Live for Speed - Special, Rennspiel, PC - Das Spielemagazin. Kritisch. Ehrlich. Aktuell. Das Spielemagazin. Kritisch. Ehrlich. Aktuell.

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It’s now over one year ago since Live for Speed S1 has been released. During the Games Convention in Leipzig we had the possibility to test the pre-alpha of the next version "Stage 2”. What we can tell you is that we were really surprised how many new features the three LFS developers could add in such a short time! It is really nice to see the constant progress of the LFS development from the first demo in September 2002 over S1 last summer up to the S2 pre-alpha. And there will be even more new features implemented until the S2 release this winter.

Deutsche Version

The menus

Immediately after the first start of S2 you notice the completely reworked menus. Instead of the old dos-like graphics a new menu interface with semi-transparent buttons and background pictures has been included. The colours of the menu can be customized as well as changing the background pictures. With this new system you have the possibility to create your own team menu design with your logos and cars. Despite the new look the fast navigation and loading time of the menus has been maintained.

The graphics

The ingame graphics have also been massively improved. The cars now feature transparent windows which make the drivers and interiors visible from the outside. The cockpit and external views now use exactly the same 3D model which leads to a higher degree of realism and makes new onboard camera positions possible. Furthermore the new cars and tracks use a higher polygon count and high-res textures which makes them look much better than the old ones. Even tiny details like the doorknob or bodywork clips are modelled in 3D!

The existing S1 cars and tracks have not been modified yet, but they will very likely be changed until the S2 release. The car reflections have also been improved, you can now see the clouds reflecting on the car and windows. In the new FZ 50 you even see nice reflections on the wooden interior which looks just great. The rear-view mirrors are now also visible from the outside views which looks nice if you want to create your own onboard cameras.

The sound

As LFS generates it’s own engine sound depending on the engine datas, changing some wave files is not enoug. The developers had to rewrite the sound algorithms and did a good job in improving the sound. Beside the pure engine sound the exhaust sounds are now also simulated what results in a much better and deeper sound. Although it’s still not as good as the superb GTR sounds, it’s a major step forward for LFS. Accelerating through the gears in the new FZ 50 car now gives a really great sound-feeling. Thanks to the new echo effects you can really hear how close you are to the armco, the effects are being calculated on a fully dynamic base. You can also hear how close you are to other cars or buildings, for example the Blackwood bridge gives a great echo. Furthermore the tyre, wind and road sounds have been improved and help to generate a realistic immersion sound.

The physics

The already great car physics of the current LFS version have been improved for another time. Thanks to the new suspension model and the improved tyre physics it’s now easier to control the car – it just feels more real. Until the release there will still be a lot of changes to the new tyre physics which have not yet been included in the pre-alpha. For example there will also be tyre heat and wear in the final S2 version. LFS now also simulates the fuel consumption, calculated depending on the way you drive your care. Driving an economic style can now give you a benefit in endurance races. Before each race you can select your fuel load and amount of pit stops – yes pit stops have also been introduced to LFS. At the moment you can only refuel your car but later on it will also be possible to change tyres and repair parts of your car you have damaged in the race. The length of the pit stop depends on the car type you use and the amount of fuel. A pit stop with a formula car will be much faster then with a normal road car, like the GTI. Another improvement of the physics engine is, that it now simulates the aerodynamics of the car in a realistically way. You can set the wing level of the new formula car as well as the undertray of the MRT6. A higher wing level results in more downforce but slower top speed. The different setup options have also been refined so it’s no longer possible to change the track width, as this is also not possible in most real life racing series.



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