That was the subject line of an email sent by a friend of ours just the other day. Some of you may remember Mike from his help reviewing the Fanatec Turbo Wheel and his amazing home set-up. If not, be sure to take a minute and read that post to come up to speed.
Anyway, Mike decided to sign up for a month of iRacing and the email below are his thoughts. Mike will tell you right out that he’s not a racer. What he is, is a world class gamer. So his review comes from that point of view.
“I can tell this is the real deal because I can’t keep my damn car off the wall. The experience seems very accurate but at the same time, very difficult. I figured out their problem….and yes, it is theirs, not mine. The delta between accuracy and overall experience is all in the seat of your pants. To properly control a car, real or dead-on accurate simulation, I need to rely on ALL senses. With iRacing I have my ears, (but the audio kinda sucks) eyes and tactile senses. The force feedback wheel enhances things a bit, but to truly control a car, you need to feel it in the seat. Feel the G’s. Feel the give of the car. Feel the torque so you know when it is about to break traction. Without that all you get is over-steer, slide, spin, grass, wall and finally a car with a gimpy wheel that handles worse than before. I think they were over ambitious with accuracy and forgot to consider the differences between a real car and a sim.
Games like the Need For Speed series, Forza, Grid and Gran Turismo give you a great simulation / gaming experience because they know it needs to be fun, so they make up for what you lack through more forgiving handling and driver assists while still giving you a good feel for car performance and track characteristics. I did learn something about myself as it relates to this. I do it for fun, and not necessarily for a challenge so iRacing is not for me. I found my line so to speak.
They do have a unique approach to this. It is every bit what real racing is. The logistics of race events are there. The ethics and expectations mirror real racing organizations, and the rewards and penalties are real enough to influence behavior. They have a code of conduct as if it were real-world, but use a demerit system against your license when you drive badly, risk yourself or others and cause damage. Points go against you and effects your ability to compete in certain events with other classes of driver. The level of detail all aims toward a professional experience both on and off track. [Most likely] a real racer would love this but might agree on my points of simulation vs. real.”
Mike’s review may sound negative, but in reality, it’s a compliment to the designers of the system and their intent to make it as true to life as possible. What say you?
How many of you are signed up with iRacing and what do you think? Does it truly give you the real feel of a race car? What are you using for a racing set-up? Force feedback wheel? More? Let us know because next week we’ll look at sim racing with a set-up as close to the real thing as possible from someone with hours and hours of seat time racing the real thing.
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[Source: Mike Sirois and 993C4S]