When Everything Works: The Review of Race 07

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Looking back on the period of time prior to the launch of Project CARS, I think the main reason I personally never bought into the insurmountable hype surrounding Slightly Mad Studios’ crowdfunded racer was because the game did little to distinguish itself from an already established racing sim. Landing on Steam in October of 2007, and seeing a console release on the Xbox 360 in the form of Race Pro, Race 07: The WTCC Game was an extremely competent and polished jack-of-all trades racing sim that succeeded in its attempts to condense all of your sim racing needs into one single experience. Created by the group that spawned the one-two punch of GTR 2 and GT Legends, Race 07 was not only an adequate and affordable introduction into the world of sim racing for curious PC gamers, but a highly detailed and sophisticated hardcore racing simulator that met the needs of die-hard virtual motorsports enthusiasts. Flawlessly integrating multiple layers of accessibility into Race 07 was a stunning accomplishment for SimBin during the very different sim racing landscape of the pre-Obama days, and their near-perfect execution of the title made the Project CARS disaster an even tougher pill to swallow. In theory, video games are supposed to get better as technology improves.

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In reality, the games got worse.

Project CARS was an abysmal attempt to re-make a Race 07-like game for next generation consoles. The lack of any real quality assurance testing forced Slightly Mad Studios to constantly churn out post-release patches in an effort to fix a never-ending list of bugs, glitches, and exploits, turning the once highly anticipated racing sim into the butt of many jokes on various sim racing message boards. Assetto Corsa also tried to improve on the jack-of-all trades recipe that made Race 07 so successful, yet after graduating Steam’s Early Access program fell victim to a misguided development trajectory once Kunos Simulazioni set their sights on the console crowd. Lastly, the team at SimBin went through a restructuring phase and re-branded themselves as Sector 3 studios, yet the forced reliance on micro-transactions by their overlords at RaceRoom stunted the growth of RaceRoom Racing Experience.

Many sim racers bought Race 07. Many sim racers played Race 07. The game indeed enjoyed a successful lifespan, featuring several official expansion packs released by SimBin, a healthy third party modification community, and countless online leagues using the title as a competitive platform. However, after hundreds of hours and obvious advances in gaming technology, sim racers wanted to move on from Race 07. And when they did, games like Project CARS, Assetto Corsa, and RaceRoom Racing Experience served not as ambassadors for the new generation of racing sims, but harsh reminders that the glory days of sim racing are now firmly in the past.

In a disappointing display of how backwards the sim racing genre has become as we enter 2016, Race 07 is still objectively the best racing sim you can purchase for the PC. Boasting a list of features that modern sim developers call customers “losers” and “entitled” for requesting, as well as a fundamentally sound driving model that uses every last line of code in the isiMotor engine that powers it, Race 07 and its multitude of expansion packs are more relevant than they’ve ever been. No longer just one of many racing sims populating the market in 2007, Race 07 is a blueprint that the current crop of developers creating realistic driving games for the PC should have been following since day one.

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Releasing a few years after the rFactor craze allowed Race 07 to gain immediate traction within the sim community. With the control options, graphics settings, and even the modding aspect retaining all the fundamental features of a sim powered by the isiMotor engine, stepping into Race 07 is no different than getting into a title like Stock Car Extreme. You’ve done it before. The familiarity allows your average sim racer to jump into the game and feel comfortable with the multitude of options and configuration settings, in some cases copying exact values from their rFactor install into Race 07 without any substantial tweaking needed. It’s nice to fire up a game and essentially be able to port my wheel setup across one game into another, down to the button assignments, as it means I can spend more time on the track, and less time browsing the forums looking for answers. With Race 07 running on a very common racing sim engine, my Catalyst Control Center graphics profile can simply be copied from Stock Car Extreme into the new Race 07 profile. For this review, I was able to re-configure my profile from the ground up, and get on the track to run a few test laps at Brands Hatch in less than five minutes.

