The anti-gravity racing genre has been MIA for a long time. The success of games like Wipeout and F-Zero seem like a distant memory these days. The only recent entry is Fast Racing Neo, a pretty good Wii U exclusive. Thankfully the people at R8 Games are looking to bring the insane speeds and tight turns of the genre to the PC, and they’ve been kind enough to send me a preview copy along with 2 free codes to give away to you fine people!
These screenshots don’t do justice to just how fast this racer is.
Formula Fusion is currently in Early Access on Steam, which can be beneficial in some cases. Darkest Dungeon and Starbound are two games recently released from Early Access and are excellent. I this this will be the case for Formula Fusion as well. As it stands, the game is limited to single races, practice and multiplayer with 4 tracks and 3 vehicles. However, from these modes and choices it’s clear that a very good base has been created. The vehicles are very fast and responsive, the tracks varied and interesting to look at (if you can find a split second to!) and the future plans for the game show a good development schedule. So far R8 have been releasing monthly updates including new features, vehicles and tracks and plan on continuing to do so right up until the game’s final release.
The tracks look gorgeous with lots of little details.
Future plans include multiple campaign modes, involving different teams, researching weapons and upgrading your ship. You’ll be approached by agents who will sign you to teams who will specialise in different aspects of racing. The racing itself is really rather good. I found it played best using a controller, with A handling acceleration, X for weapons and the L and R triggers to activate an air brake on each side of your ship. The air breaks work well, allowing you to drift around corners once you have a good idea of the track layout. At the moment the tutorial is fairly lacking, giving you very little information and I discovered how these worked more through trial and error. Hopefully there will be a full tutorial closer to the final release. However, once you get to grips with it, the sensation of speed is fantastic, especially when using a high end, upgraded ship.
In spite of being work in progress, the racing feels quite polished at this stage.
The game runs pretty well, even on my 4-year-old laptop, although I had to turn the graphics down a little to maintain a good framerate (No surprise considering the age of the system I’m using). I would think anything approaching a modern system will run this without too much trouble, even though it looks gorgeous.
Power ups on the track give you weapons and recharge your shields whilst boots pads will give you a burst of speed.
The menus right now need some work. They don’t navigate too well, and upgrading your ship can be a little tricky if you’re using mouse controls. A controller helps here, but hopefully it will be tidied up over time. The menu isn’t why you’re playing the game though. The racing is, and as it stands that aspect is pretty great. If the developers stick to their plan, there should be an excellent racing game released from this, and I’m looking forward to see how it develops. The team are very community friendly and are keeping players and prospective players up to date with news as it develops. A lot of Early Access developers could learn from this approach.
Now, if you’d like a copy of this for free (it’s currently £15 on Steam, but I believe it will be rising to £30 on release), leave a comment below telling me just what colour you want your fancy ship to be, give it a re-tweet and follow on Twitter (@robcovell), or a share on Facebook to be in with a chance of winning one of two free copies. This is running from August 7th 6PM BST until August 14th 6PM BST. I’ll let winners know once the draw is made. Good luck!