Simbin’s expansion packs for RACE07 have already added plenty of new cars and tracks to the their popular simulation.
The Retro pack goes a step further, introducing a whole new motorsports discipline to the title – Hillclimbing!
Is the Retro Pack worth the buy? Read the review to find out!
Back when Simbin first announced their expansion packs for RACE07, sim racers were promised high quality addon content for an affordable price. Simbin has certainly delivered on that part, adding new WTCC & STCC seasons as well as several tracks and modern GT cars to the simulation.
Now, it’s time for the fans of historic racing to rejoice as Simbin goes back to their roots by adding a bunch of historical racing cars to RACE07. Much like their still strong-running GT Legends title, the expansion pack includes eight all-new cars, ranging from historical touring cars to powerful sports car machinery.
The cars are split into two different classes to allow competitive racing, the smaller touring car class includes such classics as the Mini Cooper and the BMW 2002. The most quirky car of the small class is certainly the Volvo P1800 ES, a vintage stationwagon on steroids.
The bigger class pairs up American muscle with European race car technology as players have the choice between the Chevrolet Camaro & Corvettes as well as the Opel Commodore and BMW’s legendary 3.0 CSL.
As soon as somebody mentions historic racing machinery, people will instantly ask about Porsches as the Zuffenhausen-build 911s are among the favorites of almost every race driver. Unfortunately, the tricky license situation didn’t allow Simbin to include any Porsches in the pack.
Still, there’s plenty to enjoy as the car selection provides something for every taste. All cars come in various liveries that, even though they aren’t historically accurate, are real-life inspired and knowledgeable race fans will instantly recognize many paint schemes.
In terms of tracks, the pack brings two venues that are unknown to most sim racers. The first is Poznan, a Polish road course that consists of several fast flowing corners, making it worthy of more recognition in the racing world.
The other track is a fictional 6.1 kilometer hillclimb track in the Swiss Alps as Simbin introduces a brand new motorsports discipline to their titles. The Retro pack marks the first time that hillclimbing is simulated in a commercial gMotor 2-based title as hillclimbing is not often present in racing titles.
The discipline is closely associated with rallying on tarmac as racers tackle a point to point track, racing against the clock, often in a scenic environment. Unlike rally drivers, hillclimb racers don’t work with co-drivers and pacenotes though but rely on their knowledge of the track.
As all of the other expansion packs, the Retro Pack offers nothing spectacular in terms of graphics as Simbin delivers their usual standard of neat car modeling, good-looking textures and very detailed cockpits.
While the gMotor 2 engine isn’t really able to turn heads anymore, Simbin makes most of the somewhat dated base with great track modeling that comes with lots of trackside objects and manages to create proper atmosphere.
Same goes for the sounds as the Retro Pack delivers solid content in that department, all cars have authentic engine sounds mixed with good sound effects from the tires and brakes.
After working with modern touring and sports cars for so long, Simbin had to prove that their still have what it takes to create proper historic racing physics and the Retro Pack is proof of that.
The pack’s cars will bring you back to a time when ABS was some crazy engineers dream and the only form of traction control available was the driver’s right foot. The Retro Pack cars are a blast to drive as throwing the Mini around the hillclimb track instantly creates an enjoyable Monte Car Rally-like feeling while the powerful sports cars will be making drivers grin from ear to ear.
While the BMW 3.0 CSL comes close to being as nimble and balanced as a modern race car, the Chevrolet muscle cars are the most enjoyable cars of the pack for sure. Handling like big heavy boats with massive V8 power, these car are just made to be drifted around corners.
Simbin has taken some extra time to perfect the new hillclimb mode and by what I can tell, it works absolutely flawless. Since I´ve been trying a preview version, I was only able to test offline runs but expect the online hillclimb competitions to work as neatly as well.
Unfortunately, the hillclimbing isn’t as immersive as it could be. Generally, the track seems to be a bit too wide, a problem often found with rally tracks in various titles. Furthermore, the layout could offer a bit more variety with more elevation changes and changing road width.
And last but not least, this form of motorsport highlights the lack of road surface feedback in Simbin’s title as the Swiss mountain road just feels a tad too smooth to be really believable.
Still, these are somewhat petty complaints given that the hillclimbing is lots of fun and Simbin deserves praise for trying something new and innovative that works well out of the box.
So, is the Retro Pack worth the admission price? Fans of historic racing machinery and hillclimbing can’t go wrong with this one as the pack offers a heap of all-new content and lots of driving fun for less than five Euros.
The two tracks are not just great fun with the historic cars but make lots of sense with the other RACE07 content as well as the pack successfully extends the title’s already-impressive content portfolio.
The Retro Pack for RACE07 will sell for 4,99€ on Steam, it will be available very soon.