ZEROCAR: Future Motorsport – Review

Sleek and fast (until you crash)

ZEROCAR: Future Motorsport, by Evil Games is a near-future super high speed arcade racer, that is in Early Access currently.

As a racing game there is no story to speak of, the only reason we know it is a futuristic game is the title, and the designs of the cars, beyond that you just select a track and drive.

Where Nascar meets NASA

Soundwise, the game has some nice synthy menu music, kind of similar to Wipeout or Ridge Racer (which are also the closest comparisons to the gameplay, I would wager they are the largest inspirations for the developers too), but when you’re racing there is no music, it is starkly silent, with only the sound of your car, a sort of electric sound when you speed up, another when you hit the brakes, a lot of tire screeching when you take any corners and a mass of sounds crunching together when you crash, these sounds are effective enough but could be balanced a little better, the tires screeching and crashes are much louder than the more satisfying sounds of the throttle and brake, and the lack of music I found to detract fairly heavily from the experience, as the tracks are decently long so the sound-effects become grating after a short while.

Graphically, for an indie developer it looks quite nice, being built in the Unreal 4 Engine you’ll see a lot of staples from other games such as the dynamic lighting, glossy and somewhat shiny textures and the like, where it stands out though are the designs of the cars, only a few are currently available but they all look quite interesting, like existing sport and formula one racing cars updated with streamlined futuristic bodies.

Look at those clouds

Gameplay for the game is again rather limited at this stage, with the only options currently available being a tutorial stage and a time attack mode for the small handful of available tracks.

Each track has it’s own designs, with some having an abundance of twists and turns and others being built with more straightaways, the straightaways are the most fun parts, as the cars can reach fairly high speeds when they don’t need to turn, and when you get the actual feeling of speed the game can convey it feels really good, unfortunately these moments are just that, moments, even the tracks with the longest straightaways will throw slight and major turns at you consistently, which makes sense from a design standpoint because it’s all about the skill on how you handle the corners, if you drop speed enough to take them safely or try hitting them at high speeds and risk veering off the course and having to reset, but for a low skilled player, allowing them to feel the rush of hitting max speed could have brought them on board to learn how to control the turns better.

In the future Penguins have taken over the mascot business

The cars handle adequately, but they feel somewhat floaty, as if you’re hovering over the track instead of sitting on top of it, paired with the futuristic engine noises, for the first part of the game I thought I was piloting a futuristic flying car, like one of the ships from Wipeout but with a more recognisable formula one design, I did have some confusion about the sound of the tires screeching when I took the corners until I turned the camera to see the car from a side view and realised I did indeed have standard F1 wheels, (to be honest, I was a little disappointed by this fact as a hovercar just seems so much more futuristic to me and a real missed opportunity), it’s easy to lose control while drifting, and as far as I can tell there is no way to enter a manual drift like in Mario Kart, you just drift when you turn and drive, so in most situations it’s best to just slow down, go around the corner and speed up again, the cars accelerate quite rapidly so it’s easy enough to get back into things, but due to the track designs you’ll find yourself needing to slow down for another corner before long, because of this it’s easy to become impatient and just see how many turns you can take without slowing down, although the full bends are not possible to do this on, and you will likely crash, which has no effect other than slowing you down a little and cosmetic damage, you can scuff up the car as much as you want, performance will not be effected.

Really that’s about it for this game so far, although there are plans to add more game modes, the only one currently is the time trial, you can race at different times of the day, mostly this just changes the look of the track, however the night time races do make it hard to see anything that isn’t directly in front of you, so you’ll need to rely more on the small onscreen display which shows you what the upcoming section of the map looks like, other than that it’s just the same thing for each track, so you are both literally and figuratively left spinning your wheels.

Fastest candy cane out there

In coffee terms, ZEROCAR: Future Motorsport, is coffee beans and water, the beans themselves seem like the quality is quite nice but they still need to be ground, the water boiled and any other ingredients added to really know what quality of beverage you are looking at.

Ar0n is the 11 year old brother of the author (and the other half of The Game Bros with Sirhc and Ar0n YouTube channel)

Ar0n says: “I think it is a good game, the only thing they really need to fix is the controls at high speeds, you fly off really easy and you crash too much, you should have an option to turn off crashes so you can just drive really fast and have fun, it also needs races against computers and other players, I love the car styles, they look really fast and cool, not my favourite racing game but I liked it, that’s basically it”.

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