Namco’s latest entry into its classic Ridge Racer franchise has divided opinion more than any other racer in recent years – and with good reason. At the centre of the discussion is Unbounded’s initially awkward yet sublime handling model, or more particularly, the way in which you’re supposed to approach drifting.
The mechanic has caused headaches amongst both critics and players alike, but after a week of experimenting in Shatter Bay we think we’ve finally nailed down how best to approach those corners. Read on for our top tips…
The lack of a tutorial means that drifting in RRU can confuse at first – but rest assured, you certainly aren’t the only one struggling to pull off that perfect drift.
It’s vital to consider the B/Circle button as a drift button rather than a handbrake. When pressed, the button essentially makes your car turn on a central pivot, making it easier to drift the car around sharper corners at high speeds.
Rather than tapping the button to enter a drift as you would with a regular handbrake, it’s important to hold the button for a couple of seconds when entering a turn. This should send the car into a drift. Once in a drift, let go of the button if you begin to lose a lot of speed. Instead, control the drift by gently easing on and off the brake while holding down the accelerator. If you start to lose the drift, tap the drift button again.
You’ll also have to battle with over and under steer, too, which can alter dramatically depending on the car you choose. Whichever direction you’re drifting, you’ll likely have to turn hard in the opposite direction to keep up the drift. And remember, don’t push the car too hard. Approach a corner too fast or hold the drift button for too long and you’ll likely end up a wreck or spun out on the side of the road.
Drifting will feel unnatural at first, going against the instincts of those who have ever played a racing game or driven a real car before. But give it practice and you’ll become an Unbounded drifting pro in no time.
CHOOSE THE CORRECT CAR
If you’re struggling to win an event, it may be because you haven’t selected the right car. Different types of cars are useful for different events. For example, RWD cars are slightly more difficult to control, but they’ll let you score big in drift events.
Generally speaking, the latest car you unlock is usually the best, with many of the more powerful cars locked at the start of the game. Which leads us on to our next tip…
CAN'T FINISH 1ST? COME BACK LATER
If you’re finding it difficult to finish in 1st, don’t panic. This might be because you simply haven’t got a car powerful enough to win the event.
Simply move on to the next event and return when you’ve levelled up and unlocked a faster car. By the time you reach level 25, you should have unlocked all the cars you need to three-star each event.
Drift events are one of the toughest event types in RRU, but don’t speed through them. You can actually score higher by taking things slowly, slowing the car down to around 140km/h and handling the drift more precisely.
It’s also important to keep the car in a drift even on the straights. You’ll want to try and fish-tail the car between corners, gently drifting left and right by using the drift button and the brake.
SAVE YOUR POWER
It’s important to remember that ‘Power’ is different to ‘Boost’. Power becomes active during Domination Races while boost is used in Shindo Racing. Both are earned by drifting, grabbing air and slipstreaming (chasing) opponents.
Like boost, power offers a temporary speed increase, but it can also be used to take out other racers and knock down city targets, like buildings and tankers. City targets are only visible when you have power available, and during Domination Races you’ll want to try and save your power to knock down as many of them as possible. Each destroyed target nets you 1,000 points plus extra collateral damage. Which reminds us…
DOMINATION RACES ARE KEY TO UNLOCKING NEW EVENTS
To unlock new races in each district, you’ll need to score a certain amount of points from each of the district’s events. In later districts, you’ll often find that you’ve three-starred each event but still have one or two events still locked. To unlock them, you’ll need to revisit previous events and beat your high score.
Be aware, though, that score doesn’t accumulate. Only your highest score in each event is recorded, meaning you can’t simply repeat a race a few times and hope that the final events will become unlocked.
We recommend returning to the district’s Domination Races, as these are the events in which you can achieve the biggest scores. It’s important to finish the race in 1st position, but also knock down as many city targets as possible using power. On a good run you should be able to earn between 30-40,000 points, which should send you well on your way to unlocking the later events.
Have any other tips for Ridge Racer Unbounded? Feel free to share them in the comments below.
Ridge Racer Unbounded is out now on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.
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