#1 Posted by JasonR86 (9375 posts) -

I have a question about driving simulators. I play two franchises regularly; Dirt and Forza. I like them both for very different reasons. Forza is much more technical. On higher difficulties you need to drive precisely, accurately, and not make mistakes. Dirt is crazier. It's all about controlling power slides, feathering the gas and brakes, and being gutsy with your driving. Where Dirt is much better then Forza is the tactile feeling of the cars on the road especially the rally cars. It's the mix of the rumble in the controller (I don't use a wheel I use the regular controller) to the camera shake and feeling of the driving. Forza is pretty tactile in a lot of ways but, for the majority of the cars, it feels like the car is floating over the road rather then driving on it. It could be due to the fact that I drive through the cockpit view but, regardless, it is one of the biggest drawbacks with that game.

What I want to know is are there road-based (not rally-based like Dirt) driving simulators that give the same tactile sense of driving like Dirt with the precision of Forza? I've never played Gran Tourismo. Is there still a sense of 'floating' along the road in the Gran Tourismo games as there is in Forza? I've tried to watch videos of that game and I can't tell (though the experience seems similar to Forza in this respect). Are there other simulators that I'm not thinking about?

#2 Posted by JasonR86 (9375 posts) -

@robotzombie said:

Project Gotham Racing 1 & 2 are better than any of those other games you mentioned. Diddy Kong Racing is also good.

Those games are good. But they aren't driving simulators. PGR is close but I've played 3 and 4 and they are more arcade then simulator. That's fine but not what I was asking about.

#3 Posted by dankempster (2227 posts) -

@JasonR86: The only thing I can suggest is maybe giving GRiD a try. It seems like a logical suggestion - it's a road-based racing sim, developed by the same team as DiRT, I believe. I also think it's built on the same engine as DiRT, or maybe a modified version of DiRT's engine, so that suggests to me the two games might handle pretty similarly.

#4 Posted by JasonR86 (9375 posts) -

@dankempster:

I'll have to try it. I think there's a demo of it on Xbox Live.

#5 Posted by Black_Rose (7785 posts) -

I don't know much about the subject but why don't you try downloading the demo for NFS Shift 2: Unleashed and give it a shot? That's the only other major driving simulation series that I know of.

#6 Posted by JasonR86 (9375 posts) -

@Black_Rose:

You know, I bought Shift 1 and didn't like it much. It was stuck between being an arcade game and a simulator. I like arcade racers and some simulators but when they are stuck in the middle like Shift was it leads to some wonky handling. I really didn't like it. I tried Shift 2 and it felt a lot like the first game.

#7 Posted by MysteriousBob (6273 posts) -

Micro Machines V3 is pretty deep.

#8 Posted by JasonR86 (9375 posts) -

@MysteriousBob said:

Micro Machines V3 is pretty deep.

V3 huh? I always thought V2 was a much more accurate simulator.

#9 Edited by JasonR86 (9375 posts) -

@dankempster:

I just tried the demo for Grid and man...yikes. The handling is so weird and the cars feel like they weigh ten pounds. I didn't like it much. Thanks for reminding me about the game though.

#10 Posted by dankempster (2227 posts) -

@JasonR86: Sorry man. It's been a long time since I played GRiD, to the point where I can't actually remember anything about that game beyond the fact it's got a Dodge Viper in it. I was just taking a wild stab in the dark, so sorry it didn't pay off. Hope you manage to find the kind of game you're looking for, though :)

#11 Posted by Xtacles (44 posts) -

Most real sims live on the PC, beyond Forza and GT5 console only folks don't have much for choice.

#12 Edited by artgarcrunkle (971 posts) -

Simbin makes great sims for the PC. Life For Speed is good too.

#13 Posted by 71Ranchero (2580 posts) -

@JasonR86 said:

@dankempster:

I just tried the demo for Grid and man...yikes. The handling is so weird and the cars feel like they weigh ten pounds. I didn't like it much. Thanks for reminding me about the game though.

Grid is a strange beast. It does get better after you put more time into it. Grid is actually the newest game in Codemasters Toca Race Driver series. Its comparable to what they did with the Collin McRae Rally series(re-branded it as Dirt and made it more of an arcade game with sim elements). If you like Dirt(not a sim) then you can get into Grid.

#14 Posted by Aus_azn (2224 posts) -

You probably should try Gran Turismo at some point. It's got a far better feel to it.

