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Full Auto for the Xbox 360 preview

Cars with guns bolted onto them -- the concept is a classic, and it works nicely in Full Auto, an upcoming title for the Xbox 360.

Sega and Pseudo Interactive have teamed up to make a new Xbox 360 combat racing game called Full Auto. Two races are available in a playable demo being shown on the floor at E3 2005, so we made a beeline for Sega's booth to give it a shot.

Cars with guns bolted onto them--the concept is a classic, and it works nicely here. The A button fires your machine gun, and the B button launches rockets. The analog triggers are used for your gas and brake, and the Xbox 360's shoulder buttons are used for turbo boosts and to "unwreck". Hitting the unwreck button causes time to rewind, which is really handy if you launch off a jump incorrectly or smash directly into a wall. Your ability to rewind time is limited, but you'll earn more boost and unwreck time by driving crazy and shooting up other cars and buildings. Your car also has four sections of armour, one on each side. As you crash and get shot up, that armour gets depleted. If you take too much damage, your car explodes, but you're quickly reset on the track to continue racing. The two races shown here at E3 put you up against seven opponents. You'll face off against sports cars, SUVs, and plenty of other car types as you race.

The overall feel of the racing is fast and loose, and the game gives off a "Burnout with guns" kind of vibe. The steering is fairly wild, and the ability to brake and hand-brake makes the game extremely powerslide-friendly.

Full Auto also looks pretty sweet. Though it seems like it's fairly early in development, the game performs well. Explosions pop off the screen, the buildings and environments are nicely detailed, and the cars and other destructible objects blast apart very well as you pump machine-gun rounds into them.

Overall, Full Auto is a pretty impressive game. The demo being shown at E3 plays well and has some sharp graphics to back up that gameplay. The unwreck mechanic and combat-filled racing mesh well to form what could be one of the games to watch when the Xbox 360 is released later this year.

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