Additional Le Mans Ultimate footage has been released, with gameplay showcasing the sim’s user interface and HUD in action for the first time.
Not only do we witness Sebring in action within a multi-class practice session, but this is also the first time we can see the user interface being used (outside of still images) and the HUD expected at launch.
Menus In Action
When rFactor 2 Online – the ranked multiplayer system for the venerable simulator – launched last year, the segmented menu system looked noticeably different from the rest of the platform.
Le Mans Ultimate is seemingly a progenitor of those foundations, with a UI that looks nothing like Motorsport Games and Studio 397’s previous offerings.
The options such as track and car selection look to be in large, clear, blocks with the livery selection displayed through a three-quarter perspective car shot.
The latest footage shows a cursor navigating through the various options – while an improved driving experience with a gamepad has been touted, initially, you will not be able to navigate the menus with a controller.
At the top right, you can see both ‘DR’ (driver rating) and ‘SR’ (safety rating) scores, reflecting the ranked online system functional from the title’s release.
Conspicuously, only the surface-level menus are showcased, with items such as advanced options and car setup omitted so far.
The home screen highlights how bereft of modes LMU will be at launch, with just the simple race weekend (practice, qualifying and race) and ranked online initially available. But hey, this platform is now somewhat inoculated by the early access moniker.
Glickenhaus SCG 007 LMH
Ticking off the last box in the Hypercar category for the embryonic roster is the Glickenhaus SCG 007. The LMH car was briefly spotted lining up at the back of a grid during last week’s early access reveal trailer, but now the non-hybrid entry has been fully showcased.
That means in-sim images of all aspects, front, rear and inside. Based on these depictions, it looks as accurate as the other LMH and LMDh representations shown, replete in its 2023 blue design.
The gameplay footage for this car isn’t direct capture, but rather genial rFactor 2 expert and esports competitor Michi Hoyer. You can see he locks the front right heading into Turn Two, immediately flagging a red tyre icon on-screen. Towards the end of the lap, power-on oversteer is prevalent.
Also visible is the functioning rear-view camera and the tyres working away through the front wing’s cut-outs.
To date, the engine sounds have been exemplary. The sim racing equivalent of the Pepsi Challenge, the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans-winning Ferrari 499P sounds so lifelike it would be hard to spot the virtual version and the real-world version when played back-to-back.
The HUD Exists!
We were getting slightly worried there. Apart from a very basic on-screen rev and gear indicator at the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans preview event, the heads-up display has been absent.
Mercifully, this has now been ‘displayed’ with a sleek new design. Top left are the standings, top right lap time information and bottom right revs, temperatures, gears, fuel and energy meters.
In the lower-left corner looks to be a display that the driver can cycle through, showing relative timings in these clips, but with what looks to be repair, fuel and electricity icons among others.
Just above here is an on-screen track map, and note the option of a virtual rear mirror.
The main takeaway is perhaps that, like the main menus, this is something refreshing compared to the development team’s prior efforts.
Aside from in trailers, this is also the first time the spotter is heard during gameplay footage – voiced by motorsport commentator and competitor Piers Prior. He provides your lap time, but also seemingly updates about the session and items like tyre temperature.
Today’s footage also marks the first on-board video captured using a steering wheel input. Any definitive judgements about the performance of AI-powered rivals will be reserved for later this month.
Outside of the smaller details, the broadcast-style footage as the sun sets released on social media is atmospheric. A relief to see vehicles from the three categories mixing on track as opposed to just the single-car on-board clips released earlier in the year.
With just 11 days until the early access release, the deluge of information has been a welcome challenge to keep pace with. Now all that remains is for people outside of the responsible company to go hands-on…
What do you make of the recent Le Mans Ultimate gameplay? Let us know in the comments below, or via X – @OverTake_gg.