Codemasters' FUEL: An Ambitious Adventure

This racing game includes 5,000 square miles of terrain based on classic U.S. locales, and challenges such as tornadoes and sandstorms

By now, it's obvious that Codemasters loves racing games with four letter titles, with DiRT, GRID and its latest project FUEL. Designed by Asobo Studio (Ratatouille, WALL-E ), this ambitious racing extravaganza features over 5,000 square miles of terrain inspired by classic American locales. With tornadoes, sandstorms and one of the largest environments we've seen, this one has awesome written all over it.

FUEL's designers let you create your own path to the finish line. If you see it, chances are you can probably drive on it. Set in a world devastated by global warming, you choose from more than 70 vehicles (monster trucks, bikes, cars) and set off to complete hundreds of challenges. As you blaze a trail through environments based on Yellowstone Park, the Utah badlands and Death Valley, you'll compete against both computer/human opponents as well as the elements. Thanks to a dynamic weather system, you'll experience tornadoes, blizzards, sandstorms and rain that according to Codemasters dramatically affects the racing experience.

Asobo used satellite data to create this massive landscape and populated it with famous landmarks, including Mt. Rushmore. It's our hope that players will seamlessly transition from the wilderness and then through riverbeds to keep things fresh and exciting.

In addition to the single player campaign, FUEL also contains a multiplayer component. Up to 16 players can compete in various online challenges and showcase their custom rides. Whether or not you can knock someone into a tornado remains to be seen.

With a 40-kilometer (24.8 miles) draw distance, a large assortment of vehicles and varied environments, FUEL should quickly become one of 2009's best racing games. With Codemasters at the helm (and considering how much we love Dirt and GRID), this one's in good hands.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.