"Real Racing 3." (All rights reserved - Firemonkeys / EA)
Portable motor racer Real Racing 3 has what developer Firemonkey is describing as "Time Shifted Multiplayer", which uses AI control to ape the behaviour of real human racers, meaning that players can "race anyone, anytime, even if they're offline."
It's unlike a traditional "ghost race," in which players swap lap data and chase a see-through version of their friend's vehicle, because the ghost racers of Real Racing 3 shove back against careless drivers.
And where ghost racers in Mario Kart Wii, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, Trials Evolution and the Trackmania titles let you copy their lines as closely as possible, the human-AI hybrids of Real Racing 3 won't be so accommodating.
"When your friends play online, their results are sent to our servers and they're made available for you to compete with later," said community manager Sam Mayo, speaking from the Firemonkeys' Australian studio. "You can challenge your friends' times that might have been recorded days or weeks ago."
On creating the special multiplayer mode, programmer Ptolemy Oberin explained "you have to have [the other drivers] drive like the real player would, but without the real player there to do the controls."
"Making sure your AI is controllable in a way that lets you kind of become a doppleganger for the real person is really where the challenge of Time Shift Multipayer comes through."
There are also glimpses of several new circuits, such as Suzuka and Spa, as well as the Kenigsegg Automotive AB and Pagani Automobili supercars.