Chatsworth, CA: April 12, 2002- International software publisher Virgin Interactive and cutting-edge sports car pioneer Lotus are teaming up to bring you Lotus Challenge, an X-Box arcade racer featuring some of the most exciting sports cars in history.

Developed by simulation specialists KUJU, Lotus Challenge offers players the opportunity to drive some of the world's most desirable cars: from the Lotus 7 driven by Patrick McGoohan in The Prisoner, the Esprit driven by Roger Moore as James Bond to the latest 340R and last year's amazing new Elise. In all, there are 38 different cars covering the long prestigious history of Lotus.

Lotus Challenge combines racing, mission, challenge, and stunt modes to create one of the most complete driving experiences to date. Players can opt for pure adrenaline rush action or a more tactical long-haul race. Lotus Challenge embodies the best of simulation racing with the excitement of an Arcade thriller. Each course is set across a variety of landscapes and tracks, and will have players racing around such diverse and amazing locations as London, Hethel (Official Lotus test track), Tokyo rainbow bridge, Minato-ku, the Tokyo Bay tunnel, Arizona speedway, Jupiter Beach Raceway in Florida, twisting mountain roads in the Alps, a Hollywood movie set, and even an off-shore oil rig.

The special effects are particularly outstanding, with rain, storms, snow, fog, dirt and mud all gloriously represented. Advanced real-time particle systems handle the dirt, smoke and damage effects. For instance, drive across grass, wheelspin in gravel or handbrake turn in sand and you'll notice your tires pick up grit, but work themselves clean after racing for a time. Scrape your Lotus down the side of a tunnel at over 100 miles an hour and see scratches, and dents realistically form on the bodywork. Whilst multi-pass rendering, projected shadow casting and directional light are implemented, the game still runs at 60 fps.

A range of challenges awaits each player-from lapping the fastest car, to completing trials or missions. The challenge mode mixes gaming styles, with players able to choose different characters, each with a different path through the game. These modes are based on the fictional exploits of a world-famous Lotus Challenge Team, which not only race in world championships across the globe, but is also called upon to perform stunts for film sets, or take part in a tire commercial on an oil rig. In addition, players can race through rush-hour traffic and fly past speed cameras in the English countryside, ensuring that Lotus Challenge lives up to its name.

A multi-player option is available for those willing to take on others. These are spread across Championships or decided on a single race. Specific modes and challenges result in hidden tracks or cars being unlocked and available for play in any other mode-so once you have finished a particular section of the game, you'll be able to replay it in a faster car, trashing down lap times in single- or multi-player sessions.

All the formula One cars featured in Lotus Challenge are courtesy of classic Team Lotus representing the Formula One achievements of Team Lotus. The game was developed with input from and extensively tested by real Lotus test/development drivers to ensure the game is as realistic as can be. Even the Lotus designers were involved, creating two Lotus concept vehicles for inclusion in the game.

The soundtrack for the game was created by cutting edge UK electronica/breakbeat artist Hybrid and includes a brand new track "Joyride" as well as four new remixes of songs from their critically acclaimed album "Wider Angle" all done specifically for the game and not available anywhere else.

Lotus Challenge will be released for Microsoft X-box, during Q3 published by Virgin Interactive.

Game Features:

  • 5 game modes: Collection, Championship, Single Play, Multi-player, and Challenge which features a storyline with races, stunts, and missions.

  • 38 licensed Lotus cars including new models, famous classics, race cars, and concept cars.

  • 28 Different Races.

  • 22 Different Stunts/Challenges.

  • Physics engine and advanced driving model developed with the help of actual Lotus test drivers.

  • The first driving game with officially licensed vehicles to feature realistic vehicle damage.

  • Soundtrack by cutting edge electronica/breakbeat artist Hybrid.