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We Need A Better Driving Game (And Other Gaming Thoughts)

Do you know what we need? A driving game that isn’t strictly for car enthusiasts. I’m watching a livestream of GTA5, and I keep thinking, “I wonder what that shitty Infiniti G20 I used to own would drive like in this game?”

Basically, I want a driving game that isn’t a supercar fantasy land. Like, sure, have a Porche and a Lambo and a... Fuck, I dunno, a Fiat, somewhere in the game, but make the game true to real life. 90% of the cars on my commute to and from work are plain-Jane - sedans, minivans, minivans for people who think they’re too good for minivans (SUVs), things like that. But in this GTA stream, you can grab a Porche pretty much anywhere. It’s the same with Gran Turismo, Forza, whatever.


But I don’t care about those fancy cars. As someone who’s genuinely fond of affordable commuting cars, I want a game where I can drive them. And I don’t mean that as, “I want GTA with just Corollas.” I do want those cars, but as part of the larger driving game formula. I want to be able to try and outrun cops in my 2009 Accent hatchback. I wanna run my 2002 Sunfire on a test track and see how its acceleration and top speed compare to a Beamer.

But bigger than that, I want cars with flaws. As someone who works in the auto industry (I work for a company that designs assembly lines, primarily for auto parts assembly), I have a bit of love for the knitty-gritty of cars. Like, yeah, those LEDs under your Lexus look “cool”, I guess, but they’re not what makes that car great. It’s the quality of the parts under the hood that justify that price tag, not the bells and whistles. And I’d love to feel the difference between a cheap car and a high-end one in a game like this.

And I want cars that need repairs - I want a Civic with a timing belt that’s about to go, that shits the bed the second you go over 140km/h. I wanna carjack a minivan, only to find the front drive shafts are clicking like a Swahili rap group every time I make a left turn. Little things like this - they would make these games so much more interesting to me. Obviously, half the cars would be in great shape. I mean, that’s true to reality. But a lot of cars are shite, and I’d love that element of random chance where hi-jacking a Ford Tempo is a high-risk gamble, where stealing a brand new Jag is close to a sure thing. It would add a lot of tension to these games, and make for a much more varied experience.

Of course, this game will probably never happen. At the end of the day, car culture, in the States especially, ignores the more practical cars in favour of mechanical fantasy. But as a guy who religiously does preventive maintenance on a car that “doesn’t deserve it,” and as a guy who makes engineering drawings of car parts become a reality, it’s just so hard to take that fantasy seriously. I have no appreciation for a supercar because the most effort and the best engineering goes into the cheapest models.


PS, here is my sweet cinnamon roll. I’ve named it, “Carizard”.


Anyway, some other random gaming thoughts...

- We need another Pokemon Snap. If Nintendo announces it at E3, I’m getting a Wii U.

- I’ve been playing Remember Me, and I can’t decide if I love it or hate it. The concept and art style are amazing, but the gameplay is pretty terrible. One of the bosses has a quick time events thing, but one of the button prompts doesn’t appear. It’s stupid.

- GamerGate is a joke. They are to ethics what bigoted American conspiracy theorists are to freedom.

- I bought a 360 a couple of weeks ago, and you’d think that after nearly a decade, I might find something on XBLA worth buying... Nope! I got R-Type Dimensions and Guardian Heroes, but after that, it’s pretty dismal.

- Got a really strong urge to start playing a Tactics Ogre or Fire Emblem game. That’ll be my next game for sure.

- Why are PS3 controllers still so expensive? $55 everywhere, no fluctuation. I bought a wireless Cirka controller for $30, but it doesn’t have rumble or Sixaxis, and it doesn’t pick up rapid inputs (like in Remember Me, where you need to spin the analog stick around to remind a scene). I don’t understand why these companies don’t lower their prices to appeal to a working class audience who couldn’t afford the consoles when they came out... Like, both the PS3 and 360 are still $200 for the base model, the new releases are as much as $75 per game at some retailers, and the accessories are still ludicrously expensive. Why? You’ve made your money back, why not try selling to a new audience that doesn’t have as much money to throw around?

- I spent $35 on a Torterra Tomy figure and a Liepard Gachapon. See, the problem with 700+ Poochymans is, if you want merch for a specific one, it’s really hard to find. I feel terrible for the fans of throwaway Pokemon like... Fearow. Or Volbeat. Or Chingling. They’re completely fucking SOL unless they wanna frame some cards. This is a good reason why mainstream adoption of 3D printing would kick some serious ass!

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