I really love a well written head-to-head comparison in the automotive magazines (or these days on YouTube). A good article will inform the reader of the characteristics of each car and make them feel how one performs in the real world. These days, driving games are so accurate in their depictions of cars…how does the game experience stack up against a real comparison?
I recently watched a Motor Trend comparison of the new Focus St and the 2nd generation Mazdaspeed 3 so I decided to give a virtual comparison a whirl. I took each car out on the Maple Valley track for a 5 lap blast. This course is a good measure of grip and suspension as you need to maintain speed to be quick. Plus, there are nice sweeping corners and some elevation changes so it’s a fairly technical course.
Not surprisingly, lap times were super close with a best laps in the 1:51 range for each car. The mazdaspeed was about half a second quicker omy it’s best lap but I think the Ford has more potential. Like the Motor Trend comparison noted, the Focus feels very nimble and precise. It rotates very easily like the real car and Turn 10 studios even put in the aggressively amplified intake noise that Motor Trend loved. In the game, the noise is more like a Honda VTEC transition as it comes on strong at 6000rpm.
By comparison, the Mazda has a bit more midrange power than the Ford, but the difference isn’t as huge as the video may lead you to believe. After all, Torque is a measure of force which is hard to replicate in a game. Regardless, the Mazda was also fairly accurate compared to the Motor Trend commentary. It isn’t as sharp as the Ford and it feels larger (despite the Ford being bigger in real life). The Mazda was easier to drive and required less shifting than the Ford on this track but the Ford does indeed feel better. I think with larger tires better ore aggressive alignment, it’s possible to get the Mazda to have the same “snap.”
Ok so this isn’t a very technical post, but still…it’s impressive how accurate the game experience is. If anyone at Turn 10 ever reads this, I’d love an office visit to see how it’s all done!!! That’s right, I said it!!
The Lamborghini LP-700 is pure automotive pornography. In Forza, the experience of “driving” it is exhilarating and boring at the same time…it’s crazy fast, obnoxiously loud and has massive grip. Plus, it’s just a point and shoot affair in the corners, which is part of what I don’t love about it; it’s too easy to race with. There is no character with the LP-700…it’s too perfect as opposed to Forzas interpretation of the latest ZR1 which exudes personality and requires skill to drive fast. I don’t care what car you choose in any racing game, 200mph should be a little scary. Regardless, I got some cool pics! The interior shot is during a test drive on Le Mans and I love how easy the camera is to use!!
One of my favorite things about Forza 4 is how accurately you can create virtual copies of famous tuner-cars and test drive them. Here, I have recreated Fujita Engineering’s (more commonly called FEED) RX8.
Thankfully, the Forza game had the FEED body kit in the game as well as the wheels FEED had once used. With a bit of research (otherwise known as watching best motoring vids on YouTube) you can find the modifications, power level, suspension settings and tire sizes which can be used in the game to simulate the tuner’s work.
FEED’s RX8 was a jack of all trades on a track. It needed a bit more power than FEED used in the best motoring battles so I tweaked it to just over 300hp (about 50 more than the real car) and keanti naturally aspirated setup. In racing, the car revs like crazy and has a super flat torqueband like a real NA rotary. It corners tightly, grips hard and it very neutral. For a car rated as a B500 in e game, it’s pretty impressive!
By now, most people have a smartphone and a tablet and most of us play games here and there to pass the time at the DMV, or during that awful show your wife or girlfriend can’t seem to miss. I keep hearing how mobile gaming is on the rise which is a trend that has led to the decline in console gaming. Ok, perhaps…but most mobile gaming isn’t very good (especially mobile based driving games).
That said, I approached EA’s new tile Real Racing 3 for my ipad with little interest, expecting it to be another awful mobile gem. Shockingly, this FREE game is quite a bit of fun! The gyroscope based steering controls are easy to use without being dull or unresponsive. With the steering aids turned off, the game experience is just better and not too much harder. One cool idea is that you don’t control the throttle…only steering and brakes. When you brake, the car slows down…otherwise, it accelerates on its own. It sounds odd, but it works well and I hate the idea of tilting my ipad side to side to steer PLUS back and forth for the gas.
Calling this game “Real Racing” is misleading for sure as this is 100% arcade racing. Regardless, it’s a fun game and it won’t frustrate you like most mobile based racing games. Plus, the visuals are pretty slick and the career mode is pretty deep for a FREE game! Yes, FREE!! Check it out…