It was announced by iRacing on Tuesday that DRAG: Outer Zone would be evolving into ExoCross and the title would be getting a release in the Fall of 2023 on consoles and PC. We’ve known about the eventual console release for a while, but now it comes included with a branding update.
The original basis of DRAG was that it is an offroad racer with a unique set of physics – what the developers at Orontes Games called 4-way Contact Patch Traction technology, or 4CPT for short. Tires are soft bodied and it truly reminded me of driving Warthogs in the Halo franchise back when I dove into the title last year.
Just a few weeks ago, the Online Multiplayer aspect of DRAG on Steam was shut down due to server hosting provider changes but it was reiterated that there would be more work done and the game’s official release would still be imminent. Sure enough, now we know that DRAG has a new name, new content and gameplay, and much to look forward to in the coming months.
Originally created by the small team at Orontes and released back in 2020 as an Early Access title, iRacing swooped in and obtained the company at the end of 2021. It was one of iRacing’s two acquisitions in that timeframe as they also took control of Monster Games.
The Monster Games collaboration has already yielded a successful console launch of World of Outlaws: Dirt Racing. While the Orontes Games deal hasn’t yet put a product out on physical or virtual shelves yet, this announcement does prove that it wasn’t an afterthought and that there will be another iRacing-published console racer on the market sooner than later.
WHAT WILL BE NEW?
The team behind the futuristic racer now includes both Orontes Games and iRacing team members, and with the Orontes team specifically, they’ve grown with new roles for many facets of the game, including “design, engine, art, gameplay, and AI development” per the release.
AI development is a new aspect all together, as the previous title only had single player time trials or multiplayer leaderboards. Sure enough, the ExoCross title will include AI competition now in Quick Race and Championship modes.
The updated racer will include “an all-new game zone and an additional vehicle class, those both still to be named or showcased just yet. Promotion of the news has included the previously included cars and tracks, although there’s always been that one vehicle under the tarp that’s been inaccessible to this point… hmm…
As for the gameplay, there will be physics updates, the addition of Stability and Traction Control, and the boost mechanic will be added to single player modes as well.
I still think that DRAG: Outer Zone is a great base for a more complete game, and it could be that ExoCross brings that theory to reality later this year.
EXOCROSS RELEASE DATE
ExoCross will release on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and on PC via Steam in the Fall of 2023.