Off-Road Racing Simulator DRAG Coming to Linux

Something that I found quite interesting is DRAG. According to the description on Steam, the off-road racing title “introduces next generation 4CPT vehicle physics (4-way contact point traction technology) and a damage model that allows for competitive multiplayer wheel-to-wheel racing in a rallycross fashion.” The Early Access trailer description mentions that there will be both Windows and Linux support, which is also confirmed by the store page listing the system requirements for Linux.

Unlike most racing games which focus on the car’s center as its pivot point, DRAG utilizes the engine’s 4CPT physics to simulate ultimate realism. It’s designed to give a pure, difficult experience along the track. Your car could end up losing tires, and if you get off-track, you won’t get a chance to get back in the race — when you’re out, you’re out for good.

Players can make use of slipstream — similar to Mario Kart, when your driver is behind another, if you stay along their trail long enough, you’ll get a speed boost. Be careful about this though, as hitting the car in front of you will cause permanent damage to your vehicle.

The game makes use of what is called a “jokerlap.” This lap is longer than the others, but is required to take at some point during the race. This lap can be taken strategically — if you’re in the lead and don’t want others to slipstream behind, you can take this lap to get others off your back. Or if your vehicle has accumulated enough damage, you can take this lap for safety measures.

Want to take a guess at what engine Orontes Games is using? Unreal? Nope. It’s their own custom engine, giving them many opportunities to try different things out. It’s made by two independent guys: a guy and his brother. Literally. I can’t possibly imagine the amount of man-hours that went into this. And looking at their YouTube channel, it looks like the car models are made with 3DS Max.

The system requirements are pretty modest. The Steam store page recommends 8 GB of RAM, a Ryzen 5 or a Core i5, and an RX 580/GTX 760. They’re the same with the Windows version. Support for racing wheels will be added throughout the Early Access period; keyboards and gamepads will need to be used in the meantime. I’d really like to know what made these guys decide to support Linux, how similar or how different the codebase is between them, and what graphics API they’re using.

The Steam Early Access release is slated for sometime this summer. It will include:

  • Splitscreen/online multiplayer
  • 24 singleplayer events
  • 3 different tracks
  • 2 different vehicles

According to their Discord, the price will be $35 — considering these guys took the time to make their own engine for this, I can see why the price is set the way that it is. DRAG is something I’m definitely looking forward to playing, though I’ve got a sinking feeling that, like a lot of the racing simulators I have in my library, I’ll play for a few hours then get bored. Hopefully that won’t be the case here. For more info, check out their:

Screenshots courtesy of Orontes Games

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