- Developer: Bugbear
- Publisher: Namco Bandai Games
- Platform: PC
- Format: DVD-ROM, Digital Download
- ESRB Rating: Teen
- Release Date: March 29, 2012
- Create custom tracks with the built-in City Creator feature
- Slip behind the wheels of 35 street machines
- Explore the urban environments of Shatter Bay
- Features a physics-based destruction model
- Smash into objects while engaging in high-speed races
- Race against the computer or challenge other players online
- Operating System: Windows XP, Windows Vista SP2 32-bit, Windows 7
- Processor: Dual Core Athlon x2 2.6GHz or Intel equivalent
- Memory: 2GB RAM
- Graphics: 512MB RAM, ATI Radeon 4850 or higher, NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT or higher
- Hard Drive: 3GB free space
- Sound: DirectX Compatible
- Internet: Broadband connection required
Namco Bandai’s long-running Ridge Racer series returns to the PC platform with Ridge Racer Unbounded. The game has you joining an underground street racing gang and attempting to prove your driving prowess to rival gangs in the fictitious world of Shatter Bay. The more successful you are behind the wheel, the more respect you’ll earn to expand your gang’s turf.
A new physics engine has been created for the game, allowing for a destruction model that lets you smash into the environment to send parts and pieces of cars, guard rails, street lamps, and buildings flying. The world of Shatter Bay offers a number of urban environments to explore, including a downtown commercial area, oil refinery, skyscraper construction site, and wharf.
The main mode of play in Ridge Racer Unbounded is the Domination Race, which has you earning domination points while competing against rival drivers. Domination points are earned by performing various in-game milestones, such as going airborne, surpassing speed thresholds, finishing first, smashing into specific targets, taking out other drivers, performing long drifts, and achieving various streaks.
Ridge Race Unbounded includes other racing variants as well. In Frag Attack, you must try to eliminate as many cars as possible by either ramming them while driving a semi or causing them to crash into the environment. Each vehicle you destroy adds seconds to the clock, extending your time on the course.
Drift Attack has you alone on a course in a specific vehicle while trying to perform sustained drifts, which will extend your time on the course. Survival Race has you trying to survive for as long as possible, and Time Attack has you trying to complete laps before time expires. Shindo Racing variant removes the destruction-based incentives and car combat for a more pure racing experience, with an emphasis on drifting and boosting as you attempt a first-place finish.
Not all of the events are unlocked from the start. Players need to accumulate points during races, from destroying objects on the sides of tracks or finishing in the top three positions, to access each new event as they advance through various parts of Shatter Bay with their choice of vehicle. Ridge Racer Unbounded offers a total of ten different areas to explore in a choice of four times of day.
You have a choice of a bumper camera view set behind your selected vehicle or a first-person viewpoint, but there is no traditional dashboard perspective. There is also no mini-map in the game, with the developers instead relying on stylistic overlays that appear in the scenery to indicate turns and notify you of the current lap and your position.
The game’s roster of 35 street machines replaces the traditional models found in earlier games. Each high-performance vehicle is individually rated in six areas: speed, acceleration, handling, strength, drifting, and boost. For the first time in the Ridge Racer series, Unbounded includes a built-in City Creator feature that lets players design their own custom tracks to share with others.
The City Creator feature lets you construct your own course by choosing pre-designed blocks of terrain that can be placed on an 8 x 8 grid. Each block offers a section of Shatter Bay, such as a bank or hotel, along with a street corner or a straightaway. This system allows players to assemble a track within minutes instead of hours.