It retains the nitpickiness of Forza (actually probably further emphasizing it), and you can feel the car giving you feedback as you drive. It is very much a perfectionist's game, and as a time-trial runner myself, I find it to be a much more fulfilling experience. The controller does vibrate as you're driving, unlike Forza (where it only really does it when your traction is shot or if you're hitting the curb, if memory serves). You're not going to get camera-shake or cockpit-blur when you're driving, though.

Probably my biggest praise for the GT series comes from the notion that the cars don't seem to "genericise" once you upgrade them. Forza's fully-modified cars all feel pretty same-y, while your experience behind an 900HP C63AMG and a 900HP R8 V10 feel quite different in GT.

Where Forza definitely has a leg-up, however, is the "campaign". Forza's is far longer, but I lost touch with Forza 3 once I only had the "class X course tour" championships left. GT's events are really easy to run through, bar endurance runs, and the seasonal events are somewhat lackluster. You've got to be good at keeping yourself busy, and running the seasonals for money to buy dream cars.

NFS Shift's entire series is not simlike at all, IMO. Feels like they took the standard NFS arcade engine and made the suspension super-stiff.

Just as a note of what I do: I drive using the controller, only cockpit view, MT, no TCS, no ASM/ESP, no ABS.

#15 Edited by JasonR86 (9375 posts) -

@Aus_azn:

Forza 4 is a lot better about the 'same-y-ness' of upgraded cars. In Forza 3, the real difference came in to play when you turned off the assists. Really, the difference was in the drivetrains (RWD and AWD). In Forza 4, all of the cars have a very distinct feel. I don't know if all of them are accurate but of the cars that I have driven they are very similar to their real life counter-parts. The issue I have is with the disconnected feeling I have between what I see and control on the screen versus what I feel in my hands and experience on the screen. Maybe I'll try out Gran Tourismo 5 when I have some money to spare.

#16 Posted by Aus_azn (2224 posts) -

@JasonR86 said:

@Aus_azn:

Forza 4 is a lot better about the 'same-y-ness' of upgraded cars. In Forza 3, the real difference came in to play when you turned off the assists. Really, the difference was in the drivetrains (RWD and AWD). In Forza 4, all of the cars have a very distinct feel. I don't know if all of them are accurate but of the cars that I have driven they are very similar to their real life counter-parts. The issue I have is with the disconnected feeling I have between what I see and control on the screen versus what I feel in my hands and experience on the screen. Maybe I'll try out Gran Tourismo 5 when I have some money to spare.

Either way, I drive entirely without assists. I have yet to play F4, as F3 pissed me off so much that I actually went and sold my Xbox to switch to GT5. I do NOT play online at all.

I gauge the accuracy of a sim game based on the way it emulates a car that I own in real life. The Audi S5 in F2 and 3 felt far more imprecise and unresponsive than the IRL A5 convertible. The C63 AMG in Forza 3 didn't seem as uncontrollable as it should be IRL; reminded me too much of my C300 with regards to power. The GT5 one is far crazier and heavily affected by giving it a bootful, as I'd expect a car with 1.8 times the power to do. The B5 S4, however, was right on the money in Forza 2 and 3: understeery but nimble. As a standard car in GT5, it feels kinda crummy.

I personally feel that Forza 2 did a better job of emulating the IRL cars than Forza 3 did, hence why I got so miffed. GT5 has a much nicer feel than either game, though, and is thoroughly enjoyable to drive in and tune the cars. Plus, I like the DS3's triggers better than the Xbox's; they're easier to meter out and have more resistance with respect to the throttle. For GT5, I personally ignore any "standard cars", so I would say that Forza has more variety in that regard. I remember being distinctly unimpressed with the varying level of quality in the cockpits; some of them were utter eyesores while others (coughr8v10cough) looked heavenly. GT5 is quite a bit more consistent.

Give it a shot at some point and pass your own judgment. It's a bit hard to explain, but I personally found GT5 to be good enough to warrant the switch. I borrowed the game and a console for about a month before deciding to drop for it.

#17 Posted by 71Ranchero (2580 posts) -

This video speaks wonders.

#18 Posted by JasonR86 (9375 posts) -

@Atramentous said:

This video speaks wonders.

That's a bit of an irrelevant test though I understand it's meaning. When you drive a car in Forza 4 like a normal human being the AI is really good and very aggressive. Plus, this isn't relevant to my initial question.

