Game Review: Fuel (Playstation 3)
When it comes to delivering value-for-money, Fuel easily contends with any other PS3 racing game out there - the gaming environment covers a mind-boggling 5,000 square miles of terrain.
With all that land to explore, the 'free-roam' mode is most welcome, providing opportunities to scour the land in search of new challenges and hidden bonuses.
Having said that, it can grate to have to spend long periods driving around searching for your next race or trying to unlock a flaming skull motif for your vehicle's bonnet.
Most time in the game will therefore be spent on the actual races and luckily there is enough to maintain interest.
The key is to get used to discovering the hidden shortcuts sprinkled throughout the game. While these aren't overly plentiful - following the obvious roads is usually the best way to win - nothing beats attempting a dangerous shortcut down the face of a steep mountain or racing into the path of a tornado. Touches like these help Fuel stand out from more conventional racing games.
There is a good variety of vehicles on hand too but that's not to say they are all good to drive. Bikes and quads handle well and positively zip along but the game's trucks and muscle cars are cumbersome by comparison and add little to gameplay.
Overall then it's something of a mixed bag. The size of the gaming area and sense of freedom certainly indicate that Fuel will have replay value and it does offer something different to more conventional racing titles such as MotorStorm: PR or Colin McRae’s DiRT.
Whether the actual racing is up to the quality of those tried and tested hits remains open to debate.
Fuel is out now on Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC