About a decade ago, a new racing game appeared on the Playstation and PC, originally looking to possibly replace the Wipeout franchise, the new Psygnosis published game 'Rollcage'. However, the game was not in fact developed by Psygnosis, but a small team of developers called ATD, (Attention to Detail) followed by a sequel in 2000 named 'Rollcage: Stage Two'.
What was Rollcage?
This is the first in what I am considering a new series of type of user blogs on N4G that I will write about, theoretically, what if a game sequel or a continuation of a franchise existed.
I have decided to tackle 'Rollcage HD'. First of all, a bit of a nostalgia trip or fill in for those not familiar with the franchise;
Rollcage was a twist on the Wipeout formula of games where instead of a 'ship' you had a futuristic turbo infused car, which had tracks either side of the vehicle meaning that you could drive on both sides of the vehicle, with the addition of speed, you could drive along the side of walls, up them or just defy gravity by driving upside down in tunnels. As I said before, Rollcage was very inspired by Wipeout and had a great collection of weapons which you would pick up from squares on the racing course and turbo pads also, but Rollcage felt more like a kart racer than Wipeout ever did, also, Rollcage allowed you two weapons which could be activated by the shoulder buttons.
The game also had some slightly destructable items in the race, such as, you could fire your weapons into buildings, to turn them into large pieces of rubble and obstacles for your opponents, floating advertising screens which you could also blow up, anyway, your car was virtually indestructable but that doesn't mean you couldn't be blasted metres away from where you originally were, then due to your rollcage flipping over, it was very easy to get confused what direction you should be driving.
Instead of the techno soundtrack of Wipeout, Rollcage was all about thumping tunes and drum and bass. Notably Fatboy Slim and E-Z Rollers supplied a lot of the soundtrack for the original game, the rest mainly by artists on the Moving Shadow music label.
The games had normal racing, tournaments, platform (where you had to get to the finish line, ala Gripshift) great multiplayer modes such as deathmatch, arena battles, normal races, tournaments and football, I honestly think this game was before it's time and a shame the franchise never arrived on PS2, nor has anyone attempted to copy the formula, but it is plain to see from Wip3out, that the Wipeout franchise was clearly inspired.
In the last year and recent months, we have seen Studio Liverpool produce Wipeout HD and the Fury expansion pack, we have virtually seen Wipeout rebooted and made more accessable and truely reinvisioned. I can't help feeling that Rollcage HD would be EVEN BETTER than Wipeout HD.
I'm imagining Rollcage HD to be a blend of the action we have seen in Wipeout HD and Motorstorm. I think that Rollcage HD should have more choice and variety of how to get to the finishing line, Rollcage HD should also follow tradition with the multiplayer modes availble on the original Rollcage games but not only splitscreen but online too.
I suggest a good way to get Rollcage back in the memory of gamers would be to release both games on PSN as PSone games so they can be played on PS3 and PSP.
What could stop this from happening;
Attention To Detail no longer exist they closed up in 2003, however, the case still stands due to Pysgnosis publishing the games, Pysgnosis could theoretically still own the IP and as most of us know, Pysgnosis was bought by Sony in 1999 and renamed Studio Liverpool. Interesting point of all this is that now Sony own the right to Lemmings, another game which Pysgnosis published, but never actually developed (Lemmings was developed by DMA). This surely must mean that Sony bought all the IP which Pysgnosis published, meaning Sony and Studio Liverpool may actually still own the Rollcage IP and we all know that Studio Liverpool are perfectly capable of making Rollcage HD due to the experience in Wipeout, it would also be a fresh new type of racing game for them to bite into since Studio Liverpool no longer make the Formula 1 licensed games, heck, Evolution Studios could even try to give it a spin.
Believe it or not, once I had a chance to ask the lead art director of Studio Liverpool about the Rollcage IP situation at my university during a Creative Futures week lecture, I didn't and still to that day, I regret it, but It would of been such a 'gamer' question and look more journalist than student.
Anyway, Rollcage HD, if it existed, I personally think it would be brilliant. Physics have greatly improved these days, Wipeout HD has shown a tasted or the super graphics futuristic games are capable of these days and in fact, Super Aerosonic Battle Cars (or whatever) virtually has the football mode from Rollcage Stage Two and that's done pretty well. Gripshift looks clearly inspired by the puzzle and platform mode tracks on the Rollcage series, so that is also perfectly acceptable. Rollcage HD could end up being the best accessable racing game exclusive out for the PS3 and just imagine the Sixaxis, this could be incredible.