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Hands On With The Auto Club Revolution Beta

I go driving in my car.

This article was written by TSA community member and resident racing legend, JamboGT. The game is still in beta stage, therefore features are subject to change.

Auto Club Revolution is an all new free-to-play PC racing game from Eutechnyx, makers of the Ferrari and Supercar Challenge games, as well as the official NASCAR game. Being free-to-play, I wasn’t too sure what to expect from this game. A simplified physics engine maybe, with some decent graphics and probably made up cars and tracks. However, I was very surprised and genuinely excited about what it actually contains.


The detailed car models impress.
The beta version that’s currently available has three real-world circuits – Spa, Silverstone, and Infineon Raceway – plus LA River, which is an original track where you can speed along a dried out dusty riverbed under the streets of LA bustling with cars and lorries passing over bridges above your head. All of them look great, a massive step up from Eutechnyx’ previous games with good lighting and textures.

On the vehicle side of things, there is a large variety of real world offerings such as the Opel Astra Nurburgring edition, Bugatti Veyrons, GTRs, TVRs, Paganis, BMWs and more. Support is provided for all kinds of controllers and works well with keyboard, gamepad or steering wheel. The game actually worked with a keyboard better than any PC racing game I’ve ever played, so those hardcore enough to use that setup will be happy. I went with the trusty G25 wheel though, and setting it up was painless.

The game has a very small initial download of 200MB or so, with the rest of the game (as if by magic) streaming in as you play. You then access the game via a browser with a very clean Battlelog style interface. All game menus are within this browser environment where you can buy cars, upgrade them, paint them and most importantly race. The livery editor is a particular highlight, having the chance to customise your car using a mouse in a well implemented browser interface seems a much simpler way of tweaking your car’s look.

In “Race Hangout” you can take part in time trial tracks or race with up to seven fellow competitors (8 cars in total). On track, everything was very smooth running at a solid sixty frames-per-second and with a 1080P resolution (the game was tested on a i72600K with 8GB of RAM, 2xGTX560 SLI and a G25 wheel). The cars looked great, though lack a cockpit view, and the tracks are very well represented; driving through the Ardennes forest on Spa is as great as ever.

The physics are at the simulation end of the spectrum, so front wheel drive cars act as they should, with the weight at the front pushing the nose if you enter corners too fast. Lift off oversteer is also well represented, and a big boot of throttle will help to straighten out in those moments.

Rear wheel drive cars such as the Mazda RX8 also react as expected; in fact my first drive in one resulted in a big smile on my face, with slides being controllable and steering feeling nice and direct. The force feedback support is effective and helps you to feel the nuances of the various cars, with all suspension movement and travel as well as weight transfer being realistically translated to the player.


The tracks are nice and detailed.
Collision physics with walls and the like also appear to be realistic, with the car overturning when it should. The game doesn’t feature any actual damage modelling as yet but this didn’t seem to be a problem while playing.

On track, the engine and tyre sounds were very good, with engines roaring and exhausts cracking and popping on the overrun. The tyre noise also helped with feedback as to what the car was doing. Apart from this, environmental noise was rather low if there was any at all, giving a rather sterile feel at times.

The upgrade system also works very well, the car changing noticeably as I applied various tuning options, it was actually a very enjoyable experience feeling the car improve over time.

During races there were a few issues with lag and opponent engine noise but we were assured this was being worked on and as it is a beta these things are to be expected. As a free to play game this should be accessible for the more hardcore driving enthusiasts and those just wanting something to do in their lunchtime.

It is a game I have had my eye on for a while but, as I have said, wasn’t expecting much of but I have to say that I had a lot of fun playing this game. I was very pleasantly surprised by the slickness of what is on offer and the deep driving experience, hopefully many more will be too.

21 Comments
  1. AshGraham99
    Member
    Since: May 2009

    Interesting to hear about this. Not sure if I’ll ever use it, only have a PC or laptop that’s useful enough for browsing the Internet and word processing! And even if I did, I think there’s a few other race sims i’d be looking into first. Especially if this is only capable of running 8 people at once currently.

    Comment posted on 21/12/2011 at 13:11.
    • Jambo
      Member
      Since: Jul 2009

      No idea if there will be changes to the number of people on track or not, it feels like it could certainly handle it.

      Comment posted on 21/12/2011 at 21:54.
  2. philbert8
    The Frankie Boyle Of TSA
    Since: Sep 2010

    Wow, it runs great even on a “basic” PC like that. Looks interesting though thanks for the heads up. Can you trial run or practice?

