One of the most touted and anticipated games of the year is finally on the horizon for Mac users. Based on this summer's smash hit, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Lucas Arts is prepared to ship Episode One: Racer. The game has been available on N64 and Windows for a few months, and now the Mac version has gone "Gold." We can expect to see the Mac version in stores by the end of next week. According to Lucas Arts:
Star Wars: Racer brings all the intensity and high-speed thrills of the Podracing sequence from the motion picture Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace. The game dares players to take control of sleek and blindingly fast Podracers in a series of electrifying and dangerous races throughout the Star Wars galaxy. Inspired by Anakin Skywalker's epic race against the nefarious Sebulba in the motion picture's Boonta Eve Classic, the game challenges players to compete in the perilous outlaw sport of Podracing, where the object is to win at all costs.
Each Podracer is propelled by two massive jet engines and controlled from a small cockpit that hovers behind, connected by 15-foot cables. Speed is the name of the game in Star Wars: Racer as the lightning quick vehicles are capable of reaching simulated speeds of up to 600 miles per hour, while skimming a mere 4 feet above the ground.
"Star Wars: Episode I Racer for Macintosh delivers an incredibly immersive gameplay experience, allowing players to relive all the drama and exhilaration of the film's do-or-die Podracing sequence," says Tom Byron, product marketing manager for LucasArts. "The game brings a level of realism that allows us to closely replicate and immerse players into one of the most amazing moments in Star Wars film history."
"The Mac platform offers a tremendous opportunity for developers, and we're thrilled that LucasArts is bringing their cool products to the Mac," says Tony Lee, senior director of Worldwide Markets for Apple. "With Apple hardware such as iMac and Power Macintosh G4 optimized for gaming, we strongly believe our game-hungry customers will turn out in force to own a copy of Star Wars: Episode I Racer."
Star Wars: Racer allows players to contend as Anakin, reigning champion Sebulba, or more than 22 other Podracer pilots in the ultra-competitive multi-race Galactic Circuit, or jump right into single race mode. Each beautifully detailed Podracing vehicle can be upgraded with a variety of parts to increase acceleration, cool engine boosters, and enhance maneuverability.
Offering more than 21 race courses spread among eight worlds, Star Wars: Racer is highlighted by a faithful recreation of the treacherous Tatooine circuit, site of the Boonta Eve Classic. Each track features a variety of potential hazards unique to the world's environment, such as methane lakes, meteor showers and Tusken Raiders. One course is located on Oovo IV, a prison mining colony. The mine transports ore through antigravity tunnels, which Podracers must negotiate at breakneck speeds while dodging giant rocks that are hurling toward them. Another track is based around a volcano where pilots race over rivers of searing lava forcing them to make split-second course corrections. All courses feature a variety of branches and shortcuts that clever Podracers will learn to use to their advantage in order to win.