Developer: Funselektor Labs | Publisher: Funselektor Labs
Estimated Release: 2020
Platforms: PC and SteamOS + Linux
Art of Rally is a top-down rally racer developed by Funselektor Labs. This is the second game from the studio and a progression from their first game, Absolute Drift. Our first hands on look at the overhauled game mechanics came into full view when Funselektor released a demo of Art of Rally. The drift mechanics of Absolute Drift have blossomed into something else altogether in this new game.
Art of Rally will feature a single player career mode with 60 stages across 5 countries. As it stands there doesn't appear that there will be a multiplayer mode. Over 50 cars will be available from Group B, Group S, 60s, 70s, and 80s. Ensuring a true rally feel, there are settings that allow your car to take damage and repair between stages, all while you jam out to 50 original tunes. The tracks and cars are not striving for realistic models as many other rally racing games, but the driving physics make you feel like the game is matured beyond its unusual style and perspective.
I jumped right into a single race and left all the settings at default. As I approached the first corner I didn’t lift or brake nearly as much as I should have, which consequently sent me flying off the track. This highlighted my glaring mistake of thinking the game would have more of an arcade feel. My tumbling car screamed otherwise.
The delightfully “styled” nature of the graphics lulled me into a false sense of security. Each corner continued breaking that perception, where I discovered just how much fun it is to make mistakes. The amount of spectacular crashes I’ve accumulated brought me a lot of joy and laughter. After finishing my first race, I took the developers advice and started taking it slower. Figuring out how to pull off pendulum and hairpin drifts brought me nearly as much joy as watching my car flip end over end from hitting a hill at the wrong angle and too much speed.
The demo includes
One race track
One stage, but with various times of day and weather
Two cars to pick from
Assists and difficulty settings
The demo version includes stability and ABS settings so beginner level players can start slow and work their way up to higher difficulty settings. Transmission settings offer both fully automatic and manual w/clutch. Damage settings can be turned down to aid in the growth of driving prowess.
The environmental effects are well done and stay true to the sim aspects in the rest of the game. Driving in grass is slow and slippery, rain and puddles put you on skates, hill grade affects acceleration and braking…it’s all there.
A car's class is reflected in its performance and you’ll notice the difference with the two available in the demo. The stylized car models are fun to look at but hold true to the originals they are modeled after. The added bonus of car hashtags on the undercarriage is a great way for players to share and tag their footage from camera mode. Plus, it’s fun to see while doing those flips and spins!
It's a little bit unexpected to see this scope of simulation mechanics, but Art of Rally has so much depth to it that it should be a game hardcore rally fans keep an eye out for when it releases later in 2020.