James Ireland On March - 1 - 2010

Calm down dear, it’s just a simulator

There many things you shouldn’t do in your life. These include; pretending to be a blind man in a woman’s WC, kick a dog in the face, play with prasic acid and chatting up the pope. All of these are sinful and downright wrong things to do. However, in the gaming industry the worst thing to do is make a game that is full of bugs and graphically looks as attractive as David Cameron in cycling shorts. It appears that Astragon & Light Rock Entertainment have surpassed themselves in creating an absolute hideous Frankenstein like of a creation that should never had seen the day of release in their latest title Driving Simulator.

Driving Simulator as the very original name suggests is a simulator about driving. You’ll play through mission modes whereby you are employed as a driver for various different occupations, from chauffeuring limousines to driving MPV’s with injured patients back to the doctor’s house. There are most likely all manner of different tasks for you to do throughout whilst also adhering to the Highway Code but quite frankly, the game became so boring and monotonous that we couldn’t tell you what they are without feeling guilty that our time on this god forsaken planet was wasted by simply spending time with this title. Now, before I get the wrath of the mighty on me, you would be interested to know that simulators are no strangers to us at all. Just recently we gave ScS software a high rating for the brilliant and strangely addictive UK Truck Simulator.

So, as it’s a simulator there is a set of rules. Drive within the speed limit, make sure you indicate, drive on the right side of the road and observe all the rules of the Highway Code. This can be annoying because the majority of the cars in this game have high revs which means breaking the speed limit can be pretty easy, we found by gently tapping the up directional arrow we’d manage to drive the car within the limit, but in terms of this being realistic, unless your car splutters and the exhaust was to bang every five seconds the motion of your car moves nothing like real life at all. Secondly your car visually looks awful. Fortunately you can modify the car textures if you have the correct software as the developer has left this open source but it’s a complete long shot as to whether this game will ever catch a community for cars to be available to the public. This is a problem overcome if you’re a competent 3D renderer, but utterly useless if you are not. Whilst the game does offer some customisable features such as interior and vehicle colour and a smattering of different vehicles, the quality on build of these are all equally pitiful that to even spend time meddling isn’t worthwhile.

Whilst initial missions are easy enough, you will find later in the game you’ll be deducted points from your license and sometimes you’ll intricately slug your vehicle back to the finish line just not to be caught by the EU paralysis laws. Textures in general in the game are sub-par and you could be forgiven for this game launching over ten years ago. One of the more bizarre elements of Driving Simulator is the fact that the graphics rendering by default is set quite low, you’ll have to manually modify the video settings to make the game look like an up-scaled version of a PS1 game. The biggest downfall with Driving Simulator is both in the HUD presentation and the game landscape itself. At one point we deviated from the main road to get to our destination quicker, knowingly we had enough points that could be docked before we failed the mission, so we detoured through a company car park and onto a train bridge. As we did this, we fell through the game map into oblivion where the car proceeded to spin vertically continuously until we reset the car by pressing the R button. Had we intentionally looked for bugs in this game, we’re sure we could find a minimum of a few hundred.

So that rounds it up, to get any semblance of enjoyment out of this game, don’t use it as a simulator and instead use it in its quick play mode where you can just drive around at leisure with no rules against you, smash your car up on the auto-bahn and watch cars spin and fly out of control. Then you can laugh hard as you switch to the car interior view and see just how badly that has been designed as well. For all intensive purposes, avoid this game at all costs. If you are stupid enough to pay £20.00 for this game then you deserve to be framed for being a nonce and have your PC taken away from you.

Categories: Feature, PC Reviews

3 Responses

  1. Haha, absolutely hilarious review. LOVED that last sentence.

  2. Pete Braven says:

    Maybe I should have read this BEFORE I stupidly blew th better part of 20 quid on such a useless frisbee! Oddly the company I bought it from don’t seem to be very keen on giving a refund either so thanks James, I shall send them this link anyway! As you point out, it’s not a real simulator nor is it a game,.. it’s just garbage. I don’t think I’d even use this disc as a coffee coaster for the desk cos I wouldn’t want people to know I cggot conned this easy! :P

  3. Cybermat says:

    screw you!

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