Elements of Project Gotham and Geometry Wars found in Autolog.
Shift 2 developer Slightly Mad Studios believes it is following in the footsteps of the shuttered Project Gotham Racing studio Bizarre Creations.
Speaking to VideoGamer.com at a recent tour of Slightly Mad's London studio, Andy Tudor, design lead, had only good things to say about Bizarre.
"You know, absolutely unfortunate. Those guys, we're kind of following in their footsteps with the work they set out on Project Gotham. Absolutely fantastic game," said Tudor. "I remember playing that 'til midnight and beyond on some nights. And then things like Geometry Wars have inspired modes within our games as well."
He added: "You know, with Autolog, when you look on the HUD, I can see your name on there, which is a constant reminder of your score, your fastest lap - something like that. And that was such a critical thing in Geometry Wars, like playing that game and seeing your name on there - which was frustrating as hell - and just wanting to beat you. Not necessarily wanting to beat my own score, but to beat you. That was really motivating.
"So yeah, good luck to those guys, I hope they bring something new to the table."
With Microsoft reported to be on the lookout for a new studio to take over development of its Project Gotham Racing franchise, we couldn't leave Slightly Mad without asking if it might be taking the reigns.
"No comment," said a slightly flustered Tudor. "And I'm not going to mention anything else on that - just no comment."
That's not a denial.
Shift 2 will be released April 1 for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.