We finally got our key for Rennsport a couple of days ago, not long after giving up on ever getting one. This is a short review of Rennsport in its current and must not be seen as representative of the release version.
All relevant installation instructions are provided in the email from Rennsport that contains the beta key. The key must be redeemed on the Epic Games website and you can then download Rennsport via the Epic Games launcher.
The biggest issues we had were with setting up the force feedback settings correctly for our Moza R9 direct drive wheelbase and FSR wheel as well as getting the game to run smoothly. Our trusty Fanatec Clupsort V3 pedals however worked without issue.
The R9 was detected correctly but the force feedback was reversed and when we tried to leave the pits, the wheel jammed to one side and became undriveable. This issue is mentioned in the installation notes from Rennsport so reversing the feedback fixed it. We made a couple of small tweaks to the force feedback and we could drive out the pits as expected.
The test PC comprises 32GB RAM, an AMD 5800X 8 core/16 threads CPU and 16GB AMD 6900XT GPU. We assumed that this would be more than sufficient to run it smoothly at 4K, and 60 FPS at high settings but we had to turn the settings down from Ultra to High and eventually to Medium to get it to run consistently above 60 FPS. It must be noted that we did not go into individual graphics settings and we're sure that making some small adjustments here should yield a better balance of graphical fidelity versus frames per second.
We loaded up Hockenheim and drove the Audi R8 LMS GT3 evo II. The driving experience wasn't dissimilar to Assetto Corsa Competizione and iRacing. In other words, it felt quite good.
There are no options to adjust the car setup and there's no AI in single-player mode. This means that if you want to practice offline, you'll be alone on track. There is an online multiplayer mode but we couldn't join any sessions at the time of testing since all the sessions were fully booked for the day. We'll test this mode again soon and update the article accordingly.
These are of course minor issues since the game is still in a closed beta form but it is enough to give us a good idea of what the final product may be like.
Good and Bad
The game looks good with excellent car models and realistic-looking tracks. The handling feels really good and the car comes alive once you start to push it towards its limits. Needless to say, this isn't easy immediately but improves very quickly after a couple of laps. Simply put, the handling model is on the simulator side of racing.
We liked the way Rennsport handles off-track incidents and corner-cutting. If you cut a corner, even if it's a small amount, you get notified quickly of the exact amount of time you may have gained. We saw values as low as 0,007 of a second! Once you get the corner-cutting notification, your lap is recorded but marked in red in your lap times list and is automatically an invalid lap.
We didn't like the fact that the game feels poorly optimised in terms of graphical performance. We understand that it's still a beta (closed) but we expected a bit more since the game has been used extensively at Esports level.
Overall, we're happy with what the closed beta of Rennsport has on offer and more importantly, very happy with the handling model and quality of the cars and tracks. We're also fascinated by what Rennsport refers to as Digital Ownership. It seems like Rennsport will be wide open for modders and has the potential to take the base content of the release version and expand it to Assetto Corsa levels of content.
We're not sure if Rennsport's approach to developing the game by focusing more on Esports and less on engaging with the community and pushing out regular updates is the best way forward. However, this may prove to be the correct approach but we'll only know for certain over the coming months.
For now, we'll continue testing the Beta version we received and try our best to contribute with feedback to help make Rennsport a better game on release.