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    ScreamRide: Scream if you want to die faster

    Turns out we’ve been looking at ScreamRide all wrong. When you see veteran ’coaster-management manager Frontier returning to work on something akin to  RollerCoaster Tycoon, its classic industrial accident simulator series, it’s easy to imagine what’s coming next. A slow tutorial explaining basic controls and financial management of a park, followed by an escalating series of more creative challenges, before, finally, full run of a par- SKREEE-BOSH!

    That’s the sound of ScreamRide careening through our expectations like an iron carriage filled with soon-to-be former humans detaching from a maglev rail. ScreamRide, we’re beginning to realise, isn’t about running a sci-fi theme park. Nor is it simply a game that nabs RollerCoaster Tycoon’s unintended cult appeal and indulges solely in having you construct horrifying, purpose-built death traps.

    Track three
    In fact, it’s not even a single game. As executive producer Gerard Huke points out, it’s actually three: “There are three different career paths available: ScreamRider, Demolitions Expert and Engineer.” Frontier is making something that takes the essence of its previous work, then pulling it into some unexpected shapes.
    You fire amusement rides and their passengers into buildings
    “ScreamRider,” explains Huke, “plays like a cross between a racing game and ’coaster game, where you drive rocket-powered coasters on perilously twisting tracks full of jumps and obstacles, and fight to keep your coaster on the track.” Essentially, it’s the strangest of the lot, taking the none-more-on-rails first-person views of Frontier’s previous ’coaster titles and turning it into a pseudo-action game, as you boost, steer and puke your way to victory.

    “Demolition Expert sees you firing amusement rides and their passengers to destroy buildings, which fall down in incredible physics-based detail depending on the force and direction you hit them.” Put another way, you’re building gigantic projectile-launchers in the shape of funfair rides, and knocking down skyscrapers like you would coconuts in a shy.

    “Engineer is more puzzle-based, with construction and destruction challenges that need careful consideration and experimentation to complete.” The last career is more familiar, using Frontier’s new streamlined creations tools (also put to use in the game’s comprehensive level editor) to build rides to set specifications except the futuristic theme means these will be the sorts of rides that would have caused previous games to waggle fingers and flash up the words ‘stop ruining physics’. For once, we’re rather glad to have misunderstood a game this is sounding a lot more interesting than we’d previously imagined.

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