Playing racing games is always a controversial topic. The meaning of the word differs from person to person, and often it means something different in terms of design and settings, but rarely changes from game to game. I tend to see racing games as a way of keeping younger people interested in a game that they might otherwise have abandoned in their teens. That is to say, and racing games are typically multi-track game worlds that put the player in the role of a racing driver for some time, possibly six months.
Role of Players:
Players have the opportunity to drive each track in a specific way, like in a sim, or make choices that affect the speed at which they do this. A game like Lufia II could have a relatively fast racing pace, but the slower route for some scenarios would often be preferred to drive on the faster path and to reach the goal faster. It may be engaging in specific ways, but usually, it doesn’t push the player to perform at the absolute top of their ability.
Usually, in racing games, racing is the attraction, and gameplay is a secondary form of racing. But can usually break down racing games into two broad categories: racing on tracks & with cars and drivers. Some games are strictly racing, while others provide other types of gameplay. There is racing on tracks, with tracks that are mostly straight and don’t usually change (this is called a ‘linear’ racing game). There are also racing games that are about racing, as opposed to racing with cars. These are usually in the styles of arcade racers or fantasy-based racing games.
What is racing games for gamers?
For many people, driving is the most important aspect of racing games, and this seems to be the significant aspect of racing games that changes. But this is not always the case. In racing games, the idea is that the racing itself is the main attraction. The majority of racing games can’t be much of a racer but are generally well-designed games that combine racing with an exciting challenge. The more impressive of these are games that are rather unforgiving while also providing the possibility of success.
For example, in the newer Half-Life games, driving is more about racing with a racing car than driving for the speed of the racing itself. Each game is more challenging than the last and requires complete concentration from the player. In racing games that drive an entirely new car (such as Project Gotham Racing), driving itself is the reward. Their overall handling judges cars and a particular vehicle may only be good at one particular type of driving. Still, it may be able to achieve better results than many vehicles.
Method used by players:
The racing elements also have a very different appeal. These games are sometimes highly similar, but there are many significant differences. For example, in some racing games, races happen on a single racetrack. With each car competing against other vehicles in a race. It is often called a ‘short-distance race since it consists of a single lap around a small track. In other racing games, races involve a race around a series of tracks. And a racing timer decides the number of laps that take place within a certain period.
This method, which tends to be used for racing game that provide the option of customizing the map. Often has a competitive edge over the traditional short-distance racing method. Many racing games also provide a competitive mode of racing that allows players to race against one another and test their driving skills. While this could be seen as an appealing feature, depending on what kind of player one is. Sometimes it isn’t quite as appealing as traditional racing.
With many games being set on racing circuits, how is this displayed?
Is it always a single circuit, or are there usually multiple circuits? How can the player judge what the best lap is and the stakes if they do not go fast enough? Can the player win if they make a mistake? Games tend to have a single circuit or at least the possibility of a circuit. Sometimes, a race has multiple areas with different courses, and these may form one overall circuit. Games like Forza Motorsport use more than one track for a single race, and the limitations for each course may vary from one race to another. Games tend to use just one circuit that is used for the whole game.
Can do it for several different reasons. For example, some games are set explicitly for high-performance cars, and the circuit needs to be a specific kind of circuit. For games that are primarily made for game consoles, sometimes this is just a way to save time. It is worth it because the game will run faster on a dedicated game console, and the gameplay will be more appealing to players. Some games also feature less attractive circuits that are usually not very difficult but are more about racing against the clock than racing for outright speed.
What is racing at a race?
Is there a ‘real-time’ element? Some games focus on the race itself, not necessarily providing the choice to drive at a certain speed. And doing whatever the player wants during a race. However, racing is a great way to see how fast a player can drive. Sometimes the races are placed in a timed format. And the goal is to go as fast as possible within the time limits.
If a racing game is to be held up as an example of how a racing game can be exciting. Then game of this type have a chance of succeeding. However, game that are purely about racing at a particular speed over a single track are not quite as impressive. These games can be frustrating for many players because they require them to perform almost all of their driving skills. The timing of braking and steering is usually quite fast, and driving down a particular straight can be very effective. However, high-speed laps can be made or a slower lap if the player decides not to be fast enough at braking or steering.
Some games try to include a wide variety of racing modes, especially racing games that aren’t set on racing circuits. Some games are also set on a racing circuit, but not necessarily will focus all the driving on racing. In these games, there will be other types of racing that are still based on driving. But with various ways to engage with the gameplay. For example, in Gran Turismo 5, racing with a steering wheel, racing with a lap counter, racing against another player, and racing against the game itself. Other games offer a racing mode and a mode of racing without the player needing to drive. The modes may be race-specific or away for a game to try different racing styles. The racing could have cars, or there could be a ‘piggyback’ car. Or it could be a race with a horse or a motorcycle.