iRacing.com – Reality Check & Gamestar Review

iRacing.com has released an official track comparison video of Road Atlanta.

The video shows the road course both in iRacing and in real ife, giving everybody the chance to check out how accurate the virtual version really is.

In related news, German Gamestar magazine has reviewed iRacing.com’s online simulation. While the somewhat low 68% score does not really surprise considering the low scores of other simulation titles, the review reveals how little mainstream gaming magazines actually care about sim racing.

iRacing’s stats prove that the author of the article ran just two (!) short races to review the title, that’s not even enough to really get a grip on a new car, let alone a full simulation. It was enough time for him to notice the lack of background music and the “boring tracks”.

The review is a disappointment not just for iRacing fans but sim racers in general as it proves that mainstream gaming journalists are just not willing to put in the needed time and effort to appreciate simulations – Something to keep in mind next time one of those magazines praises a new driving title for its realism.

[youtube d0skUqlGDyU nolink]

GTOmegaRacing.com

  • http://www.ajira-racing.com TeroD

    While reviews like that have virtually no affect on simracers, it might be a big deal when someone interested in sims is looking to find facts and “expert” opinion on a specific title or about race sims in general.

    Just proves that majority of game critics/reviewers only know about mainstream games.

  • UncleChuckle

    I’m all for bashing iRacing since I believe it’s a complete con and I’ve not heard anything good about it from friends, but the lack of background music?

    Yes, because I imagine Felipe Massa etc… Race all the time with their iPod’s on.

    What a tool.

  • Jin24

    Gamestar just sucks , its read by 14year old teens :question: and its just a platform to promote your game , i belive all scores are fake :haha:
    any questions ???

    i used to read it when i was young :eek: , shame on me

  • joseki

    Average Gamestar readers opinion doesn’t matter but the fact that big gaming magazines have a big effect to financiers is a notable thing. No matter which sim it is, all those crappy reviews do harm the whole sim community. Other thing is that there might be an arcade racer who is on the edge but don’t want to try a real sim because those bastards.

    “Pelit” is a biggest gaming mag here in Finland and it always uses a journalist focused on certain genre. E.g. guy who did wrote a review of iRacing spent a couple of month with it and rFactor has been reviewed couple of times with selected and popular mods.

  • drowsy

    This is why it’s important to only review a game if you have a reviewer that’s actually interested in it. I remember when a console-only magazine reviewed HL2: Episode 2 a couple of years ago, advertising it as the first review of the game in the world. They gave the game a 9.5/10, but a reader found their Steam account and it showed that they had played the game for 25 minutes before quitting. Brilliant journalism.

    Anyway, I personally gave iRacing a shot after reading a review which was clearly written by someone that really gave the game some time (I think he started when the service went up and the review came out this January, so 4-5 months?). Bad publicity is never good for a game that’s still building it’s fanbase (duh). Although, if someone doesn’t even bother trying it after reading one so-so review, I’d rather have that person stay away because there’s no room for idiots on the grid. ;)

  • HoW Monty

    They are right. iRacing has nothing to offer to the average gamer who has little or no interest in simracing. It is simply too expensive to entice the average gamer, particularly in these tough economic times. The fact that additional tracks and cars cost so much hardly helps it. rFactor and GTR 2 are the only modern sims with real mainstream appeal, and they are both getting on a bit. 300bhp, Front Wheel Drive touring cars with last-gen graphics is not particulary attractive to the mainstream market.

  • UncleChuckle

    I’m a reviewer myself. Reviewed many, many games over the years. I always put in at LEAST six hours minimum for a game. In fact it pisses me off to no end that I’m a struggling freelancer and yet this pillock, who drove a whole TWO races, is seemingly gainfully employed. Ain’t no justice in the world.

    Thing is a lot of folk in the review business just do it for free stuff. And while you have to be careful not to upset the likes of EA etc… The fact is smacking iRacing will have no consequences for the reviewer because there are no OTHER products the publisher can withhold.

    (Man, the stories I can tell of my time in the industry. You think it’s corrupt? You have NO idea…)

  • http://www.racinglinedevelopments.com the.cosmic.pope

    2 races at Rookie would be about 30-40 minutes of racing.

