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E3 2004: WRC4 confirmed

Evolution's latest takes shape

Having already wowed the E3 attending masses with the power and ambition of the PSP handheld, Sony also unveiled a couple of brand-spanking new first-party titles for the PS2, the first of which is WRC4 - the latest in the long-running series once again being created by Evolution Studios. As before, this PS2 offering will be the only rally game licensed by FIA, and is being developed with a television 'style' in mind thanks to a new associations with International Sportsworld Communicators.

All sixteen exotic rally locales across five continents will feature in WRC4, and the game promises a whopping 100 stages of action, incorporating Point to Point, Super Special, Shakedown and Sprint Stages. Vivid levels of detail and realism are also boasted, alongside all the cars of the 2004 season, including two new offerings - the Peugeot 307 WRC and Mitsubishi Lancer WRC 04. The new rallies based in Japan and Mexico are also in there.

Online modes allowing players to compete against one another or the clock mark a first in the WRC series, and the top 100 times will be uploaded to a web-based Hall of fame, whilst a lobby area will also offer the opportunity to chat, arrange games, et al. The singleplayer mode still offers plenty offline too, including a career mode in which the player's skill and ranking can progress, and where factors like car repairs and tuning become increasingly important.

A Test Track mode allows players to trial new cars and hone their skills away from competitive play, and all kinds of slalom, skidding and other options will available to master. More realistic handling and physics is of course touted, and Evolution also promise to improve the visuals of scenery and tracks too. The game is out this Autumn and is a PS2 exclusive, natch.

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