The lack of configuration bullshit that plagues titles like Assetto Corsa, Project CARS, or rFactor extends past the initial configuration. I’m not fucking around with finding the latest version of the RealFeel or Track Map plugins, nor am I scrolling through the Player.INI file to make all of my preferred cockpit view and FPS tweaks. I don’t have to download a mod just for wet weather racing. I don’t have to download a specific version of SweetFX to make the game look like the preview screenshots, nor am I hunting for a memory patch to make the game compatible with modern hardware. I’m not messing with apps and dragging the various elements of my HUD around, nor am I digging through forum threads to learn about what each FFB configuration slider does. Hell, I even have a rudimentary crew chief barking at me through the in-car radio. Out of the box, Race 07 doesn’t want me to waste a few nights browsing sim racing message boards for supplementary information. Race 07 wants me to race.

The whole package feels as if SimBin were allowed to crack open the isiMotor engine and inject as much as they possibly could into to ensure a smooth gameplay experience. If this development approach sounds eerily familiar, that’s because the concept behind Race 07 is also the same concept which powered RaceRoom Racing Experience, NASCAR 09, and the upcoming Automobilista – pay Image Space Incorporated a hefty amount of money to go to town on their pride and joy. It is strange to see sim racers celebrating a developer like Reiza Studios purchasing the ability to modify the isiMotor engine, when they’re something like the fifth developer to do so, and the process has been around for about a decade.

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Despite being a racing sim that predominantly focuses on the World Touring Car Championship, Race 07 is much more than just a touring car game. The track list appears to concentrate solely on the worldwide journey of the world’s premiere touring car series, but due to the instability of the yearly WTCC calendar, every major European racing facility pops up at least once, leading to an extremely varied track roster. Iconic locations such as Monza and Brands Hatch compliment the truly odd-ball inclusions such as Marrakech and Macau, all of which are recreated to fairly decent standards. While Portimao obviously pales in comparison to the superior version found in RaceRoom Racing Experience, tracks such as Road America, Zolder, and Imola feature a surprising amount of detail for a game that should instead be making your eyes bleed.

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But Race 07 becomes much more than a touring car game upon the purchase of the several official expansion packs, usually available as a complete package for no more than $20 on CD key sites. Adding everything from amateur open wheel cars to an Assetto Corsa-like selection of production sports cars into Race 07, the highlight of these packs is without question the GTR Evolution bundle. Featuring three distinct classes of GT-spec sports cars, as well as the Nurburgring Nordschleife, the expansion pack is the closest SimBin has ever come to releasing a sequel to the critically acclaimed GTR 2. Even though it lacks entries from both Ferrari and Porsche due to licensing constraints, GTR Evolution was the original “Dream Pack DLC,” before Kunos Simulazioni were even a blip on the radar. Basically, this is what made people rush out and buy Race 07 if they hadn’t already.

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What’s important to note about Race 07, is the abundance of full classes as opposed to one or two cars from each racing series. This is not Assetto Corsa, where only Ayrton Senna’s Lotus 98T appears from the 1986 Formula One season. This is not Project CARS, where only a handful of GT2 cars have made the cut. You’re receiving full WTCC seasons, full STCC seasons, a huge selection of GT cars from all three sub-classes, and even a full fictional Formula One grid where each car performs in a slightly different manner. The trend of modern sim developers offering a pinch of cars from each major racing discipline is a concept that doesn’t exist in Race 07; the diverse roster of vehicles in each class is one of the game’s strong points, allowing brand loyalty and genuine rivalries to develop.

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Adding to the exceptional variety of official content is the vast array of quality third party mods available for Race 07. With rFactor being the more popular game between the two isiMotor sims, a lot of the junk mods quickly churned out by private leagues or communities made their way into the rFactor mod databases, whereas only the quality mods received an official conversion into Race 07. Digging through the TrippTeam archives and even NoGripRacing, the ratio of hits compared to misses when scoping out Race 07 mods is a lot more acceptable than it is for a title like rFactor, and it becomes significantly easier to amass a selection of quality mods in a shorter time frame.

The highlight of the third party mod selection for Race 07 is undoubtedly the conversions of stock content from both GTR 2 and GT Legends, as virtually nothing has been lost in translation from the two previous SimBin games of which the content has been ripped from. As the content has been built by SimBin themselves, and there’s a ton of different cars to pick from over three distinct eras of both GT and Touring Car racing, you’re left with two killer unofficial expansion packs that make use of the modern-ish technology powering Race 07. It’s nice to play with these cars in a sim that doesn’t feel too dated or suffer from obvious technological setbacks.

