Fuel is not only a fantastic gameplay experience, but it also sends an important message to the world – that we need to be careful with how we spend our resources. Set in an undisclosed nearby future setting, the game features a world that has been turned into a wasteland due to the climate changes that came about from global warming. It’s an open-world racer, which may sound like an odd combination but it turns out to be a heavy dose of fun.
In Fuel, you can move around a huge world that spans over several thousand square miles. It’s not a traditional racer, as you can freely roam around the world and explore its areas – but you can also engage in standard races against other players, of course.
The races themselves are made more interesting by the open nature of the game, as you can find creative ways to take shortcuts and get an edge over your opponents. Weather plays an important role as well, as there are frequent tornadoes and other effects which can interfere with your driving, and occur on a completely random basis.
The game has been optimized very well, and it uses a well-written map streaming technology which allows you to move around the entire world without having to wait for a single loading screen at any time. As cool as that may sound, it does have some small disadvantages – for example, if you need to reset your vehicle on the main road, you’ll have to sit through a short loading process as the game streams a different part of the world.
Fuel as a resource plays an important role in the game as well, which is where it probably got its name for – its your primary trading resource, which you use to purchase everything from vehicles to upgrades. You can either obtain it by winning races, or by finding it in random locations around the map.
Graphics and System Requirements
The engine for Fuel was developed in-house, specifically to cope with the game’s unique way of handling the world. It’s been done very well, and features lots of cool-looking graphics effects as well as greatly-detailed vehicles and an immersive world.
There are numerous environments for you to race in, from sandy deserts riddled with sandstorms, to tropical jungle environments. The lighting looks very natural and there are also lots of particle effects to simulate things like dust flying out from underneath your tires, etc.
Fuel takes a good machine to handle it properly, and you’ll need a strong DX9-capable video card, a fast processor and at least 2GB of RAM. RAM plays an important role here, as having more allows the engine to stream the world more consistently, thus reducing the possibility of hiccups and minor pauses while you’re moving between zones.
Despite the primary focus being on the multiplayer, you shouldn’t ignore what Fuel has to offer in its single player department as well – the AI is very good and realistic, and will give you a tough time if you think you’re the king of the road.
The lines between genres are getting more and more blurry – we now have a MMORPG racer (almost), but we certainly aren’t saying this in a negative tone – with results like Fuel, we can’t object in any way!