There are simulations, and then there are simulations. In the world of PC racing sims, few developers have a pedigree on par with Image Space Incorporated. With a that includes Sports Car GT, F1 Challenge '99-'02 and two NASCAR Thunder ti 2094 tles, the Michigan-based developer is the go-to team for racing simulations. Their racing game engines are so competent, in fact, that other developers license ISI's code as the foundation for their racing sims (GTR and GT Legends developer SimBin, for instance, uses ISI technology in their racing games). Since 2004, the premiere racing simulation has been ISI's rFactor, one of the most feature-rich racing experiences this side of a real race car. Until now, rFactor has been distributed only over the Internet. Last fall, ISI issued the first boxed release of rFactor in Europe, and the DVD version is now available in stores in North America. We take a look at the DVD release in this review.
rFactor Intro Trailer
rFactor's focus is providing an accurate simulation of racing physics for both open-wheel and sedan racers. Initially, ISI lacked the licensing rights to include authentic vehicle manufacturers and real-world tracks. Since its initial release, however, rFactor has slowly incorporated a handful of real tracks under pseudonyms (such as Nuerburg for the famous German Nürburg track) and one bona-fide licensed vehicle (a BMW Formula One make). One of the hallmarks of rFactor is its openness - the racing experience can be modified in nearly every respect, from user-made tracks and vehicles to custom physics models. Thanks to an SDK, the amount of quality third-party content is staggering, and the dedication of the online community is second to none. Many familiar vehicle makes and models are available in the form of freely downloadable mods, fleshing out the rFactor experience.
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