A cinematic shot of cars racing in Rennsport

It’s been eagerly awaited. There has been a long wait for a new racing challenger to come along. People are still happily modding the life out of Assetto Corsa and which came out a decade ago.

As sim racing gets more and more popular and gear to play the games beyond using a standard game controller comes down in price there has been a resurgence in interest. About to jump above that wave is new race sim Rennsport, which has the benefit of using Unreal Engine 5 so we know it is going to look fine!

Having gone through a recent closed beta, Rennsport has just dropped into Open Beta form on Epic Games Store before it heads into Early access later in the year. It’s free to play and you will be able to add a free GT car to your garage just for taking part and there’s a choice of four to pick from. This is done when you first load the game and are sent off on a tangent to sign up for a Rennsport account. It’s all very simple although I was irritated by having an error on my sign-up form because I had dared to use a capital letter at the beginning of my username. Really? Grammar is that dead now?

Once that is done you can use those deets to log into the game proper and you are presented with a fairly standard Assetto Corsa/Project Cars main menu.

The first thing I did was calibrate my attached Moza Racing R3 wheel and pedals. This was more fiddly than I would have liked, but I am putting it down to me not reading the on-screen instructions properly. I ended up the first couple of times with the wheel calibrated wrong by 90 degrees.

Eventually, I sorted it out and was then able to have a look at by choice of cars and tracks, which is pretty good for an open beta – what we will get eventually may be less though. I checked to see if my free car was there and it was, no problems and from there I could select my car and track to head out onto.

The Rennsport shop

Before I did I checked by the game’s Item shop where there are three different tiers of Founder’s Pack which you can purchase to support the devs. The cheapest is £15.99/$19.99 and for that, you get a voucher for another car and a track, plus a cosmetic Founder’s badge. The other two are more expensive and offer things such as your name in the game and extra car vouchers. Overall it’s not too bad if you think you will be investing in Rennsport going forward.

Heading to the track

To be clear this is not a review or even close to a preview, the game only came out an hour or so at the time of writing but I will give you my first impressions here.

The track loads quickly enough and from there you can hit a key to start off in the pit lane. A ticker below your mirror shows you your speed and the speed limit for the Pit Lane and this vanishes when you are free to accelerate into the nearest wall.

I took the first couple of laps easy to get a feel for it and the driving seemed very responsive. The graphics are really nice and the engine sounds were realistic and not obnoxious. The Moza Racing wheel handled very well and it is clear Rennsport is at a pretty polished stage ahead of Early Access.

We covered some of the ideas the devs have around monetization and this will ultimately make or break the game when it comes to the users. At the moment the three tiers of starter Founders’ pack are fine, but Assetto Corsa, while having its own DLC packs thrived on the back of community mods.

There have already been cross-words between the developers here and rFactor2 devs who have accused them of using their technology and what we don’t need is a massive catfight. We just want another great racing game to play with.

You can check out Rennsport on Epic Games Store right now and we will be covering its evolution further in the coming weeks when we have played it a lot more.

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