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Multiplayer motor mash-up: New Auto Assault screens

Imagine Mad Max, Destruction Derby and Robot Wars in an oily three-in-bed romp - that's NCsoft's new automotive MMORPG

We should be thankful for the polluted, crime riddled society we live in today. Imagine waking up to a barren post-apocalyptic wasteland in which humans, mutants and biomeks struggle to make ends meet whilst trying to fulfill their megalomaniac tendencies by achieving domination on the highways.

A bit like Milton Keynes, actually. Or more importantly, a bit like NCsoft's PC MMORPG Auto Assault. It's a massive online vehicle-based combat game that can be explored and played either on your own (the loner technique) or in groups ('factions', as they're called on the streets) through loads of complex highly detailed, high-octane scenarios.

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You'll have total freedom to customise and shape your character into your own twisted image, and then you can select whether you want to drive cars, motorcycles or even big, bad-ass rigs. Then you can soup up your motor and use it to create a turbo-charged carnage and destruction as you pillage, plunder and profit.

Auto Assault allows you to embark on PvE adventures across the post-apocalyptic landscape, gaining considerable wealth and infamy through battles and trading. Denver-based developer NetDevil also promises that you want stall your engines trying to get to the next level - they reckon you'll "level up while playing, rather than playing to level up".

But best of all you can test the size of your ball bearings against other hard nuts ready to tear you another exhaust pipe in the PvP arenas. We're expecting fast and furious vehicle-based combat with a healthy does of Mad Max-style action.

Thanks to the Havok physics engine the settings around you are not just there to be admired. Everything can be smashed and blown to bits - you'll be able to send cars flying through the air like big metallic birds and turn towering buildings into pills of dust.

All this is managed with a versatile in-depth map system that generates terrain, creatures and impromptu events happening around the world. The dynamic ability of the map also allows for the possibility of endless and detailed replays on your escapades.

Auto Assault will be available around August in the US, with a UK and European release likely to follow shortly afterwards. Enjoy the screens.

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