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Once it comes time to finally get your ass on the track, Race 07 makes things incredibly easy on the end user. While setting up a race, every setting you could possibly desire for either a quick session or full championship is at your disposal, including the ability to reverse a portion of the grid, swap between multiple qualifying formats, and even allow for variable weather. While modern sim developers scoff at the fact that people want the ability to jump the start, follow around a pace car, or receive penalties for rough driving, and fanboys bend over backwards to make inane excuses for unfinished and/or buggy games, Race 07 allows you to customize your experience each and every time you hit the track. And more importantly, the options work as they’re supposed to. You can begin your time in Race 07 by taking street legal Dodge Vipers across the pacific to Macau and racing in a monsoon a la Project Gotham Racing 4, and an hour later be competing in a near perfect replication of a GT3 event at Hockenheim, all without exiting the game.

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And turning competitive laps in Race 07 doesn’t require you to be a rocket scientist in the garage menu. To my surprise, the default setups the game ships with in both the vanilla content, as well as third party mods, are actually quite good. By default, the ride height is lowered to the minimum value, and the springs are as soft as they can go – a universal baseline setup in most isiMotor games. Being able to jump in a car, tweak only the steering lock, and immediately begin turning laps with a car that handled comfortably is something that more games need to look into doing. I know that learning how to build setups is a huge part of the fun that comes with diving head first into racing simulators, but at some point you have to realize that auto racing isn’t going on a Trans-Atlantic journey with a Boeing 747, and it’s okay if some of the fun comes out on the track itself.

But what sets Race 07 apart from many other modern sims, and actually makes this game still worth having installed and maintained, is the competent artificial intelligence. Now, I use the word “competent” because I’m not going to pretend they exhibit driving habits on par with the scholars seen in NASCAR Racing 2003 Season, but compared to the AI behavior in Project CARS or Assetto Corsa… You can actually race these guys and have yourself a bit of fun. The AI cars put up a fight, are aware of your position, and more often than not provide legitimate competition.

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In Assetto Corsa, taking screenshots of the artificial intelligence bugging the fuck out became a game unto itself – there’s no way something like this should have been released for public consumption. In Project CARS, my first race at the Nordschleife in a recent post-release version of the game with GT3 saw all AI cars spin and come to a complete stop in the Karussell at maximum difficulty, allowing me to win the race with ease. Finally, in RaceRoom Racing Experience, I was able to make an AI car lose control of all bowel movements upon pulling a sick crossover move at Sears Point. It’s disappointing to own three completely different racing sims, and have an entire portion of the game rendered useless by the same issues across each of them.

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By comparison, Race 07 allowed me to string together a captivating series of offline races and practice sessions with AI drivers that made my time invested into the sim worthwhile. Originally, I took the 2011 FIA GT3 series to Okayama, a track many iRacers will be familiar with as one of the rookie layouts for the Spec Miata cup. Instead of walking away with the victory after consistently turning faster laps than the AI due to a bug in a certain sector of the course that saw the AI slow the fuck down for no reason at all, I was treated to a crazy three car battle for the lead. Meanwhile, rFactor 2 players have to watch a 10 minute tutorial just to get the AI configured in a way where they won’t shit themselves.

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Afterwards, I started messing around with the GT Legends conversion mod, and basically spent an entire night running races at the short layout of Monza before moving to the Portimao circuit that I’ve grown accustomed to through RaceRoom Racing Experience. Instead of watching the AI struggle to make it around the track in cars that were no more technologically advanced than a bath tub on wheels, I was given several enjoyable battles with computer opponents who tried their best to put up a fight.

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No matter what combination I tried, whether it be a flock of Audi R8’s at the Nordschleife, or DTM cars at the modern Imola layout, the computer opponents made it perfectly clear that I was not playing a re-skinned rFactor, but a game that wanted to hold my attention for the long haul. I never felt immediately compelled to jump online and search for human opponents, because unlike modern sims, the first half of the game hadn’t been rendered completely useless. Lengthy single events, and even an offline championship, suddenly seemed like a viable option.

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So what, in particular, does Race 07 do right compared to all these other games you’re probably playing?

