A day on from unveiling the Ferrari 499P with a rendering, the first formal gameplay footage has been released using the Le Mans-winning car for Le Mans Ultimate.
As a rFactor 2 derivation, you would be forgiving for thinking Le Mans Ultimate would look and sound identical to the over-a-decade-old driving simulation. Perhaps now, though, we’re starting to see some noticeable differences as we near the new title’s release date.
So far, shiny screenshots have looked promising. But apart from a public test at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans event and a tiny teaser of cars moving on track for the release date announcement, little to no gameplay footage has been available.
That changes today, 21st December 2023, with an onboard lap around Monza with the Ferrari 499P following the car’s unveiling yesterday. You can watch it embedded below.
In action, we can see a refreshed Monza (when compared to rFactor 2), with updated signage such as the WEC digital display above the pitlane entry and what appears to be enhanced lighting effects.
The car’s interior, while masked slightly by a shallow depth of field effect, looks to be extremely detailed. Cables adorn the A-pillar, the carbon fibre weave of the dashboard is noticeable and the steering wheel display rate to the real-world device.
The main takeaway must be the sound, the 120° turbocharged V6 snarling up the rev range accompanied by the electrical hybrid whine – the latter especially noticeable under braking during which the system recoups energy. Unless we’re very much mistaken, it’s analogous to listening to an onboard from the 2023 season. Uncanny.
On the flip side, while gameplay at last is a positive sign of life – plus the accompanying stills of the Prancing Horse on track – we must also note what’s missing to date. Notably, there’s no sign of an in-sim HUD (although one was seen at the Le Mans event) or trackside camera angles and footage so far is bereft of any on-track opponents battling.
Moving images of vehicles using the new-build tracks not carried over from prior platforms – Portimão’s Algarve International Circuit and Fuji Speedway – must also wait for another time, evidently.
While the media has not yet driven Le Mans Ultimate in its current build, it’s set to carry across and build upon rFactor 2’s tyre model, plus add in an asynchronous car-sharing multiplayer mode. We’d be staggered if Motorsport Games’ RaceControl online ranking system wasn’t involved, either.
Let’s hope that we see more from Le Mans Ultimate in the new year, and third parties get to go hands-on before its 20th February 2024 release date.
What do you make of the Le Mans Ultimate gameplay footage? Let us know via X, @OverTake_GG, or in the comments below.