Game: Rfactor 2
Publisher: Image Space Incorporated
Release Date: 28/03/2013
Edit: Just after posting this article, Image Space Incorporated has informed us that the karts and Quebec Karting Circuit are now available: you can download them at the rFactor website.
It wasn't long ago we reported on KartSim getting back on track, an indie project that aims to fill the current void of kart racing games. But now it's about to get some stiff competition, as Image Space Incorporated has announced rFactor 2 is due to receive some karting content, adding to its variety of racing disciplines from touring cars to single seaters.
This should be instantly recogniseable to anyone who has followed rFactor 2 since the beginning – karting-related content was planned at a very early stage of rFactor 2's development, and previews were subsequently released as one of the first glimpses of the game.
Karting will come in two flavours in rFactor 2: Junior and Kart F1. The Junior karts boast 20bhp, which is ample for a vehicle weighing under 150kg (including the driver), while the Kart F1 willl have double the bhp and be slightly heavier, making it more ideal for skilled drivers.
A gameplay video of the karting content has also been released to accompany the announcement, showcasing the Quebec Karting Circuit
rFactor has struggled to stand out against the increasingly crowded sim racing market, particularly when frontrunners Project CARS and Assetto Corsa keep bombarding us with updates and major manufacturer announcements every week. It's reassuring to see rFactor finally set itself apart by featuring a motorsport that's sadly underrepresented in racing games, despite it often being an entry-level for aspiring racing drivers looking to break into motorsport. Lewis Hamilton started his racing career in karting, as did GP3 driver Dino Zamparelli who I interviewed a couple of years ago when he was competing in Formula Two.
Anyone who has ever been go karting in real life will tell you how much fun it is. The sense of speed, achieved by the fact they're so low to the ground, and nippy handling make it an exhilerating experience, even if it leaves you with a crippled back when you clamber out if you're physically unfit. The quick steering also make them all-too-easy to slide round corners, but that's part of the appeal to me. In fact, I go out of my way to slide them just to rile the racing instructors who encourage you not to.