It starts with the list of content. Somehow, Race 07 expands on the selection of content seen in games like Assetto Corsa or Project CARS, making the backwards jump from modern sims into SimBin’s older offering an easy transition. Starting with the template of providing a mix of several different auto racing disciplines and street cars, Race 07 gives you more of the solid foundation upon which these games have been built. Assetto Corsa gives you an array of random street legal vehicles to select from, but Race 07 makes sure the street cars you can drive are desirable – you’re getting Dodge Chargers, Audi R8’s, and the elusive Koenigsegg CCX. Project CARS gives you a couple different touring cars from throughout the years, but SimBin has given you entire WTCC and STCC seasons – complete with the full calendar of tracks for your offline championship. An accurate Nordschleife has been all the rage over the past few months in the current sim racing landscape, and SimBin have thrown their own Nordschleife into the mix for good measure as part of the GTR Evolution expansion – though the textures are straight out of 2008. Yet despite the obvious reduction in texture resolution, downgrading to Race 07 from modern sims doesn’t feel like much of a downgrade, and in some aspects, you’re actually getting more content.

Out on the track, the game stands above other isiMotor games due to the extremely tangible edge of the tire model – something SimBin were able to do with total control of the isiMotor engine. Unlike rFactor or Stock Car Extreme, where throttle management is sometimes left to your own guesswork and experience, you can feel the outside rear tire skipping around under power as you exit a corner – and hold it there thanks to improved force feedback effects. In older cars (as well as the production vehicles), this makes it possible to really dance around with the car while still staying in complete control of your vehicle, and you can approach the limit of what your tires will allow with much more precision. Like Assetto Corsa, there is a pronounced understeer effect if you mess up your line, but the tire model refinements let you wheel the car to your advantage and dial the understeer out entirely. Objectively, the overall force feedback feeling isn’t better than RealFeel – it’s different – but the way the tires behave is one of those deals where you can tell this clearly isn’t just rFactor with a new coat of paint.

More pronounced brake fade was also an interesting curve ball I wasn’t quite ready for.

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But the overall polish is where Race 07 comes together. Booting up the game and seeing this kind of package presented with slick menus, catchy music, and rarely any bugs is where Race 07 really comes through in the clutch. On paper, Race 07 and Project CARS are basically the same game. However, Race 07 actually works. Yeah, the graphics are clearly dated, but cars don’t explode into the air, wet tires aren’t faster in dry conditions, pit stops don’t attach four blown tires onto my car, the AI plays by the same set of rules and moral obligations as I do, and the force feedback menu makes sense. I can race against the cars I want to race against, save my setups based on each track, play in the rain while watching the AI cars struggle with a damp track in the same manner I am, and view replays without the wrong car models showing up. After the disastrous display of modern racing sims, the fact that Race 07 boots up and does what I ask it to is something I no longer take for granted. The chunk of time I usually expect to spend browsing forums looking for fixes or downloading mods just to get the base game up and running is instead spent on the track blasting around with a field of AI cars.

I can turn laps behind a pace car without developers calling me a loser for implying that this feature should still be in a racing simulator ten years later. I am not told that being able to jump the start before the lights go green will be in Race 08 – because that functionality is already in the game. My crew chief barking lap times at me and warning me of on-track incidents is not listed as some groundbreaking feature – it’s just sort of there and enabled by default. I don’t have to wait for a mod just to calculate points and run an offline championship – the game offers several official schedules, and let’s me build my own if I’m bored. I don’t have to purposely drive as if the AI are special needs children, imposing my own set of superficial challenges to pretend the game is halfway playable – they’re competent enough to blow me out of the water and rub fenders with me if I’m in their way.

Oh, and I can pick the color of my car when I go jump into an online race. That’s really cool.

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It’s extremely gratifying to play a racing sim where I can sit down and focus on the actual racing. None of this bullshit where I’m sitting around on message boards waiting weeks or months for a future update to make the game playable, while attempting to kiss the asses of sim developers because they posted a blog thanking us for buying a couple DLC packs. Race 07 is still enjoyable in 2016, because it serves as the anti-thesis of all modern racing sims. Your time isn’t spent troubleshooting or searching for fixes to a bug or glitch that shouldn’t have been there in the first place. You boot up the executable, and you get right to racing, which is how it should be. How developers have strayed from such a solid template despite the superior technology available to develop something more captivating than Race 07 is beyond me.

