Launch day - video and first impressions

MarkR

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Feb 8, 2017
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Well, this is something truly different and in my opinion well worth picking up. With the usual slow summer for game releases, the FIA Truck Racing game intrigued me. The game launched today and after a quick single lap tutorial that covers the basics of truck control, I was quickly into a race.


First impressions, the good stuff:

+++ Size and weight. Immediately and in real contrast to the usual car racing games the size and weight of these trucks is transmitted superbly, they feel big, slow to react and momentum is key. This is much better than the Mercedes Truck in Forza 7 which feels like an on stilts version of the Forza cars. These trucks handle differently to anything I've tried before.

+++ Water-cooled brakes, managing the brake temperatures with water cooling is a real challenge. If the brakes get too hot the trucks spin easily. Having only a limited amount of water for the race adds to the strategy. I've never seen this before in a game and it is enjoyable.

+++ Narrow power band, these trucks give a new meaning to narrow power band, only 2 gears 7H and 8H really seem to matter after the rolling start and keeping the turbo spinning is essential. I've also noticed the turbo gets damaged.

+++ Handling. The driving in the game is intuitive from the outset. I had to make minimal changes (slightly increase the FFB and ad a little more centre weight with the damper) to the wheel settings. Massive understeer is relayed well if turning in too quickly. Feeling the trucks push wide onto the rumble strips seems right to me. When the turbo spins up the torque overtakes rear grip and the truck starts to oversteer, it's well communicated and intuitive to counter. getting the brakes red hot, usually forgetting to use the water spray, has been the cause of the only strange handling effects I've seen so far.

+++ The game worked from the first load up with no issues. It looks good in 4k to me and holds a steady 50+ FPS with everything maxed out (FPS counter is top right in the video). Race replays also play well at 60fps. There is also an in-game option to display performance during the game.

+++ The AI drivers are decent, on the Hard setting, they race well and leave enough room for the player. The AI trucks make mistakes, recover, get caught out of the powerband and equally fight back hard if they get the chance.

+++ Rules and penalties are well implemented and working. Track limits, penalty bollards, speeding penalties all work as described - which is again great for a game on launch day. Equally impressive is the way the game allows door to door truck racing without caution but hitting another truck at speed results in a contact penalty - it isn't perfect but it's better than many games have.

+ The atmosphere of truck racing with the pace truck etc seems to have been pretty well captured.

+ It has leaderboards and records laptimes (a real shame serious sims like ACC don't have this imo essential feature).

The less good stuff:

- - No track feel. The tracks look good but other than kerbs there is no real track surface feel to speak of.

- Sound is average throughout.

- Tuning options look pretty basic but then I don't know how much tuning is allowed in the real series.

- Contact between trucks feels a bit lightweight and the sounds are quite muted.

- All the rules and penalties can be switched off, good for accessibility of the game but not so much for realism. It looks like that is also true for leaderboard lap times so that might not be such a great choice.

- It looks like a fairly thin game without much content at full price. I picked it up for a good pre-order price and I'd say it's more a £30 game than a full-price £40-50 (consoles!) game.

So far so good:

I'm far more impressed than I expected to be. There is enough that is unique and different to make this game worth playing. The fact everything seems to be working at launch is a bonus.

Add to that I've finally discovered what happened to Nancy from Chase HQ and I'm pleased with what I've seen so far.
 

Balazs Floszmann

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Aug 1, 2014
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I agree with MarkR.
I miss the camera setting like...FoV, seat setting.
I couldn't switch off the auto-pilot in pit.
But it is a good fungame, it is closer to arcade, not a simulator. "Hop in sim" :D If You have half an hour...jump in and drive an elephant! :D
 
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