22 Racing Series is an upcoming racing game from the GOATi Entertainment team that combines physics-based racing with real-time strategy to truly revolutionize the racing game genre. While not every feature is available or thoroughly flushed out yet, the early access build gives a nice taste of GOATis vision.
22 Racing Series is set in the 22nd century “in a climate-affected world where resource-intensive racing series have moved online,” according to GOATi. The in-game and real-life idea behind this is that it makes racing accessible to all in a way that has minimal environmental impact. The tracks included are also located in areas most impacted by climate change, such as Antarctica and Florida. It is an interesting approach for a futuristic racing game, even if the setting itself isn’t as important as the gameplay.
Speaking of gameplay, it’s clear that 22 Racing Series is aiming to perfect simulated physics in a more futuristic environment. Things like grip and downforce are vital when making your way around the track, and if you don’t consider those, you’ll find yourself sliding all around like I was at first. Once I got the hang of it, though, the racing was truly excellent. The physics engine they are working with now feels incredible, which is essential for this game to succeed.
Players can collect resources during the race that allow in-race upgrades to the car, and while the system isn’t incredibly deep, it does add to the real-time strategy approach. Choosing between engine torque or tire grip upgrades, for example, has a highly noticeable impact on the racing physics and actually changes how the racing feels. The upgrades also reset after each race, keeping the racing fair.
22 Racing Series features several racing modes that are all quite enjoyable. Circuit racing is your standard racing mode, but there are also choices like time trials and elimination races that up the ante and make it even more enjoyable. In addition, GOATi is working on a Time Trial Royale that will pit 100 players against each other to see who remains as the fastest track driver. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to test out the multiplayer, but the bot racers available in the preview build I played were definitely challenging. I’m looking forward to seeing what these modes are like online against real players or even split screen with a friend.
There is still plenty for 22 Racing Series to do to be a complete racing game, but the basic structure is there to make it a truly revolutionary racing game. The community’s ability to create custom tracks combined with an amazing physics system that incorporates legitimately intriguing strategy options has me excited to see what 22 Racing Series can become once it leaves early access. While it’s not a complete game yet, 22 Racing Series is absolutely a game to keep your eye on if you’re a fan of challenging racing games.
22 Racing Series launches in early access on Steam on November 22nd.