We all know the Juiced story by now - developed by the ex-Rage Lamborghini team, dumped when Acclaim went defunct, picked up and tuned up by THQ, and then delayed some more.
Thankfully the story is about to come to an end, with the game finally confirmed for release for Xbox, PS2 and PC on June 17. It's good news for all involved because Juiced could be one of the hottest street racers to hit the tarmac this year.
So we were particularly revved up when THQ rolled this stack of exclusive screenshots our way. They focus on two particular and unique aspects of Juiced: The Crew system and the online mode.
See, Juiced is all about respect. If you don't have it, you don't have anything. As you make a name for yourself in Angel City you'll have to impress eight different crews, each with their own distinctive characteristics. Biggi Mombasa's AWB, for instance, loves big betting, while Carlos Carillos' Legion isn't interested unless your prepared to race for pink slips. It's a cracking way to add personality and conflict to the racing, especially when you can develop your own crew stocked with AI drivers who will learn from your training.
The respect system gets kicked up a gear when you race Juiced online. Now you're dealing with real, living petrolheads, all out to prove that they are the king of the blacktop. Every car you win and modify in the single-player game can be taken seamlessly into the online game, and you can search for specific races to take part in like, for example, Toyota Supras with less than 400bhp.
You can even race online for pink slips - the right to keep your opponents car if you smoke him to the finish line. It's not for the faint-hearted, though - once you've agreed to the race any disconnection or attempt to cheat will instantly lose you your motor.
There's plenty of opportunity to form online car communities too. Voice chat is available on all three versions so you can compare mods, discuss tuning, or trashtalk your opponents as you leave them coughing on your nitrous. Plus you can form online crews and race as a team, cementing your reputation in the process.
Juiced will be available on June 17 for Xbox, PS2 and PC.