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Mirror’s Edge meets Doom’s ultra-violence in new Steam racer

DeathSprint 66 looks to combine the parkour of Mirror's Edge with kart racing mechanics and a hard sci-fi setting, and it looks incredible.

DeathSprint 66 announcement: a man jumping between giant spike kebabs

Every once in a while a game comes across my virtual desk that I instantly fall in with, and DeathSprint 66 is one of them. With hard sci-fi, neon-soaked visuals, and bright colors, this eight-player parkour racing game where you take up the body of clones that repeatedly get eviscerated feels like it was made specifically for me. PCGamesN spoke to game director Andrew Willans of Sumo Newcastle and Matthew Pellett of Secret Mode at GDC ahead of its big unveiling.

Revealed during the Future Games Show, DeathSprint 66 takes the dystopian gameshow concept to a whole new level, as you and seven others need to race through buzzsaws, lasers, and death pits to get to the end of each of the racing game’s tracks.

The year is 2066 and climate change has forced us to abandon our oversaturated and overstimulating metropolises – but at least that means we can footrace to the death in them, right? In Willan’s words, the show “uses human cloning technology to create this endless supply of runners, genetically engineered human bipeds bred just for entertainment. You as a player are a clone jockey, and you’re putting on a show for the cameras.”

You’ll take control of said runner clone in DeathSprint 66, but your skill alone won’t be enough. You can earn Hype by taking risks during races, and this will give you deadly weapons and speed boosts to ensure you get an edge. Think of it like an on-foot parkour kart racer, just with a lot more blood.

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“It is about crossing the line. It’s a racing game. But also equally important is putting on a good show,” the developer tells us. “So you will earn more fame, you’ll earn more XP – or hype, as we call it – from chaining together traversals. So as you’re running through the levels, you’ll be attaching to zip lines, and rail grounds and wall running sections.”

“We also have a lot of player-on-player violence as well – it’s all about that, there’s a dark humor to it, hopefully, with very creative kills.” While the team cites the likes of The Running Man, Rollerball, and Death Race 2000 as loose inspirations, they add, “The tone we’re going for is more something like The Boys – it should be laugh out loud funny, it shouldn’t be Saw, it’s a shock and a surprise.”

After winning races you’ll be able to earn sponsorships, which will let you customize your clone’s bodysuits and give you all the more reason to come out on top. Sumo Digital notes that these will all be contained within the game rather than offered as separate microtransactions: “the game that we’ll be shipping is a self contained game. It has everything you know, that players will hopefully want at launch.”

DeathSprint 66 is set for release later in 2024, with the game coming to PC via Steam.

In the meantime, we’ve got all the best multiplayer games and upcoming PC games you’ll want to keep an eye on instead.

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Additional reporting by Nat Smith at GDC.