Star Wars Episode I: Racer lives again in Unreal Engine 4 – and you can play a demo

Now this is podracing

Episode I: Racer is one of the more beloved entries in the lost LucasArts canon of Star Wars games, and it’s still a shame we’ve never gotten a proper follow-up. (This is a PC site, so we don’t talk about Racer Revenge.) But we’ve still got that GOG release of Racer and thankfully, where modern Star Wars licensors have let us down, the fan community has us covered.

In small part, at least. Rob Jin’s remake of Episode I: Racer brings the game – or rather, its first stage – back to life in Unreal Engine 4. The demo has been kicking around since November last year, but it’s come to more prominent attention thanks to a video from YouTuber Bluedrake42. The demo is playable, though the link’s been up and down thanks to all the recent traffic.

The creator explains a bit of the making of on an ArtStation page – basically, it was intended as a simple exercise to learn Unreal Engine. Over the course of ten months of spare time development, it gradually morphed into a proper demo which now features the full first stage and a pretty robust set of racing mechanics.

You can check out a bit of gameplay below.

Despite some rough edges, it’s an impressive bit of work, especially as somebody’s first time diving into Unreal development.

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There aren’t any apparent plans for this to become a full game – more likely, it’s built as a portfolio-filling project intended to make a splash with prospective clients. Judging by the response so far, it’s an effective attempt.