We don’t get many split-screen racing games these days, despite the fact that televisions are as big as ever and the hardware is as powerful as ever. There’s some strange stigma surrounding the inclusion of split-screen racing in video games for whatever bizarre reason that exists beyond the limited comprehensive abilities afforded to my minuscule noggin. Nevertheless, there are some developers out there who recognize that futuristic combat racing games with split-screen multiplayer is a potentially fun, untapped genre and Italian developer Three Souls Interactive is going all-in on the concept.
But beyond the four-player split-screen local multiplayer and cooperative modes, there’s also going to be the full implementation of an online multiplayer mode, along with a full-on single-player component featured in GRAL as well.
The team at Three Souls Interactive are also working on implementing ranked competitive modes, and a focus on team-based play.
Given that the core of the game is themed around fantastical tracks set across strange and foreign alien planets in the year 2118, the game takes great liberties with the circuit designs and the weapons featured in the game that players can exploit during a race. You can get an idea of what the gameplay is like with the trailer below.
As you can see, the gameplay is very similar to a mix of Redout and Rollcage with a moderate dose of Xtreme-G tossed in.
The Unity 3D-powered racing game looks visually decent for what it’s trying to achieve, but the real highlight is the gravity defying race tracks that allow you to ride along the sides of the wall and on ceilings, not unlike various F-Zero tracks.
You can collect various offensive and defensive power-ups to help you along the way, either to attack other racers or defend your teammates.
The team-based co-op racing is still a great concept that we just don’t see more of in combat-racing games, with the exception of Pixel Dash Studios’ Road Redemption.
The full version of the game is expected to support five different vehicles, three different vehicle tiers, six different game modes, five different planets, 15 different race tracks, three different combat arenas, and nine different power-ups, along with a Link Sinc Drive System that allows you to mix two power-ups together to create an all new power-up.
GRAL is currently available in Early Access over on the Steam store for $14.99. The full version of the game is due for release during the first quarter of 2019.