A Crazy Taxi Reboot Is Coming

News

It’s been so long since the Crazy Taxi days. It’s amazing in this era of reboots and remakes we almost missed out on the one game that should’ve received it day one. Sega had expressed an initiative to reboot some of their old franchises on new gen hardware on last year’s Game Awards such as rebooting/remaking Jet Set Radio, Shinobi, Streets of Rage and of course Crazy Taxi.

How Long has it Been Actually?

The first Crazy Taxi game released in 1999 available as an arcade game and then it was released on Dreamcast around the 2000s. It quickly became a best selling game on the Dreamcast, later being ported to the PlayStation 2, GameCube etc. Subsequently a total of 8 games were released, the last console installment called Crazy Taxi:Fare Wars was released in 2007 being a combined port of Crazy Taxi and Crazy Taxi 2 on the PlayStation Portable (PSP).

There were more recent releases for the franchise but on mobile systems (Android, iOS) from 2014 (Crazy Taxi City Rush) and 2017(Crazy Taxi Tycoon). Crazy Taxi Tycoon was delisted from both Google Play and the Apple App store in April 2020.

This Reboot is Planning to be ‘Large-scale, Open-world, Online’

In some recent job postings for Sega, the game is being referred to as being a ‘large-scale, Open-world, online’ and a ‘massive-multiplayer driving game’. The job postings also included a preference on applicants who had experience in “car game production” and “multiplayer action battle production”, alongside this the game is being crafted in Unreal engine 5.

In a developer focused interview reported and translated by Automaton, the details on it being a large-scale, open-world’ were confirmed and the producer Kenji Kanno said that the game will have many players active at once but it will at its heart try to maintain the classic Crazy Taxi style. There are various mentions of a theme-park like map and a setting inspired by the U.S West coast. There some images released one of which showed a player character driving a police car. This gave rise to speculations about what kind of new modes are going to be introduced to the game.

This setting and style of gameplay isn’t at all new, giants in this style of gameplay are Forza Horizon and Ubisoft’s The Crew, although they didn’t have the privilege of being on arcades of the 2000s and onwards. This begs the question of how successful this reboot would be when comparing it to Forza Horizon and The Crew. It has been almost 2 decades since the last console release so would this reboot instill enough of a sense of nostalgia for people to buy and maybe relive some of the iconic moments from Crazy Taxi?

Will it Thrive?

It’s honestly hard to answer if it’s going to be successful, it could be the scenario that the hype isn’t enough for it and people ignore it even though it could be genuinely fun to play. The reception has been mixed as people didn’t really want a reboot of Crazy Taxi as its core point was in the end kind of simple. To go from point A to B in whatever manner possible and that would get boring pretty quickly. Games have evolved a lot since the 2000s. There is so much better story, so much more intricate gameplay mechanics, so much more creative depth to any triple A title that the inevitable question is “What will ‘Crazy Taxi’ offer that these tried and tested iconic driving games won’t?”.

There are hints and screenshots that give clues about new game modes and new ways to enjoy this reboot but there are no concrete confirmations regarding them. It is difficult to tell at this time whether the experience offered will truly be unique or not and can this compare with juggernaut titles like Forza horizon and The Crew which have their own unique experiences going for it.

If Crazy Taxi goes for a smaller price point than try to compete with Forza Horizon and The Crew then it’s very likely it could become really successful as with the current amount of information on the game it’s very likely to not win against either of the 2 games because of its inherently simplicity in its objectives.

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