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Driving games?


Sotha
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Hi!

 

While rummaging through old stuff I found my good ol' MOMO steering wheel + pedals controller. I used to play driving games with my pals long ago, but don't have any driving games anymore.

 

I'd like to give the wheel a new spin, but I need to buy a game first. Does anyone know some nice and modern driving games you could recommend? I prefer as realistic driving experience as possible. Thanks for any tips!

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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It isn't modern at all, but it is still fun as hell: Need for Speed High Stakes. The AI and tracks are the best I've seen in a racing game. The police will chase you (up to 3 cop cars at once!). They use tactics like boxing you in, setting up spike strips, calling for backup, setting up road-blocks, spinning you out, etc. You have a "scanner" and you can hear all of the police chatter about where traps are placed and the like. Even the other racers display personality. For example, if you cut them off and cause them to run into a wall, they will start honking their horn at you. All of the tracks can be played at night or daytime, with clear weather or in the rain.

 

There is car damage. While driving at night, you can accidently break your headlights (one or both of them). Obviously this makes the race harder.

 

The graphics are still pretty good when compared to other games from that time period, with effects like water spraying out from behind cars, headlights reflecting off the wet road, and IIRC it was the first time you could see through a car's windows and out the other side. Also, the scenery on the tracks is very nice.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4D2V4905Yuo

--- War does not decide who is right, war decides who is left.

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Test Drive Unlimited 2 gets good recommendations for just cruising around.

 

http://youtu.be/RzhSTw4BNn4

 

The story is apparently stupid though.

 

Edit: It's not all Sunday driving either:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0ylRfNKiT0

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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Damn! This is gonna be more difficult than I expected. There are many newish driving games out there, but none of them seem to excel all the others.

Metacritic shows decent reviews for Dirt3. Anyone have first hand experience on that one?

 

I had NFS: porsche unleashed long ago and it was very good, but nowadays NFS games look way too arcadish, like NFS: hot pursuit.

 

Test drive didn't fare too well in reviews.

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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I think what you want is a game from this list, "Simulation-style racing games (Racing games that are more focused on realism)":

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racing_video_game#Simulation-style_racing_games

(edit: ugh, the link is taking out the final underscore from the address. You can add it by hand, in between the last two words, to jump straight to the game list.)

 

Out of this list, if you really want the most "realistic" in terms of hard core sim, I think rFactor is what you want. (qutoes: "rFactor aimed to be the most accurate race simulator of its time.", "The essence of rFactor is that this is a game for hard core racing fans."), plus the SDK has been released & it has tons of mods & a big modding scene which, I can already guess since you're into TDM, counts in its favor. It's just a touch dated (released 2007), but a ton of updates and mods have been released since then, and it also means the modding scene is pretty highly developed by now (tons of cars, racing & street, historical & contemporary; tons of tracks of all types, tracks & open roads; tons of tweaks). Also rFactor 2 has been announced and I think when that's released it's going to blow everything out of the water.

 

Edit: Actually, reading up on this, I read that rF2 is in public beta now. You can buy it early and get in on the public beta. Wow, I may do that myself.

 

http://youtu.be/d5al7WVeCbk

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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Ah, yes rfactor. That I've played with my pals in the past. Great game, but the graphics are a bit outdated already. I also saw they sell race07, which I hear is similar, for 5 euros in steam.

 

I have to take rfactor 2 on my radar, too. Very promising...

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Not strictly a racing game, but more of a simulator: Rigs of Rods.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3A6OHnAD_Pc&feature=player_detailpage#t=238s

 

It has freaking awesome physics. Notice how the car gets more deformed and pieces fly off as it tumbles down the hill at 3:05. If only the focus in mainstream games was more on cool stuff like this instead of just increasing graphical quality with static unchangeable objects.....

Edited by lost_soul

--- War does not decide who is right, war decides who is left.

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Haha you guys are picking the most obscure games.

BTW, I was just looking at rFactor stuff and learned that TTLG's own R Soul (who has made a lot of T2 FMs) has modded some stuff for it, including one of the top ranked tracks, Pinevale. Pretty cool. I asked him about it and he told me the owner of the track (in the track's own little fiction) is a character from one of his FMs. :laugh:

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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Thanks for the insight.

 

In the end I decided to go with Dirt 3, mostly due to favourable reviews, but It looked fun too. Hardcore sims often lack that visual polish, this game is stunningly gorgeous. Also driving the Finnish courses felt like.. well... felt like home. The road to the summer cottage.

