LOS ANGELES - Wicked Pictures combines XXX action with the feel of contemporary video games in director Brad Armstrong's new interactive DVD Race 2 Race.
"It's like Street Fighter, only instead of fighting, the characters have sex," Armstrong told AVN. "We haven't really jumped on the interactive bandwagon yet, so this is something we're trying as a jumping-off point. It's a first step toward this kind of interactivity."
Race to Race was originally conceived as a straightforward interracial porn movie. Looking for a way to make the concept more interesting, Armstrong hit on the idea of a video game format.
"I saw a commercial for one of these games like Halo, and I thought that would be cool," he explained. "So the next step was meeting with Dimension DVD to find out if we have the technology to make this possible."
The DVD menu is set up like a cage match. The viewer chooses a character from a selection of 17 cast members, and the DVD hardware matches the player with an "opponent". The disc also offers the option to bypass the gaming aspect through a 'single play' option that delivers the content as a continuous feature.
Wicked's Jackie Ramos and Sonny Rojas of Dimension DVD supervised the technical aspects of the project. While the interactivity is limited, Armstrong said, the results are impressive enough to pave the way for more advanced game play in future releases.
"They did a great job with the look and the vibe that it gives you," Armstrong said. "It has that video game sensibility and the feel of a character-driven game. Sonny was the head designer and did all of the graphics. The menu gives you each character's stats and bio. Jessica Drake did the animated computer voice - 'chose player now,' 'computer picking opponent.' We also had some great costuming, so when you've got a girl from Asia and a guy from Africa and a guy from Britain, each character's costume fits their country."
Armstrong told AVN that Wicked hopes to "pull out all the stops" for its next interactive release, increasing the options to satisfy the expectations of today's gamers.
"We're trying to build on the interactive standard," Armstrong said. "Because video games have set such a high bar, we don't want to come out with something lame like some of the other interactive DVDs out there. I think the technology has evolved so much since the early interactives came out that you have to elevate things to meet the standard of the audience."
Race 2 Race stars Armstrong, Wicked contract girl Mikayla Mendez, Jasmine Byrne, Mia SMiles, TJ Cummings, Nyomi Banxxx, Maya Gates, Tommy Gunn, Amile Waters, Christian XXX, Dick Delaware, Victoria, Sin, Tyler Knight, Marcus London, Deep Threat, Tyler Faith, Marco Banderas and Gianna Lynn (pictured).
A separate game gives the viewer access to DVD bonus features, including a blooper reel and a bonus sex scene with Mikayla Mendez as an American Indian.
The DVD streets Sept. 17.