Synyster Graves

If you want to race, buy a fecking racing game

by on Oct.26, 2010, under Gamer Rages

One thing that really pisses me off are games which try and put a finger in every pie. This rant is mainly aimed at the sandbox genre. Sandbox games in essence are games whereby you can do what you want and essentially are at liberty to fuck about in a large open world environment.

What seriously gets on my tits is the constant requirements in these open world games to try and have a mission whereby you have to partake in any kind of race. It’s a well known fact that I suck at racing games. Maybe it’s that I just don’t get driving lines well enough to engage in a competitive race properly but that’s not it. If you want to have a proper race with proper cars then the Forza series on the Xbox or Gran Turismo on the Playstation should scratch that itch. What transpires in sandbox games, is a mission or side mission that starts off with the identical layout to the aforementioned and they expect you to win the race in these sandbox titles. But it comes with fundamental flaws in this.

Firstly, I can’t say I have played a sandbox game whereby I can safely say that the handling of car was any good. All these games have the handling akin to a dyspraxic warthog on an ice skating rink with possibly the exception of Saints Row 2, and I don’t suppose you can count Red Dead Redemption because a horse cant really be described as having bad handling…apart from mashing buttons to get any kind of acceleration and the damn thing seems to acquire some kind of breathing disorder within four quickened button presses.

But going back to my main point which has caused me to throw controllers again is that in the sandbox game races, there’s always an AI car programmed to run you off the road. It’s clever how they do implement it and for a start when have you ever had a race grid where you weren’t right at the back and the other 11 competitors drive like shit when they’re ahead of you but as soon as you take the lead, they become Jenson Button. Even in some races where there are 4 of you, you can guarantee that there is at least one kamikaze fucker who will try and take you out on every bend. Secondly, if you try and ram them back, their driving line is still faultless, as if you’re driving against a wall on wheels. It’s cheating, plain and simple.

The other common fuck up in the sandbox races is that it’s essentially check point based. Problem with that is that in some games, this has to be hit exactly in the middle or if you’ve been rammed and your tyres leave the ground, it won’t register the checkpoint and you have to turn around and go back through it. That is completely arse.

It’s this inconsistency which is driving me up the wall, if you’ll excuse the pun. I don’t know if it’s coincidence or cunning programming but the first bend when you try and overtake your first car once the race starts, the prick will always try and T-Bone you off the road. The game knows full well that sacrificing one of its rear cars from the pack to stop you getting a good start is part of its gameplan. This has happened all the time since Grand Theft Auto went 3D back in 2002 and can be seen in Saints Rows 1 & 2, Just Cause, Crackdown, and even in Red Dead Redemption when you are forced to do that stupid fucking cart race for that fat twat in the top hat.

I suppose the only appeasing thing to make it tolerable is that you can fire your weapons at other cars in GTA, everything else is trying to emulate the premise of being a racing game when you know you bought that game to shoot the crap out of pedestrians. So why is this always such a common theme in sandbox games? It’s padding it out basically. Usually they set up some ridiculous collection mission where you’re supposed to scour the city looking for five billion snails or something shit like that and the reason they do that is so the gamer can see all the hard work gone into creating the open world environment. So why the racing. Do developers want to highlight the fact that the handling is fucking awful? It just doesn’t make any sense.

I appreciate that sandbox games need variety, but there is no need throwing in a badly implemented “side mission” which is merely a platform for pissing people off.

:, , , , ,

Leave a Reply