    How Monty – you should not review a game on what it offers to the average gamer, but rather what it offers to the target market. Had a Flight Sim reviewed Need For Speed they might give it a low score. But he isn’t the audience. Similarly a iRacing fan may not enjoy Team Fortress 2.

    About the comparison video – The video is from 2007, and late 2008 a new kerb was added on the entry to the chicane. The only inaccuracy.

  • Zenitchik

    the.cosmic.pope -> The guy made 4 laps at lime rock with 15 incidents. And 37 laps at south Boston where he lost control once

    Lime Rock Park
    Average Lap Time – 01:30.453

    South Boston Speedway
    Average Lap Time – 19.984

    Bad publicity is better then no publicity! Imagine if this guy wrote that IRacing is the greatest racing sim / game ever. and the consiquence of that would be all the crashers sign up to realize that it’s not for them, while destroing it for everybody else.. The pros are complaining about how bad some of the rookies are driving. It would be a pure hell if all of those crashday, burnount, grid, nfs undercover junkies would join the field! The average length of a race of those games is 2 laps, how on earth would they last for a ½ hour rookie session! Even the reviewer got sick after 4 laps…

  • superapex

    Watching the lap comparison video reminded me of one of my biggest peeves when it comes to “sim” racing. In every real life racing and track time I’ve had, it doesn’t matter what type of car you are in, the wheel will “fight back” in every turn. It will require constant correction. In most of our sims, this isn’t present. In real life, a 50cc cart would leave the shoulders of the average man burning after a 10 lap race. The steering forces and the correction required make for a serious workout. By comparison, in almost every sim most people I know turn their FF settings way down which is not realistic. Even the mis-named “real feel” settings of rFactor make the steering wheel feel like a wet noodle. The only cars in real life you can drive with your index finger and your thumb (a quote from an actual cup driver) are nascar sprint cup cars. They have a ton of steering assist.

    If we really want ultra realism, the mid-turn steering forces in iRacing and other sims need to be seriously overhauled. I think a big part of it are the comparatively weak steering wheels we are using.

  • drowsy

    To be fair, you can absolutely make the force feedback in games (or well, at least in iRacing) feel like it’s gonna rip your arms off. The problem is, you’ll be slower (not really a good thing since others will benefit from low effects), and your wheel will wear out much faster. I personally have my force effects at a pretty high level and end up having to get a new wheel every 10-15 months.

  • Tifose

    68 hahahahaha. Go rFactor!!!

  • kill4f00d

    I bet they fail at their real lives just as bad as they did in iRacing. Running two short races is no way to judge it.

  • Sensekhmet

    Journalism and other media have a huge effect on our lives, yet they are populated by more and more incompetent idiots, who are in the business only because they want to make cash/career.
    It is my strong opinion that the so called ‘global crisis’ was caused (or at least escalated) by idiot reporters, looking to spread hysteria, bacause hysteria sells. Yeah, there are people who know better* but the average Joe thinks the crisis is coming, ‘bacause they said so on TV’. Because a lot of average Joes start to panic, the crisis really seems to happen… a vicious circle.

    * I’m from a lower-middle household in Poland. We sold our 3rd car, bacause no one was driving it, I just killed my second amateur rally car and the streets are populated by more and more cars like Audi A8. Shit, the crisis really hits hard.

  • stabiz

    No matter what your interests are, you will close to always find that journalism is crap. Sure it can be viewed as informative and such when it is about a subject you know nothing about, but when something is written about a subject I know something about its usually full of errors. This is alarming, considering all the stuff we read and trust, but I guess its because journalists write about stuff they dont know crap about themselves most of the time.