Sim Racing isn’t supposed to be an eternal science fair to see which developer can put out the most tire model fixes in a year, or who can get away with labeling their game Version 8.0 without fans asking “what the fuck is this bullshit?” And yet, just under a month into 2016, that is the reality of this entire genre. Another tire model. Another batch of bugs. Another science project sets up shop in the gymnasium, with no completion date listed.

Race 07 is a game that should have been permanently placed on the shelf long ago; serving as little more than a reminder of where sim racing as a genre had been prior to the arrival of Sebastien Vettel. Instead, Race 07 has now transcended into an elder figure; an elder statesman that scoffs at the misguided projects sold as fully-priced racing sims in 2016.

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76 thoughts on “When Everything Works: The Review of Race 07

  1. Is there any sort of career mode mod for this game? Race 07 and most of its expansions have been sitting in my Steam library untouched for quite some time, as I just don’t think I’ll be able to really enjoy it without some sense of progression. I definitely play more arcade racers than sims, but DiRT Rally has had me hooked for awhile, and I think part of that is the presence of it’s relatively rudimentary career mode. I’ve looked around and haven’t found much, but I thought I’d ask here.

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    1. Load it up and see what you find?

      GT Legends has a non-complete-rubbish single player cup mode. $8 / 6€ on Steam. Can be recommended as a sim that comes with something that resembles an actual game in it.

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  2. ” With the control options, graphics settings, and even the modding aspect retaining all the fundamental features of a sim powered by the isiMotor engine, stepping into Race 07 is no different than getting into a title like Stock Car Extreme. You’ve done it before. ”

    That explains the issues I had configuring it; I basically only started buying sim games in 2013 (I liked driving games but with no wheel there was no point trying most sims; in 2013 I scraped together 80 bux and got a used DFGT). As such, it felt old – shitty fullscreen implementation that makes my desktop icons rearrange themselves when I launch it, can’t tab out to a browser to Google what the fuck setting makes my steering wheel turn the same as the ingame one:

    Obviously I set ‘speed sensitivity’ to 0 since I have a 900 degree wheel, but what ‘steering sensitivity’ is “linear 1 to 1”? Is it 0%? 100%? Somewhere in between?

    Assetto Corsa may have flaws, but it’s properly modern in controls and graphics – 900 degree wheels are set up with a slider set to “900 degrees”, if you want to run it in windowed mode (no-border) you just check a checkbox. My 16:10 monitor is in the resolution dropdown. Etc.

    Frankly whole series are a double edged sword. If I like the series, great. If I don’t like them, boom, 1/3 of the content in the game is not worth using.

    Also, in what world is a Dodge Charger and Koenigsegg CCX more special than a Pagani Zonda R? El Ferrari?

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    1. Honestly, I don’t remember. A percentage doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

      Either way, the setting your looking for is almost certainly 0%, 50% or 100%. One of those three should do it.

      Overall, I agree with your comment. Sometimes the ISI-tainted sunglasses completely overwhelm James 😉

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  3. I’d definitely rather throw a Challenger around as opposed to an Alfa econobox or a Lotus that is only marginally different from the other dozen Lotuses that are available in AC.

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    1. Have you ever driven a challenger? They are catastrophically shitty cars. They handle like shit, the brakes are shit, the steering is shit…

      It’s one of the biggest fakes around. Why the fuck would you want to drive a virtual version of a car with a legacy chassis and new, giant and completely illogical body slapped on top?

      You have plenty of other good cars to discuss that AC does not offer… Instead, you choose the fucking challenger?

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  4. What I wanna know – and am really only interested in driving (although a Dodge Charger does pique my interest) – is are there any NASCAR mods for this software engineering wonder of yesteryear? I prefer American muscle over European ponce any day. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Whoa there, sport. Kunos Simulazioni was more than a blip on the radar back in 2007, they had netKar Pro released since April 2006: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NetKar_Pro. You can say it sucks or whatever, but it existed and it was known enough to put Kunos on the map way back before GTR Evolution was released.

    Just correcting the info, not defending Kunos. That’s their problem if they can’t get their shit together.

