This isn’t the first lap around the track for Reiza Studios, creator of Stock Car Extreme, Formula Truck 2013 and the free-to-play Copa Petrobas de Marcas. The development team raised money last year through crowdfunding from its biggest fans. The extra funds secured the license and right to modify the engine on which the game is built. Using the knowledge and feedback from previous games, Reiza hopes this will be the title that pushes them to the top of the racing charts.
Some gamers were turned off by early screenshots during development, writing off the new game as just a retitle of Stock Car Extreme. Reiza maintains that all the licenses and assets from previous games have been compiled into one platform. While it does look a lot like Stock Car Extreme, there is so much new content that it seems fair to consider this a completely new game.
Even a mid-level PC can run Automobilista. The minimum system requirements include a 1.8GHz processor, 4GB RAM, and a DX9-compatible graphics card with a mere 1GB memory. The recommended specs aren’t too bad, either: 3.4GHz processor, 16GB RAM and a DX9-compatible graphics card with 2GB. Of course, the faster your PC, the faster the reality is rendered on your screen and delivered to your force feedback wheel.
If you choose to buy Automobilista, you will be gently reminded by Steam that it is a work in progress. Joining the game in Early Access has its benefits: you get more time to practice before the rest of the world jumps on board, you pay less for the game and your feedback could help shape the finished product. However, there will be bugs, there may not be as much content as you’d like, and the game as a whole may look like it needs more polishing. Despite the down sides, it’s always fun to get into a game and watch it evolve as development continues. The final version is expected to drop in late 2016.
Like most Early Access games, Automobilista will be offered at a discount that will continue to shrink until it hits full price when the complete game drops. Starting this weekend, early players will receive a 20 per cent discount. Stock Car Extreme owners who earned the game for free (by applying for a code from Reiza in December or January) will also gain access this weekend. Core game updates will come later at no cost, but the DLC packs will be extra.
An arcade player may spend a few minutes exploring Automobilista and realise that it doesn’t have a flashy photo-sharing feature or special power boosts. The game was created as a simulator, using the specs of real manufacturers’ models to create a virtual replica of each car. The vehicle physics in this latest game should overshadow anything Reiza has done in the past. This time, the beauty is in the details.
The developers say the game demands more than ever from its players. Cars with older gearboxes will need a driver who can shift appropriately. At the same time, newer cars present advanced electronic systems that the driver must learn. The tracks will change from day to night and back again in 24 hour cycles and dynamic weather means track conditions could change at any moment. More detail has been added to the track surface, tyre models and even aerodynamics. Now, if you follow a car with high downforce, you will face an aerodynamic wake. All sounds good in theory, and we’re excited to see if Reiza can pull it off.
In an effort to crank up the competition, Automobilista will regularly host challenges in which players can win real prizes. Though the details have not been released, you can bet there will be some pricey racing sim gear up for grabs. Reiza Studios tells us there will be several servers operating 24 hours a day with a variety of events so that everyone has the opportunity to compete with real players.
Reiza Studios claims its expanding list of motorsports will not disappoint, stating:
You will be able to go from a casual rental kart heat to drifting a Mitsubishi Evo X around rallycross tracks, from jumping ramps in a Supertruck to mastering the driving basics in a Formula Vee, and from trading paints in frantic Mini Challenge races to gruelling 24h multi-class endurance races.
That’s not all. The game will take you through the decades, back to the 70s, racing the most recognised models from each era. A nice balance of retro and modern race cars will make for many more hours of gameplay.