One of the things never shown to us on previous community day events is the multiplayer, but since the game developments was practically complete and the game is out in two weeks, we actually got to try it out. Multiplayer features two main game modes: the offline race day event and the simultaneous online race day event.
Race days are, like in the main career, racing events that consist of multiple race modes and to which you can take a limited amount of cars: one for each event and one backup car in case you total one of your main cars. The race modes in the race day are usually a few types of each race mode, like a grip race, sector shootout (grip where you have to set the best time on parts of the track), speed challenge (both with top speed or best time), drag (quarter or half mile) and drift. Each race day event on multiplayer has a limited car class, which then allows you to take any of your career cars as long as they belong to the appropriate class, or even limited car selection which means you can only take a car from a predefined list.
Head to head drag racing is possible in multiplayer
The offline race day event is basically the same as career race days except that it's set up by the person who makes it. Yes, that means everybody can make a race day event and then share it with friends. A friend can then download the race day and start competing in it. Playing the race day is pretty straight forward: you do the events one by one in any order and you can also repeat any event any number of cars. But that is of course if you never total your car. The amount of repair markers is set by the person who makes the race day which means that if you total your car and have no total repair markers or backup car, you'll have to restart the event. Once you break the current race day leader's best score, you upload that score online and the person who you beat will get a message that their record was beaten. These messages can come either in the game, or via an SMS message which will be free and deliverable to any mobile phone operator. You'll also be able to log in to EA's website and check the current leaderboards online.
The online race day is similar to the offline one, except all the racers are doing it online together. Once again there is a set of races and you pick your cars. One of the racers picks which race will be race next and when everyone is ready, the race will start. After all the races are done, the winner is determined, like offline, with a total score which is based on the results you got in each race. There is a difference however between offline and online in the way the damage is treated: you can't total your car in a race and you don't have to fix your car after the race. This is actually a good decision as on the difficult speed challenge races you can crash easily and watching others race for as long as five minutes or more would make it pretty boring.
Like drag, drift is also done in pairs
We tried both racing modes at the event and I must say that both were very fun to drive. The offline racing mode is more for those who want to do their racing in solo, without the possible interruptions of a laggy connection or having to wait forever for others to get ready. It is all about doing the best run you can and trying to find the best car combination as possible, especially if it's an open car class event. The online mode can be even more fun, especially if you're racing with friends. With damage on, a grip race will soon turn into a dump yard with parts of cars like bumpers and hoods lying all over. But the online mode does have a few flaws, like the lobby which doesn't have a person controlling the race. Whenever somebody is just looking at their cars for example, the race will not start, which means that if you'll have 8 people in a room who aren't accustomed to the system, it will take forever to start a race. Smoothness of the race could also be improved as even though we were all in the same room and playing over Xbox live, there were times when everybody lagged a bit, especially at the start. Hopefully we won't see cars driving on their roof and appearing underneath you like in Carbon.
The offline race day events are going to go perfectly with the racing organization each of the fansites was awarded with (ours being react). Official race day events will be created and run by us with the official leaderboards being available both on EA's site and on our race organization sites. So be sure to check the race org sites often as we will surely hand out a lot of prizes to the best racers.
That about covers the main multiplayer modes in the game. I'm not sure however if there will be a simple one race event in the game, I guess we will have to wait until game release to find that out. Once again if you have any questions feel free to ask them.
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