#19 Posted by JasonR86 (9375 posts) -

@Aus_azn said:

@JasonR86 said:

@Aus_azn:

Forza 4 is a lot better about the 'same-y-ness' of upgraded cars. In Forza 3, the real difference came in to play when you turned off the assists. Really, the difference was in the drivetrains (RWD and AWD). In Forza 4, all of the cars have a very distinct feel. I don't know if all of them are accurate but of the cars that I have driven they are very similar to their real life counter-parts. The issue I have is with the disconnected feeling I have between what I see and control on the screen versus what I feel in my hands and experience on the screen. Maybe I'll try out Gran Tourismo 5 when I have some money to spare.

Either way, I drive entirely without assists. I have yet to play F4, as F3 pissed me off so much that I actually went and sold my Xbox to switch to GT5. I do NOT play online at all.

I gauge the accuracy of a sim game based on the way it emulates a car that I own in real life. The Audi S5 in F2 and 3 felt far more imprecise and unresponsive than the IRL A5 convertible. The C63 AMG in Forza 3 didn't seem as uncontrollable as it should be IRL; reminded me too much of my C300 with regards to power. The GT5 one is far crazier and heavily affected by giving it a bootful, as I'd expect a car with 1.8 times the power to do. The B5 S4, however, was right on the money in Forza 2 and 3: understeery but nimble. As a standard car in GT5, it feels kinda crummy.

I personally feel that Forza 2 did a better job of emulating the IRL cars than Forza 3 did, hence why I got so miffed. GT5 has a much nicer feel than either game, though, and is thoroughly enjoyable to drive in and tune the cars. Plus, I like the DS3's triggers better than the Xbox's; they're easier to meter out and have more resistance with respect to the throttle. For GT5, I personally ignore any "standard cars", so I would say that Forza has more variety in that regard. I remember being distinctly unimpressed with the varying level of quality in the cockpits; some of them were utter eyesores while others (coughr8v10cough) looked heavenly. GT5 is quite a bit more consistent.

Give it a shot at some point and pass your own judgment. It's a bit hard to explain, but I personally found GT5 to be good enough to warrant the switch. I borrowed the game and a console for about a month before deciding to drop for it.

There is a big step up from 3 to 4 if you're crazy like you and I are (most people probably wouldn't notice the difference). I'm interested in GT5 though. I'll probably pick it up used later this year.

#20 Posted by JoeyRavn (4886 posts) -

@Atramentous: I don't see what it's saying. If anything, I'd say that Forza 4's crashes are more realistic. GT5's cars make pixel-perfect movements to avoid the car. But, really, I don't think what that video is trying to prove.

#21 Posted by Doctorchimp (4063 posts) -

I just read about a PC racing sim like 2 days ago that's coming out...and it said something about the developers not caring about consoles, does anyone know what I'm talking about? It's driving me nuts trying to remember what it's called.

Also I've been kinda dying to play a racing sim and Forza 4 is looking pretty good, but how is Gran Turismo 5? All the mess people talked about it, did it unlock and let you tune cars the way Forza does? I remember Forza 2 and how crazy that game got because it satisfied me in the exact same way loot does in games.

#22 Posted by JasonR86 (9375 posts) -

@Doctorchimp:

I can't speak about GT5. But Forza 4 is really good minus the problem I explained in the OP. Turning the assists off and the steering to 'simulation' leads to a really good feeling. The cars feel really different and you can really find those cars that work best for you versus the cars that don't. You can tune to your heart's content as well. It's just that, at times, the driving experience can feel a bit detached.

#23 Edited by Aus_azn (2224 posts) -

I found Forza's racers to be far more aggressive than what people would normally do. They're willing to sacrifice their cars in a race to take you out, from what I remember in Forza 3. Forza 2 didn't have this "problem", and the AI drove like how you'd expect if you went to a track day. Plus, when there's an accident or someone stupid like that, you brake and dodge IRL, not just drive straight into it. I recall that the Forza 2 insane AI, instead of trying to kill you, actually tried to outdrive you (often succeeding), and that was one of F3's foibles that made me switch. The aggression seems like a cop-out to make the race arbitrarily harder, not actually demonstrating how the AI is "good".

