Codies creates "biggest racing environment ever"

5,000-square-mile Sandbox racer unveiled at Leipzig

Codemasters has unveiled its latest racer, the hugely ambitious Fuel, which it says boasts "the biggest racing environment ever".

In development at French studio Asobo (not Asbo), the PS3, PC and 360 sandbox racing game is set to best the Burnout Paradises of the world with a 100,000-square-mile environment, complete with dynamic weather and destructible environments.

Fuel has you customising your own races across its massive desert, forest and mountain-filled world and then challenge up to 15 players online.

It's set, says Codies, in an alternate present "in which whole swathes of the globe have been ravaged by the effects of climate change brought on by decades of environmental abuse. Here oil prices have rocketed and yet a new breed of racing junkie takes to the wastelands, pitting their grungy home-tuned vehicles against each other in an all-new extreme sport as they compete to win fuel supplies."

16 drivable vehicles are promised, sounding like the usual Motorstorm affair; bikes, quads and trucks perfect for burning across those 5,000-square-miles of mountain and grass that Asobo has probably spent the last 10 years modelling.

"Fuel raises the bar in terms of scale and exhilaration for racing games," said Asobo boss Sebastian Wloch. "We begin with the largest racing environment to appear in gaming - ever. With our accelerated effects of climate change and dynamic weather system we add an extra dimension that change races on-the-fly and constantly presents new challenges to players."

Sound promising. Expect a more detailed look once our man on the ground at Leipzig gets near the game. Fuel is out in 2009 - probably late 2009 by the sounds of it.