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Next generation car gaming looks utterly incredible
By Matthew Hansen • 22/08/2016
PlayStation Access sample the next phase of car gaming
It's been a fair while since I was properly into the world of gaming, but this might just be enough to yank me back into the bottomless pit.
VR (that's 'Virtual Reality' to anyone over 35) has fast become one of the biggest buzz-words in the gaming industry, with every genre doing everything they can to capture the market and milk the emerging technology for all it's worth. Car games, save for a few independent projects, has largely been neglected.
“Until now” says I, in a deep and clichéd Hollywood trailer accent.
With the forthcoming PlayStation VR comes the first serious big-budget stab at a car game based on VR tech, in the shape of Driveclub Virtual Reality. The guys from PlayStation Access quite literally got behind the wheel recently and the results were quite clear.
Now, Driveclub is hardly a cutting edge car-gaming title — “a simple racing game in which frustration is common and thrills are in short supply” according to the reviewers at Gamespot. But even so, you can see how incredible and immersive it looks once combined with a VR engine.
More than anything else in the video above, even the delightfully British accents, the thing that sticks with me is that the guy driving points out that he's traditionally terrible at car games, but the video he actually performs quite well. He and his partner in crime quickly diagnose that this is because the in-game process while using VR is much closer to actual driving, and so some of the same processes overlap.
“I know when I need to brake, I know how much I need to brake. It's completely different to doing it on a 2D screen,” he says.
The fact that the VR technology can help car gaming further bridge the gap between plebeian traditional controller gaming and the real thing in this way says some great things about the future of the genre. Hopefully this isn't just a short-lived gimmick.