GT5's AI is frequently criticised for following the racing line and the racing line only. They don't really react too much if you decide to weasel your way in, but after they did the AI update, I find that they compensate a lot more than they used to, which is what the video demonstrates. More like, but still not to the standard of, the Forza 2 AI. The GT AI is at the other end of the spectrum from the Forza one; they're far too conservative and not really a challenge to beat.

: I'd like to believe that I'm a bit more savvy than your average racing sim driver. I'd bet that most people wouldn't even have been able to feel the difference between F2 and F3's engine. That, however, makes me no expert at this; I can only talk in what I perceive, which might not necessarily be correct.

If it does help, my unadulterated choice for best driving sim in a package with the technology available at the time is Forza 2. It's still one of my all-time favourite games.

Shall we stop this banter before this becomes a Forza/GT flame war here, please? My original intention was to ask JasonR86 to give GT a shot, not to start this debacle.

@Doctorchimp said:

All the mess people talked about it, did it unlock and let you tune cars the way Forza does? I remember Forza 2 and how crazy that game got because it satisfied me in the exact same way loot does in games.

Yes, it did.

#24 Posted by JasonR86 (9375 posts) -

@Aus_azn:

Yeah, I really didn't want this to become a Forza vs Gran Tourismo thread. This thread isn't about what's the best but rather what aspects are better for certain sims versus others. Specifically, what sims are better able to give the player a more tactile feeling while driving.

#25 Posted by EVO (3781 posts) -

First things first: there's no O in Gran Turismo.

Secondly, you really should invest in a wheel. I can't stress enough how much it improves the experience.

#26 Posted by JasonR86 (9375 posts) -

@EVO said:

First things first: there's no O in Gran Turismo.

Secondly, you really should invest in a wheel. I can't stress enough how much it improves the experience.

Yeah...

...I just can't see myself going down that path. I see darkness down that road where one day I'd make a crazy ass cockpit and the whole thing. I...just can't.

#27 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@JasonR86: The thing that always always always pisses me off in all driving games, sim or not, is how unaware the AI is of the player's car. Forza was pretty bad about it, too. Slow down faster than they would normally? They smack into you. Try and pass on the inside? The smack into you. Plus they have a tendency to take corners pretty close, which always bugged me because I could easily swoop around the outside with a sloppy turn and still overtake.

And I'm a Forza fan, to be clear.

#28 Posted by Rudyftw (554 posts) -

You can tell the O.P has a car fetish.

#29 Posted by mosespippy (3735 posts) -

How about F1? It seems like everyone forgets it just because it's a licensed product or because it only features 1 type of car.

#30 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7612 posts) -

If you're looking for sims, you should definitely at least try GT5.. but it's pretty much inferior to Forza in almost every way.

Something I did like about it though was the variety of race types, it's just a shame they're all so underdeveloped. I was hoping that Forza 4 would at least add some off-road stuff, and just add more variety slowly to keep the depth.

#31 Edited by JasonR86 (9375 posts) -

@Rudyftw said:

You can tell the O.P has a car fetish.

So?

@mosespippy said:

How about F1? It seems like everyone forgets it just because it's a licensed product or because it only features 1 type of car.

Yeah, I did kind of forget about that game. The problem is I haven't cared for F1 racing in a long time so I'm not sure I would get much out of the game. Maybe I'm wrong though.

@MordeaniisChaos said:

@JasonR86: The thing that always always always pisses me off in all driving games, sim or not, is how unaware the AI is of the player's car. Forza was pretty bad about it, too. Slow down faster than they would normally? They smack into you. Try and pass on the inside? The smack into you. Plus they have a tendency to take corners pretty close, which always bugged me because I could easily swoop around the outside with a sloppy turn and still overtake.

And I'm a Forza fan, to be clear.

Heh, I would call that aggressive driving and I'm good with it. It's weird how the same thing can happen in a game and two people can have two different perspectives on it.

@WinterSnowblind:

Yeah, it is kind of a bummer that Forza 4 didn't add more racing modes. It was like they tried to do that with the Top Gear stuff but those races (I only really remember the bowling races) were my least favorite races.

#32 Posted by sparks50 (370 posts) -

@Doctorchimp said:

I just read about a PC racing sim like 2 days ago that's coming out...and it said something about the developers not caring about consoles, does anyone know what I'm talking about? It's driving me nuts trying to remember what it's called.

Assetto Corsa?

http://www.assettocorsa.net/?lang=en

RFactor 2?

http://rfactor.net/web/rf2/

Or perhaps Iracing, Iracing is crazy.