Entertainment, Software Programs

Ferrari answers Volvo, releases a free racing game


For the past four years, Ferrari went aggressively with the use of Internet and computing related technologies. This sports car manufacturer vastly expanded its online presence and the company wasn’t afraid to try the newest technologies. For instance, you can see Ferrari’s latest Formula 1 car in a Full 360 degree view with various levels of zoom on a dedicated website that is by far – the best out of any F1 team. It didn’t stop there, as the Ferrari California was launched through a series of exclusive e-mails that included the details of the car such as sound of the engine, the door opening, the pressing of the engine button and so on.

Today, the company moves one step forward. Unlike mediocre games that were charged more "because it’s a Ferrari game", Ferrari decided to give away a full game. Developed by System 3, London-based publisher, this game is currently in a rolling start phase, as Ferrari decided against charging for the game – instead the company will cover the costs of development and give the game away.

Impressive motion blur effects - finally some good sense of speed.
Impressive motion blur effects – finally some good sense of speed.

The plan is to feature all the Ferraris, past and present, and feature race tracks owned by Ferrari. In this first release, there are three Ferraris you can race; you have the F430 Scuderia, the venerable 599 GTB Fiorano and the 612 Scaglietti. All of these cars come in about 30 different colors [Ferrari standard palette, Ed.] and some of them are hideous, so I decided to go with the traditional colors.

Currently, there is only one track, Mugello. This will be followed by Fiorano, Varano and Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari [Imola Circuit]. This is also an excellent demonstration of Ferrari Corse Clienti program [registered Ferrari owners can send an e-mail and come to drive their Ferrari around the Ferrari-owned circuits – Ed.].

The game itself appears to be fairly high quality enabling high grass texture quality as well as motion blur and vehicle damage. There is also support for high resolution widescreens, I tested this game on my GeForce GTX260-192 card at 1920×1200 at all settings cranked to the max – it played flawlessly at 60 fps and above.

Yes, Ferrari on a Mugello circuit, going up the hill in the first sector (don't tell ed, we know this is one of his favorite tracks).
Yes, Ferrari on a Mugello circuit, going up the hill in the first sector.

The one thing that I noticed was that I had accidentally forgot to uninstall my Nvidia 3D vision drivers for the 3D gaming and the drivers identified the Ferrari game as compatible and threw it into 3D mode if I toggled in and out of the game. There is also quite realistic vehicle damage, after a little bit of messing around I was able to get the bumper to come off and a few other things to happen. It looked pretty realistic to me. There is some type of in-game physics engine that we noticed while playing this game. We are not quite sure about any form of PhysX support at this time [probably just the CPU, it will be available on consoles too, Ed.], but we will look into it. The system requirements to run this game can be found on the Ferrari page.

This game will also be playable on the Internet with your friends on a future date – which is currently undisclosed. There is also an atelier mode to the game where you can customize and import your own cars and right now it appears to be limited to just the Ferrari California, which i coincidentally was able to get a glimpse of during its "international" debut at the L.A. Autoshow.

First impressions

Overall, this isn’t a bad game to try out, after all it is free, and there are varying levels of hardness but only one track to choose from, but this game is so new we have not had the opportunity to fully explore this game. As soon as the game comes out in its full form, we will do a complete review, alongside with our Total Cost of Entertainment [TCE] formula. For now, we treat this game as a public beta.

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