“It’s the year 2023, why are there no super cool retro cyberpunk hoverbike racing combat games? I feel like I was lied to by society,” said VIDEOCULT co-founder James Therrien in a press release. Who goes on to say, “So it looks like we’re going to have to do it ourselves.” And Therrien wasn't joking; VIDEOCULT has now unveiled Airframe Ultra, their newest title based on that notion. Featuring a combination of hoverbikes, weapons, and vibes, here's everything we know about the studio's latest title, Airframe Ultra.
What is Airframe Ultra?
According to Akupara Games, they describe Airframe Ultra as “a fast-paced, vehicular combat racing game. Juice the throttle and tighten your fist as you fight for your life in VIDEOCULT’s retro multiplayer battle-brawler where you’ll chase that ever so addicting rush of blood, sweat, and chrome. Just to get your final shot at obtaining freedom and fame, be that on the road or on your half-assed Airframe. Only one question remains—what are you willing to sacrifice for salvation? Or as it’s better known around here, the sweet sweet taste of nitrous adrenaline.”
“So pick up your helmet and your uzi, dust off your rusted airframe and join us in this celebration of speed and violence! Welcome to Airframe Ultra.” Said Therrien.
Set sometime in the future, Airframe Ultra takes you to the violent underground of hoverbike racing, known as Ultra Circuit racing. “From the cracked asphalt of San Juaro and the Ysidro edgelands to the hulking megacities of the Texicali ZEGO zone, Airframe riders from all across the Southlands compete for fame, fortune, and a chance at glory… three feet above or six feet below.”
Unfortunately, the plot is pretty much all we know about Airframe Ultra's story. So, as of now, we can't confirm if the game will feature a direct narrative or not. However, we imagine it will incorporate some sort of story. Whether that's a major plot or a loosely constructed one based off the backstory of races and lore of characters. Nonetheless, given that Therrien already has a name for the underground hoverbike street racing sport, we're eager that the action gameplay will be accompanied by some sort of underlying narrative.
Airframe Ultra is a racing game that also doubles as a brutal combat game. So, not only do you have to worry about having a decent run time, but you also have to be cautious of your opponents' weaponry which could run you off the track. According to Therrien, VIDEOCULT has put in “katanas, molotov cocktails, a chain that you swing around and use as a whip. Heck you can even joust with knocked down street signs, like some crazed street knights.”
So, it seems there will be no shortage of weaponry at our disposal. Which is wonderful because we're already getting creative with the ways we can use it to our advantage and torment our friends. And we say that because Airframe Ultra will include multiplayer. We're not sure how this feature will function just yet, but we're glad we'll be able to put our underground hoverbike talents to the test against our buddies.
Airframe Ultra is being developed by VIDEOCULT, with Akupara Games acting as the publisher. In terms of development, it's clear the team at VIDEOCULT wanted to go for a more outdated look with the game. Airframe Ultra has a pretty distinct retro pixelated aesthetic, resembling that of an old arcade game. Nonetheless, it makes for a really gritty and grungy cyberpunk atmosphere, one that's piqued our interest.
Since Airframe Ultra unveiled itself a couple of days ago, everything you see featured in this article, from screenshots to the trailer, is most likely showing off the latest stages in development. Nonetheless, it's like like they got the core mechanics and concepts down, now it's just about bringing together all those stingy details. However, this is arguably the hardest stage in production, because it is the nitpicking of details that distinguishes decent games from great games.
The entire reason we're talking about Airframe Ultra is because of its reveal trailer, which released just a few days ago. We've embedded it above, so you can see how everything is coming together so far for yourself.
One important aspect to take away from the trailer is what it had to show in terms of multiplayer gameplay. In it, we can see two players going toe-to-toe in what appears to be a conventional race, and another in what appears to be a 1v1 fighting mode where you're not racing but simply looking to eliminate your opponent.
Release Date, Platforms & Editions
Unfortunately, because Airframe Ultra is so new, it does not have a release date yet. Nor a tentative release window for that matter. However, we speculate the game to arrive in late 2023, and no later than Q1 of 2024. What we can confirm is the game is set to launch on PC via Steam. Aside from that, there is no word on console editions as of yet.
Other than that, stay tuned to Gaming.net as we'll be sure to provide any updates and news on Airframe Ultra when it sheds. In the meantime, take a look at these other racing games that might intrigue you.