Hydro Heritage: Evolution of an Arcade Racer

[Reposted from Xbox Wire]

This week, we here at Vector Unit are proud to announce that our latest game, Riptide GP: Renegade, is coming to Xbox One and Windows 10.  

We're especially excited to be bringing this game to Xbox.  In 2010 we released our studio's very first game, Hydro Thunder Hurricane, as an Xbox 360 Summer of Arcade exclusive, and in many ways Renegade is the culmination of work that started way back then.

When we signed up to develop a sequel to the classic Hydro Thunder in 2009, we knew that none of the game engines available back then would be able to handle the advanced dynamic water physics and fast framerates that a next-gen speedboat arcade racing game would require.  So we created our own in-house game engine, and we've evolved it through all the games that came after.

Riptide GP, which was released on mobile platforms in 2011, was originally conceived as a spiritual successor to Hydro Thunder Hurricane, a fast-paced water racing game with dynamic, interactive waves, big jumps, and arcade action.  But where Hydro Thunder emphasized powerups and shortcuts, the Riptide GP series focused more on the driver character, on pulling off stunts and learning when to take a risk to earn a little bit of extra boost.

Riptide GP: Renegade was designed from the start for consoles and PCs, and we knew we wanted to turn the action up to the next level.  During the design process we went back and looked at Hydro Thunder Hurricane, and we decided to incorporate more of the over-the-top, ridonkulous spectacle that we loved about that game.  

We created race tracks with secret shortcuts, and added massive set pieces for you to race through like military bases, burning forest fires, and flying mining platforms.  We added in gigantic jumps off huge waterfalls and buildings, and brought back the idea of animated, transforming vehicles.  And on top of that we added a whole story mode, a ton of unlockable characters, a stunt skill tree, and upgrade systems for characters and hydrojets.  (We even added a secret big head mode for fans of classic console racers!)

And naturally being a console racer, the game features single player modes, ghost racing (Challenge Mode), online multiplayer with up to 8 players, and -- one of the most popular features from the Hydro Thunder series -- local split screen multiplayer.  (In fact, the Xbox One supports up to 6 players for split screen.)

Oh yeah, and did I mention it's one of the very first 3rd party Xbox Play Anywhere titles?  That means shared Gamerscore and Achievements, save game progress, and cross play across Xbox One and Windows 10 -- all for the price of a single game.

In many ways Riptide GP: Renegade is a hybrid of all our favorite elements of Riptide GP and Hydro Thunder, and the culmination of 8 years of game engine development and racing game experience.  We're very excited to be bringing this franchise back to Xbox, where it all began for us ... and we hope to see you online on Xbox Live for some arcade racing throw-downs!