Black Bean Games is releasing Milestone's SBK08 Superbike World Championship next week in Europe, and here are the First 10 Minutes of the game. This game is nothing less than a real bike simulator which impresses with tons of customization options, 22 bikes on track and many modes.
And by saying a serious simulator, I really mean it. I've gone through early reviews and all of them say the same thing: if you want to enjoy this game, you need to practice for many hours. The whole (giant) customization part can be skipped in the early stages, but it will still take a while to get a grip of the controls.
When you turn, you first have to wait a while for the driver to position himself, and when you turn there's barely any turning back. Driving in the correct lines is a huge aspect, and it's hard to cancel the decisions you make (something I learned while trying to look cool in the last part of the video...).
You will see for yourself in the video and the images below; there's a crazy amount of options to change in the customization part. I do not have the expertise to actually see and understand what they all do, so the quick automatic options served me well.
The game technically looks fine but the crowd and the objects around the track is a mess. The more important things, like the bikes and track, are detailed and it's easy to see that the developers put time on these things. I sometimes get sick of the aliasing on the track and horizon a head in racing games, but there's none to be seen while you race here. It's all very clear for the eye, while it still won't get any awards for the graphics.
The career mode consists of race weekends, and one race weekend includes several qualification days, warm-up days, several racing days and more - you can of course skip whatever you want, but it's all in a very realistic fashion.
Other than that you can play through different scenarios; an example, you start a mission and its one lap to go, you are 10 seconds away from the leader, go past him and win the race. A fun addition to the career mode. The loading times might be a problem for some though, as they are fairly long overall. It does not bug me much, as I know I'm about to enter a at least 5 to 10 min long race anyway.
I haven't played it enough to actually be anything close to the hardest difficulty, the game is a real challenge to master and some people might only want a simple arcade game to play now and then. Still, the game is not the hardest game ever made - I won at the third highest difficulty after only a couple of races.
The game is released Friday the 1st of August on PC, Xbox 360 and Playstation 2, while the Playstation 3 version is planned to be released a couple of months later. Enjoy the first 10 Minutes below, showing parts of a race weekend.