winners seemingly determined by having all players cross the finish line. Without any way to interact with your team though, this wouldn’t work. What’s the point of having your victory determined by the raw skill of the other players on your team? Or, better still, your inability to help them? As the gameplay video below shows, that’s not an issue in the WipEout X Splatoon world that Trailblazers is striving for.
Taking the breakneck speeds of WipEout (and arguably most of its aesthetic), Trailblazers already appeals to a crowd that hasn’t been catered for super well recently. But then it adds a twist. Each player can paint the track in their team’s colours. Driving over your colour grants you a boost in speed, which makes tracks dynamic playgrounds that constantly change. You’re either depending on your team to put down logical boost strips, or laying them down yourself to collectively get to the end first. It’s incredibly smart, and a welcome, unique twist to the racing genre.
How it all comes together in execution is another issue entirely, but the pitch has me hooked. Trailblazers is coming to PC and all major consoles (yes, Switch too) later this year.
Last Updated: February 22, 2018