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    1. yep .. final (non beta) version of netKar was april 2010 .. don`t really know how much audience nK has in 2006-2008 .. but technically you are correct .. with nK we kind of get the introduction to Kunos being shitty dev.studio very capable of doing driving physics …

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  6. Key point in this post is that relative to what was being done a decade ago (Race07, GTR2, NR2003) sim game development has gone the wrong way, or rather took the wrong fork in the road. A proper evolution of those three titles would have been awesome.
    The fact that only eye candy has really improved in sims over the past ten years, while essential racing elements have remained stagnant or (scandalously) dropped from modern sims suggests the direction of sim evolution is not being led or dictated by developers with racing in their blood.

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    1. Disagreed. If you didn’t find the same valuable and fundamental features in modern sims as the older sims, why you didn’t remain with those games and played them continuously until a sim worthy of your standards appeared.

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      1. I have or have had every ‘serious’ road racing sim (four wheels that is) ever made I think: GP2, GP3, GP4, GPL, NR2003, GTR, GTR2, Indycar Racing II, Race07 plus all Simbin add-ons, iRacing, pCars1, pCars2, RRE, SimRaceway, LFS, rFactor, rFactor2, GSC, GSCE, AC, NetKar and a trillion mods.
        I feel that in the mid 2000s we were getting somewhere with sims, sim development was heading in the right direction.
        For instance I really I felt GT3 would be the business, but that went belly up.
        Papy sims went the way of iRacing and if you are into the whole in depth MP sim racing thing and take your simming very, very seriously then you cannot fault iRacing – although at the moment many subscribers are pissed off…
        But for the rest of the sims they have flaws – which IMO makes them inferior to most of the current offerings and to this day I gravitate from one to another for short bursts of time eg when updates are made.
        At the moment rF2 and GSCE are my sims of choice – but this might change soon… in other words: I still haven’t found what I am looking for,

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      2. Then stop treating Kunos like they ruined simracing for you. When you should look at the older sim dev companies which made games you loved. Why did they abandon their models and quality of current games compared to the older? Or why some stopped making sims altogether? You should analyze that before ranting on newer games/companies that invested themselves in this genre.

        This is the first traditional type of game from Kunos, where others already made a bunch. They didn’t want to compete with any of those games from the past. For me it was clear from the start they were making a “simple” sim racing game where the focus wasn’t to simulate the deep and complex experience of motorsport. They just wanted cars and tracks, driving and racing them. Without much fuss, just get in the game and drive/race other drivers.

        But some people took it upon themselves that all sim racing games must apply to some standard of sim racing. When it doesn’t have to be that way. Anyone can make as simple or as deep game experience in a sim. Then people choose the product it suits them up better, or even several of them. No necessity to be limited to one sim racing game.

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      3. WTF do you get this from: Then stop treating Kunos like they ruined simracing for you
        I can’t recall when I slagged of Kunos. But while I am at it I will say that AC does not convince me to make me a fanboy or make it my go to sim, but I still fire it up to do hotlaps with cars I like, such as the McLaren M23 mod which is top notch in my book…

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    1. you realise there’s still a ton of non steam players right? You can stop posting this screenshot over and over and over as it’s meaningless.

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      1. yes i have non steam ripfactor..but never play it..so boring shit..AC and DR is all you need.what that ton supposed to mean? 1 million ? lel.

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  7. It really is a cointoss between RACE and GTR2. Setting up RACE is more straightforward but GTR2 has even more features. The main reason why offline racers stick with GTR2 is that it is simpler to mod and at the end of the day you can get even more features and tweaks for it. The people that have stuck with it will be the ones not bothered to spend some time to get everything they want the way they want (which they can).

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    1. i just love how many fanboys AC has (and I love AC) and how offended they get when someone dares say anything against it. Are you saying things mentioned in this article about AC are inaccurate? They seem spot on to me and I follow the forums as well as their social media in hopes of them finally improving the game instead of just console-izing it and DLC-ing it.

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    1. tldr for you, just the same rehashed words, sentences, and arguments. This article was pretty much going around in circles talking stuff about race07 and how is James’ new wet dream. The more you read into this article you remember you read the same words and sentences in the previous paragraphs.

