Published on July 1st, 2012 | by Shawn Long, Features Editor0
The 4 Things Future Racing Sims Need
For years the Forza and Gran Turismo series have dominated the racing simulator scene with their meticulous style of racing that gear heads have come to love. I have been a fan of both games since the first iterations of each, but as a car enthusiast, I usually feel a bit disappointed by some key elements the games lack. These are the main things I feel that need to be addressed in future releases as the franchise continues on.
1. Realistic Car Damage
Many times we have heard that the next entry in the series for each respective platform would feature realistic car damage. The end result is often half-assed. Gran Turismo is the main culprit, but I do feel that Forza could do better. Car damage is not just a visual thing either, I want cars to blow up. If I hit a wall at 120 mph, my car should be crumpled, shredded, destroyed, possibly on fire, and not drivable. That should be the end of my race, and I either need to fix my vehicle or start fresh with something else. I understand it is a video game, but these are the “simulation” car games; I would rather have severe repercussions for being reckless than just a few scratch marks and engine damage. Allegedly, specific car manufacturing companies didn’t want their vehicles to be smashed to pieces, but that time has passed. Let’s make this a REAL simulation with real damage, not tight racing with arcade crashes that don’t impact you nearly enough.
2. Every Car Should Carry Over From Previous Entries
This one I will never understand. You obviously have the car model ready to go, the physics and engine performance, yet it is left out of the next entry into the series. Is this a storage problem? In this day and age, I don’t think it should be a problem. Which is harder to do, develop a graphic model for a car, or develop the science and handling behind it? Obviously the latter of the two, so why not just upgrade and polish the car model, and include it in the follow up game? No car left behind! Isn’t that what George Bush wanted?! And speaking of car models…
3. Add Better Car Choices
What do I mean by this? Simple, I don’t need a hundred different “concept” cars that either never came out or never will come out. I want real cars that I see on the streets or read about in magazines. Have more cars that people own as well. You’ve got 10 different Civic varieties, yet I can’t get a Mercedes C43 (which was in Gran Turismo 2 then removed) which is a 300 horsepower car. Not to mention that only 1,100 of these were released in America. Do I really need the “Mugen” package Civic, or the 2050 concept car that I will never drive, or a car that is actually on the road? It seems a better variety of realistic cars would attract fans. They might say, “Hey, I drive this car, I wonder what it would be like if it’s souped-up?!” Include SUVs and more trucks, too. Why is the GMC Syclone not featured in a racing game? It can go 0 to 60 in 4.3 seconds. That is a freaking beast of a car, particularly considering it was manufactured in 1991!
4. More Realistic Road Tracks
This one ALWAYS bothers me. Yes, I love a good road course where everything is blocked off and it’s just me and my opponents. In reality, however, a lot of races are done in urban environments with hazards such as traffic, debris and varying weather conditions. I loved the Tokyo Xtreme Racer series because it was on a freeway and you had to account for other people around you. Yes, that does tip-toe into “arcade” racing, but it’s also VERY real. I’m not saying get rid of all the road courses and fenced in events, because hey, those are fun. Why not add in a bit of variety though, that encompasses all forms of racing?
Now none of these additions will make a huge impact in sales or whatnot, but I feel a lot of racing fans would love to see these changes. Variety is the spice of life, and these additions would make for a more total race experience with real cars, real consequences and real environments. Both racing franchises have done an acceptable job thus far, but I feel this would help push them in the right direction. For real.