  • Diswanio

    Tifose: Tifose

    another lame gay-remark

  • flowie

    I’m afraid my English is not the best, but at least my German is good and therefore I have to correct the writer of this news. :roll:
    The gamestar journalist states that the tracks are not boring in general but the visual experience is kind of boring and dull, the ingame-atmosphere is said to be “sterile”. Some enlisted disadvantages sound a bit strange (e.g. no keyboard-steering, only cockpit-perspective, no ingame-music), others I do comprehend (basic package is small, yet expensive; no beginner tutorials; car-packs and tracks cost a LOT of money; now weather changes; no refueling or tirechanges; bad damage model).
    For the mainstream-gamer iracing is bullshit to put it clearly, and I guess most of the gamestar-readers don’t care much about simracing. So we should not measure the criterias of the review with a simracers-view. Secondly, I guess the reviewer is not a simracer at all, so why would he play iracing for hours if it wasn’t fun for him? Being a simracer myself (having played need for speed for ages before :sd:) I am very happy with this review. Iracing is said to be a “brilliant drive offering immense fun for simracers”. Other positive things mentioned are the friendly ingame community, voice chats, realistic engine sounds.

  • Gaiajohan

    Well I think a magazine should promote games to the audience they are referring to or say before the review they are a Simnutter. Apparently the gamestar audience are not hardcore enthusiastics, so the reviewer reviewed the game for that kind of audience.
    I mean you won’t say to people with children that the Lamborghini Diablo is the best car in the world. They have other things they want.

  • ermax18

    superapex, what is the saying, slow hands are fast hands? Hacking at the wheel isn’t everyone’s driving style. I find in rFactor that you do a fair bit of hacking when you are closer to the limit. Some cars more then others. But sure real cars provide larger forces at times and unfortunately our toy wheels can’t produce these forces. The problem is if you run the forces to high then it masks the small forces that are often the most helpful. The FFB in all sims, iRacing included is far from realistic. I personally feel rFactor with RealFeel to be the closest. But really sim racing in general is far from the real thing. The challenge is learning how to interpret the limited visual, audial and FFB inputs we are given. I find I have to turn the FFB in iRacing way down or else it will rip your arms off. iRacing doesn’t feel as informative as RealFeel. The wheel is way to springy and then when you loose grip it goes limp. But it never turns into slides or anything like that making it harder to know how much to countersteer. I wish we had all the high quality tracks from iRacing in rFactor. :)

  • joseki

    flowie:
    I’m afraid my English is not the best, but at least my German is good and therefore I have to correct the writer of this news.
    The gamestar journalist states that the tracks are not boring in general but the visual experience is kind of boring and dull, the ingame-atmosphere is said to be “sterile”. Some enlisted disadvantages sound a bit strange (e.g. no keyboard-steering, only cockpit-perspective, no ingame-music), others I do comprehend (basic package is small, yet expensive; no beginner tutorials; car-packs and tracks cost a LOT of money; now weather changes; no refueling or tirechanges; bad damage model).
    For the mainstream-gamer iracing is bullshit to put it clearly, and I guess most of the gamestar-readers don’t care much about simracing. So we should not measure the criterias of the review with a simracers-view. Secondly, I guess the reviewer is not a simracer at all, so why would he play iracing for hours if it wasn’t fun for him? Being a simracer myself (having played need for speed for ages before :sd:) I am very happy with this review. Iracing is said to be a “brilliant drive offering immense fun for simracers”. Other positive things mentioned are the friendly ingame community, voice chats, realistic engine sounds.

    If Racing Simulators don’t fit to magazines audience and if the journalist who did review don’t know anything about sim racing then why on earth they did the review in first place?

    It’s not that reviewer should like particular genre but of course he/she have to have the knowledge about it.

  • Tifose

    Diswanio:

    another lame gay-remark

    ohhh poor baby sorry to make you feel bad about my remark :happy:
    68 hahahaha Go GO rFacor!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=61401920 aj_1986

    Grow up Tifose. I’m pretty sure you’re not a child; try acting like it.

    As far as the review goes – obviously the ridiculously short play time makes a lot of what he says null and void, but I do kind of see what he means about the game looking “sterile” and “dull”. Look at the video; the track surface is too pale, the car body (and most of the other textures, including the track surface, for that matter) too matte. I think the dullness also arises from a lack of an HDR-like system; just watch the way the light levels fluctuate in the real life footage in comparison with the iRacing video, particularly the sky. Unfortunately a lot of magazines of this type rely heavily on visuals these days – maybe a bit of visual polish for iR would help win them over.

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