 

I figured out that since I am not a racing simulation expert (I enjoyed the online games with my pals, but I never was really good at it), I'd like to have a game with decent single player career mode, to hone my skills a bit before going online. Rfactor did not have this kind of enticing career mode. It is more easy to get into the game with a slowly rising difficulty level. Maybe at some point I can drive without any aids (aides?) on.

 

First impressions of Dirt 3 after playing a few hours: Great fun. The driving feels realistic enough for me with the intermediate level. After rfactor (with aids on), it feels rather comfy. The handling of the car is challenging, but not overpowering and I felt really happy when I could win a few races against AI. Small mistakes at high speed usually ends poorly for me and I need to drive slightly out of my comfort zone to be able to beat AI cars. I was exhilirating to drive in a snowy race, the cars ahead of me raising a huge cloud of snow due to which I cannot see almost anything.

 

I like almost everything so far. What I instantly started to loathe are: console like menus, annoyingly supportive voices that tell me "good driving" while I sucked badly. They also tell me to upload my "awesome" replays to youtube so my friends can "watch the coolness." The game also comes with this crap called windows games live or something like that. I find it rather idiotic to be forced to register so that I can save my progress in the game. Why cannot people just play, without registering in a zillion different "services." Anyways, the menus, voices and Live are outside the game, so I can live with them. When driving, ie doing the main thing, I think I made a good choice. Lets see how this develops.

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Darn, I was just about to ask if you had to create any type of account or activate to play that game. Nevertheless, this has been a helpful thread because I didn't know about Racer. I also didn't know that Live for Speed was still being updated.

 

That "Racer" actually looks pretty good with the CG stuff enabled. Problem is, I can't seem to stay on the track! Maybe it is because I'm running it through wine. It turns me when I don't want to and doesn't turn when I come upon a sharp corner, so I fly off the road!

--- War does not decide who is right, war decides who is left.

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There are a lot of games that look really good and have good gameplay but yeah those popups and bazingas and voices are awful; and they're everywhere. I remember one racing game that had a freaking helicopter that would follow you around and blare down "Awesome! Way to go!" from a speaker on it and I wanted to just drive off a cliff into the ocean right there haha.

 

FWIW, the racing game I actually play the most is probably NFS Hot Pursuit 2. It's pretty arcadish (and old by now), but I just like having the cops trying to run you off the road. Just adds something to the races as gimmicky as it is.

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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Here here! After playing racing games where the cops chase the player, it just wouldn't be the same without them. I do have NFS:HP2 for the PS2... I should dig that out, hook it to my computer and play for a wile. Its funny how everyone will have their favorite game in a series. Mine is High Stakes, others prefer Hot Pursuit 2, and others probably NFS3.

--- War does not decide who is right, war decides who is left.

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That "Racer" actually looks pretty good with the CG stuff enabled. Problem is, I can't seem to stay on the track! Maybe it is because I'm running it through wine. It turns me when I don't want to and doesn't turn when I come upon a sharp corner, so I fly off the road!

Through wine huh? Did you try the linux binary? The page says for Ubuntu 7.10, but that's just the system it was compiled on. It may run just fine on other distros. I used to have it installed on Mandriva 2010.x and I don't remember having to compile it. I'll try it again soon on Mageia.

Edited by PranQster

System: Mageia Linux Cauldron, aka Mageia 8

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Anybody here like Trackmania Nations Forever? It's a good change of pace from traditional racing games with it's abstract track design filled with loops and huge jumps. Time trial is the only gamemode but there are about 30 tracks that get progressively harder. There's something very satisfying about figuring out the best path to shave off a split second here or there so you can unlock the next track. That and it costs nothing.

 

Another free racing game I've been meaning to try is called Nitronic Rush. The videos I've seen are ridiculous. Everything is lit up like Tron and you can transform the car into a plane.

 

EDIT: Since this thread reminded me I figured I'd download Nitronic Rush. Excellent game. Very similar to Trackmania actually. The hardcore challenge maps are crazy. If you have enough speed you can drive on almost any surface.

Edited by rich_is_bored
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TM is awesome! Played TM sunrise a lot back in the days. Was never that much of a fan of nations however. I just didn't like the look of it with that huge stadium and such. However, I got TM 2 canyon, which was quite nice too.

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I had fun with it. It's a kind of throwback to older fantasy racing games, in a good way.

Some people have put up insane custom tracks, and some of the videos of races are fun to watch.

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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