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  8. I’m guessing James is too young to remember the community reaction to RACE 07 and GTR Evo. RACE 07 was criticised for removing features from GTR2 such as day/night transitions, pit-stops and in-race saves. GTR Evo put back pit-stops (without the animated pit-crew), but Simbin made the mistake of saying they were working on a new graphics engine before GTR Evo’s release and many complained that GTR Evo was still using “ancient 3-year old gMotor2 graphics”. Little did we know Reiza would still be releasing games with this graphics engine when it was 10 years old.

    Its good to see RACE 07 getting some well deserved praise (even if the praise is to attack the current generation of sims). I don’t agree though that GTR2 or GTL are showing their age more than RACE 07. Of course RACE 07 is a newer title and does have some improvements over its predecessors but I for one prefer the cubemap reflections used in GTL/GTR2 over the reflectionless cars in RACE 07.

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    1. In many respects, Race’07 (and GTR’Evo) were a considerable step backwards in terms of features and detail aspects or graphical quality, when compared to GTR2 and GTL.
      It’s therefore no surprise that, back then, a big part (most?) of the community came back to GTR2 (and GTL) even when there were (illegal) conversion of content of those two for Race’07. The foundation was stronger (still is) in those.

      @James:

      I see some rather inconsistent and misinformed bits in the article, which I do find relevant and in need of correction:

      The group that spawned the one-two punch of GTR2 and GT Legends was actually Blimey!Games, formed by Ian Bell and by the core team of SimBin (and SBDT) that splited fro, SimBin sometime after the production of the original GTR of SimBim (aka GTR1).

      The two groups would go different ways – SimBin going their own way with Henrik Roos (who later would leave), and Blimey!Games remained with 10Tacle (the publisher of the games).
      AFAIK, Blimey!Games had some contract ties yet to be solved (with SimBin) and they worked as sub-contracted producing team for them.
      10Tacle went burst, and so did Blimey!Games as well – it would later be reborned as “Slightly Mad Studios”.

      SimBin still take all the credit for both GTR2 and GTL, which is unfortunate and somewhat unfair because, in reality, the SimBin group that did Race’07 and GTR’Evo have very, very little to do with the group that produced GTR2 and GTL.

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      1. Agreed 100%
        At the time everyone had high hopes for GTR3 which was going to be the real big deal.
        Instead we got watered down versions of GTR2 with Race07 which was undoubtedly the inbred offspring missing many key elements which made GTR2 special.
        And in fact in RRE is clearly the inbred cousin of Race07 (lacking sophistication and polish) while GTR2 was the elegant relative which Simbin/Sector simply liquidated. Why I wonder?

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      2. @PeeVee – There are certainly glaring omissions in Race07 from what I’m reading here, but I can’t get over how excited I am to drive the entry-level open wheelers in Race 07, where I can more or less take or leave GT cars.

        So I wouldn’t say it’s *just* a bastardized GTR2. It’s a bastardized GTR2 with a bunch of other racing classes, which isn’t nothing.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. James, you need to get an editor, as this probably could have been chopped down significantly and gotten your point across in a more effective manner. Also, the word “antithesis” is not hyphenated, just FYI.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s certainly an omission. I would like to see 100 laps at a minimum, since Formula One races can go pretty close to that. I don’t know if it’s as big of an omission as, say, not being able to do proper pit stops in single player, though. (On the other hand, the downgrade from animated to non-animated pit stops between GTR2 and Race 07 mentioned above…)

      Like

  10. Good article, as ever. Well done to Kunos for fostering an “us vs them” mentality in their fanbase in much less time than it took SMS to do, I guess. Having an army of apologist consumers OK your every shitty whim is probably the easiest way to get away with selling a half-baked product, but maybe I’m just bitter because I forked out for both the damn game and for all 3 DLCs so far. AI is somewhat improved lately though to be fair, so long as you only use a select few (very few) cars on a select few tracks though, so I guess that’s good enough for some…

    Anti-AC rant over, is the sim scene really so stale right now that you’re having to cover the same old points about the subjective sim “golden era” as against the crop of -admittedly 90% crap- current products?

