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Take a look at off-road racer Gravel in action

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Lots of locations and vehicles on offer

At a recent press event, I got a chance to play off-road racer Gravel, which is coming out this summer.

Having played and greatly enjoyed Forza Horizon 3 on Xbox One, my main interest in this is whether or not it can manage to give a similar off-road experience to PlayStation 4 owners looking for exotic off-road thrills. Gravel is also coming out on Windows PC and Xbox One, though I think besting Microsoft's own effort is going to be a tall order.

Still, this game is not without pedigree. It's being developed by Milan-based Milestone, which is known for reasonably well-liked racing games like Ride 2, Valentino Rossi: The Game and WRC 4 World Rally Championship.

Gravel
Milestone

Gravel is built in Unreal Engine 4 and takes place in a variety of locations, including the Pacific Islands, as seen in the gameplay video above, and Alaska. There's a day and night cycle which offers some really nice environmental effects, like sunsets, in pretty places.

It's pitched as someplace between racing simulation and all-out arcade game, but the emphasis definitely seems to be on just having fun. Some of the races take place on defined tracks, but players are also free to roam across country.

Modes include combative racing, open country, tracks and stadium arenas, including jumps. There's also a story, with the action taking place within the context of a racing TV channel, complete with fake ads and sponsors.

So far, Gravel looks like a pretty solid racing game that doesn't take itself too seriously, but is looking to put players in nice locations as they race through mud, sand, snow and, well, gravel.