    Comment posted on 21/12/2011 at 13:11.
  3. SilverCider
    Member
    Since: Jan 2011

    I’ve been in this beta for quite some time now but have only just started to make use of it. I share your thoughts on it entirely! I was extremely sceptical about the quality of the driving prior to trying it. The force feedback provided through a wheel (G25 also) is brilliant, especially in terms of feeling how much grip is available (or unavailable whilst plowing through a corner you forgot about :P) I haven’t had the chance to mess around with many of the cars but the Astra and Corsa are fun. Upgrading the cars seems realistic so far also, with suspension and weight making a huge difference to the way the cars feel through corners.
    “Wow, it runs great even on a “basic” PC like that” – It works flawlessly with a Core i5 750 and a single GTX 560 Ti too as it isn’t particularly taxing on the pc, more your internet bandwidth currently.

    Comment posted on 21/12/2011 at 13:25.
    • Jambo
      Member
      Since: Jul 2009

      Yeah the way the upgrades changed the car were really noticeable, really good.

      Comment posted on 21/12/2011 at 21:51.
  4. tonyyeb
    Member
    Since: Aug 2010

    After an early bad impression of the game I’ve decided Jambo has convinced me to give it another try. I’ll have to hook my wheel up though as I found the keyboard controls difficult, with over correction being a huge problem.

    Comment posted on 21/12/2011 at 13:26.
  5. Manorhowze
    Driving God
    Since: Dec 2008

    Looks interesting but I doubt my PC could handle it. Might check it out on the off chance that it runs though.

    I know tony didnt get on with it so I would be curious to plsy it to see for myself.

    Comment posted on 21/12/2011 at 13:29.
    • tonyyeb
      Member
      Since: Aug 2010

      I respect Jambo’s opinion that much that I’m going to give it a second chance. I wonder if I could give you my login details so you could try it for yourself?

      Comment posted on 21/12/2011 at 13:48.
      • freezebug2
        Member
        Since: Dec 2008

        Wow! The power of that Irish charm :O

        Comment posted on 22/12/2011 at 18:00.
    • Jambo
      Member
      Since: Jul 2009

      My PC is crsap and it did run on it also so you may be surprised.

      Comment posted on 21/12/2011 at 21:52.
      • Jambo
        Member
        Since: Jul 2009

        crasp….

        Comment posted on 21/12/2011 at 21:55.
      • freezebug2
        Member
        Since: Dec 2008

        Shite?

        Comment posted on 22/12/2011 at 18:04.
  6. Tomhlord
    Team TSA: Writer
    Since: Apr 2009

    Nice write up JGT! Like Ash, my computers are only for web and work so wouldn’t be handling this :( Looks interesting, the free-to-play model is something I like to hear about. Certainly based on the screen shots it’s a damn sight easier on the eye than Supercar Challenge ever was!

    Comment posted on 21/12/2011 at 13:34.
    • tonyyeb
      Member
      Since: Aug 2010

      I liked Supercar Challenge if not the most pretty game ever to grace the PS3, it was quite good fun with decent physics and enough fun to stop it being a borefest.

      Comment posted on 21/12/2011 at 13:49.
  7. cam the man
    Member
    Since: May 2009

    Have been keeping up with the development of this game but haven’t had a chance to try it. Hope they add a cockpit view before it’s released.

    Comment posted on 21/12/2011 at 13:37.
  8. bacon_nuts
    Member
    Since: Mar 2011

    I assume it’s only for PC then? No mention of mac anywhere on the website. Shame, it looks pretty good.

    Comment posted on 21/12/2011 at 14:56.
    • Jambo
      Member
      Since: Jul 2009

      I was going to say I don’t know, but Cam below seems to have been playing on his Macbook.

      Comment posted on 21/12/2011 at 21:57.
      • bacon_nuts
        Member
        Since: Mar 2011

        So he does, thanks very much!

        Comment posted on 22/12/2011 at 10:33.
      • CarBoyCam
        Member
        Since: Sep 2009

        Probably should have mentioned that I was playing on Windows 7 using Boot Camp. You should try Boot Camp, Bacon, it’s very useful for the rare times that a Mac fails to deliver. :P

        Comment posted on 22/12/2011 at 15:40.
  9. CarBoyCam
    Member
    Since: Sep 2009

    Just tried it on my MacBook (Intel Core 2 Duo 2.1 GHz, 2 GB RAM) and it was slow, but from what I made out, I was impressed with.

    I will try it on my new Gaming PC when I have it built. I think it’ll be ace with the right hardware.

    Only thing which I don’t like is the browser-based-ness. I like everything to be in one program, one reason why I’m hesitant about BF3 on PC…

    Comment posted on 21/12/2011 at 17:12.
  10. freezebug2
    Member
    Since: Dec 2008

    I might give it a go, seeing as my Logi wheel will work on a PC, I think that the last racer that I played on a PC was Microprose Formula 1. Like others have said though mine is not a gaming PC so I wouldn’t expect miracles!

    Comment posted on 22/12/2011 at 18:03.

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