    (P.S. Please get your stuff proofread, standards are slipping…)

    Like

  11. There just had to be a McLaren-Orange 12C GT3 in this game, and it’s the ol’ Blancpain livery too…
    (Insert ‘this is my fetish’ joke)

    I think I did get Race07 during a summer-sale last year, I might just have to look into this for some GT3 action, after OVGT3 ended on a stale-note for me.

    Like

  12. It’s always weird seeing nostalgia goggles for GTR2 and Race07 when there was a massive shitstorm on RSC and RAS about how dumbed down they were when they came out.

    Like

    1. That’s exactly right. Those guys who put down the more recent games don’t last a week playing those older sims which they keep saying at every opportunity that are better and the standard.

      Like

    2. Sometimes people need time to put things in perspective in order to judge how good was a game, and afther 10 years I can tell you not only Race 07 “was” an excelente game but still being excelent compared with new titles.

      Like

  13. Whilst “feature complete” RACE07 also has some truly awful track models. The physics model is missing things like camber effecting tyre wear. There is also a bug where you get tyre wear even when the car is stood still on the track.

    Like

    1. I certainly have not forgotten the angular meshes.

      It physically feels like a step back to me compared to rf2, gsce and AC.

      Those 3 titles provide cover the majority of cars that I care about and I can switch between them without much adjustment time at all.

      Like

  14. After reading the comments to this article/review/whatever, I’m genuinely convinced that the sim racing community don’t actually enjoy sim racing, and instead they just want to complain about something.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Ah james , complaining over new ones and shilling for a decade old games ?

    There may be a parallel universe where R07 and N2003 are the best games forever ever , but in this reality ****** nobody bought that game (did I read somewhere R07 sold like 50k on consoles) and altogether was a ***** disaster for simbin.It might be good (but not so good) , end of a day , nobody gives a **** anymore, but few over nostalgic guys dreamin’ how things were better in old days.

    Like

  16. And don’t you forget Formula BMW, Formula 3000, and Radical (SR 2&3). They’re stock content and are great.

    Personally what i enjoyed most was online races at STCC tracks. Awesome.

    Like

  17. Thanks for writing about a game I love, it’s good to know that good racing can be had and I don’t have to put up with I racing or other online crap when i just want a decent single player game

    Like

  18. Hello, first time posting a comment here. 🙂

    I discovered this webpage some months ago thanks to Project Cars XD and I like what you do and feel it is very much needed, in this age of half-baked or outright broken game releases (of all genres ). There’s times i disagree with some things you people say but in general, please keep up the good work. 😉

    I wanted to thank you for your info about Race 07, i didn’t knew its existence until now. I have tried it, and it is FANTASTIC, even with a 360 gamepad, surprisingly. Even comes with default settings for 360 gamepad ( Race Injection ) which work perfectly. You always feel in control of the car, which greatly surprised me, because it’s made with the rFactor engine and I loathed gamepad control on that game.
    I’m going to have truckloads of fun with this game, and with the great amount of mods it has it’s simulation heaven for me. 😛

    Another game I discovered thanks to this site is Nascar Dirt to Daytona, another excellent one.
    Cheers!

    Like

  19. totally agree!! I came a little late to simracing so I missed the Race 07 days, though I had Race On for xbox360 for some days but didn’t enjoy it with controller.

    Now I nearly played every sim I could get:
    – Forze 2, 3, 4 (meh)
    – Gran Turismo 2, 3 (meh)
    -Project Cars (I abandoned),
    -Assetto Corsa (I abandoned due to lack of features and.. ability to actual do RACING),
    -Dirt Rally (i like it),
    -Richard Burns Rally (driving in hell!)
    -R3E (my sim of choice atm),
    -rfactor2 (abandoned),
    -AMS (from time to time I play it but.. I don’t know.. not the epiphany I expected)
    -Phoenix (Pcars 2, it already feels better than pcars due to many physics-, tire-, track-surface- improvements, they’re on a good way not to fuck it up but I don’t accept anything less than feature-complete)
    -iRacing (nice and good online racing. Is fun but can be expensive over the long run. I’m still undecided)
    -GTR2 (from time to time)
    -Race 07 (my second sim of choice, i love it)

    Race 07 merged into R3E would do the magic for me!

    Out of competition: Euro Truck Simulator 2 😉

    Like

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