As fall nears the weather in the gaming world is turning. The days of beautiful sunshine and endless clear skies are quickly fading. It’s amazing how rain can affects a race. Many games praise their water effects as water is one of the toughest things to digitize but what’s even more difficult to simulate is the effect rain has on a car’s performance. We all know that wet roads are slick, but how does this slickness affect the handling? How does a wet road affect your car when you are fast approaching a corner?
Drive Club answers these questions quite well. Its weather effects are damn impressive. I have serial examples of how weather affects the game play. We’ll start with my first encounter with the rain.
Drive Club was the first game I played that had active windshield wipers. It’s also the first game where the water affects how the car handles and NOT just with a little sliding. No the more it rains the harder it becomes to see, steer, brake, and ultimately to win a race.
To demonstrate this I have two clips one where I win and one where I give up. The first is a race with Ferraris. Why anyone with a Ferrari would race it in the rain is beyond me but this is a video game to the damage is repaired after every restart.
Clip number two is more about the escalating frustrations I face when sudden my vision is cut down to only about 3ft ahead of me, the roads are too slick from my tires to grip, and my opponents are fearless AI champions who just keep on driving even when most people would give up.
Finally to see it all come together and watch me become fearless I must show my race while driving the Audi R8.
As if the rain wasn’t bad enough, it’s now night time and on a course where the corners are sudden and short. The long “straight way” towards the finish is particularly treacherous as the heavy rain makes visibility almost blinding but you cannot slow down because right behind you is a pack wolves all clawing to be 1st place.