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.
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.[drop] 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.