Initial D: Perfect Shift Online, an upcoming free-to-play game for the Nintendo 3DS, is starting to show more of its social game roots. As previously reported, the game’s controls are fairly simply, in that your car drives automatically while you attempt to shift gears up and down at the right moments to try and get in the lead.
The latest piece of information lets us know that besides racing for national rankings, you’ll also be able to participate in that holiest of holy social game mechanics—raid boss races.
That comes as part of the social component for the game, which will also allow you to race against other player’s street racing team formations for national rankings and wage full on “wars” against other teams. Details are scant on what exactly that means. However, there will be some 40 different car models in the game, and these have to be paired with character cards, which will affect their final performance and abilities in the races on the mountain tracks and ridges the series is known for.
You’ll also be able to customize your cars with some tune-ups and dress-up options. Sega haven’t shared their monetization plan for the game, but initial reports suggested a pay-for-items model, so that could come into play during customization.
Another way it might go with is the use of a fuel system, as seen in the screenshot above which shows two different bars including a gasoline line. This could be similar to how the free-to-play Ace Combat Infinity from Namco Bandai also has an energy system.
If you have a Japanese Nintendo 3DS, and are hoping to get in on the game’s beta test, you can head on over to this page to sign up. Signups end January 6th 2014, and the full game is planned for release spring 2014.