Racing games of all varieties are a mainstay of video gaming culture, and have formed some of the most popular titles of all time. Most recently, cartoon-style racer Mario Kart 8 produced record breaking sales figures and, according to CNBC, set tantalisingly high targets for the success of its next mobile incarnation. With popularity comes interest from the big gaming houses, and it’s little surprise that some of the most incredible and new gaming experiences will approach from the driving perspective.
The all round experiences
Many gamers are in a position financially to purchase a new vehicle, whether used or new, and experiencing the thrill of operating a new vehicle or a classic car is something that should be experienced in life. For many, however, their living situation or finances make it tough to pick up a vehicle that could provide a good experience. This is where the latest generation of racing games and their peripherals come in. Race wheel and pedal setups have long been a factor in driving games, and gaming chairs are largely based on race-style equivalents. However, peripherals have taken another level, with the likes of RailDriver, which lifestyle mag, MakeUseOf, note creates a subwoofer tremor that replicates the under-foot rumbling of a vehicle. So much thought and attention goes in to crafting the peripheral experience of driving games that driving game enthusiasts are spoiled for choice until they’re able to get on to the actual road.
Taking inspiration from the simulators
Steam and similar platforms are packed with various simulator games: Eurotruck, Farming Simulator, Train Sim World, and so on. These are typically less finely tuned, less graphically appealing and less blockbuster than the likes of Forza Horizon or Gran Turismo, but have tapped into something simple that is being included in newer racers in the name of immersion. These games typically have slow experiences that are extremely well researched, to give the full excitement and feeling of actually driving a train, or big rig, and more flashy racing games have taken this on board with the user interface.
Using Google Stadia
Google Stadia had received considerable buzz in the media ahead of its 19 th November release date. While the success of the platform will very much be decided in the coming months, it does offer something to gamers that it didn’t before: an opportunity for people of all financial and technical backgrounds to get involved. Furthermore, this includes compatibility with peripheral and smart devices that may not have run games previously. With the ability to take driving games to any platform, big or small, the opportunities for immersion and fine-tuning really are limitless.
Driving games are one of the classic video game genres, and they focus heavily on immersion. Providing a way for users to really ‘get in’ to the car and have an experience away from the real world, flashier racers have sometimes been caught up in technicalities. By looking at peripherals and new technology, they can find new ways to bring in gamers.