Ah, the age old question. It’s a debate that’s raged on over the internet gaming community for the past decade or so. Gran Turismo has dazzled people over the years with its fantastic presentation, wealth of options and satisfying career mode. Forza has emerged with improved driving physics and community aspects, and now thanks to Kinect support you can move your head in your living room to look around realistically inside your TV. If only there was some kind of “joystick” device for such a feature, maybe in the future. Nevertheless, both Forza and Gran Turismo have a lot to offer. For someone looking for a true racing experience, which one is the best bet?
Race Pro is where the real racing happens. Hop in, we’re going for a ride in a Formula 3 car.
WHAT A THRILL! It’s now safe to breathe. Race Pro has no comfy smooth input assists, no dick-stroking career mode, no “gravel traps”, no AUTO DRIVER, just pure racing ON THE EDGE. Driving an F3 car around Macau without crashing is definitely one of the most challenging things I’ve done in any videogame, and also one of the most satisfying. This track comes AT you, corner after corner, with barely enough room to fit your wheels on the road let alone time to take a breath. If you lose focus, you’re FINISHED.
What can possibly be better than this? Doing it with FIFTEEN OTHER CARS, THAT’S WHAT. LAP AFTER LAP.
F3 cars don’t have the driving aids and stability of F1 cars, and lack the closed cockpit comfort of any cars in Forza. This makes them the perfect choice for a racing game that wants to be awesome, while staying realistic. That’s what you wanted, right gamers? GAMERS, HELLO? Close that fucking metacritic tab and stay with me. Race Pro did not get 98 out of 100 or A+ out of Z. Let’s focus.
You’re not just tackling corners and braking points in Race Pro, you’re taking on BUMPS. The ground is ALIVE. This game does physics like nothing else on consoles – you can just FEEL the grip on the track, and being connected to the track is important for applying the right amount of throttle and correcting oversteer. GT and Forza do this fine, but Race Pro has noticeably more aggression and feels more like you’re actually in the car. There’s NO TIME to grab your balls and lick your lips at your custom paint scheme here, you’re already in the fucking wall.
Race Pro also has options where it matters. Just look at how glorious this screen is. You can redefine the entire fucking analog stick mid-race. While Forza is proudly informing you during the loading screens that “EXP stands for Experience Points”, Race Pro is telling you how to chase tenths of a second and gives you a profile of INDIVIDUAL CORNERS on the race track to cycle through while it’s loading, including icons indicating the recommended gear to take a corner in, and how to avoid wheelspin and plan overtake maneuvers. Furthermore, Race Pro has none of these 15% races, or “half distance” bullshit. You can pick ANY amount of laps you want. 36 laps? Fine. 11 laps? Yep. 75? No problem.
Track selection is another area where Race Pro is the best. While Forza and Gran Turismo throw endless test tracks and “configurations” at you with the smoothest surfaces possible, Race Pro purposefully has handpicked the most challenging tracks in the world. Macau isn’t the only street circuit; there’s also Circuit de Pau in France, which is less demanding than Macau but has faster corners and punishes small mistakes a lot more. Then there’s Porto in Portugal, the third street circuit in Race Pro, which has the single most ridiculously slow and dangerous chicane I’ve ever seen on a race track, naturally placed after the longest straight on the course.
This track goes over tram lines and through small neighbourhoods. It’s so dangerous that no F3 or any high performance open-wheel cars race here in real life anymore. Race Pro lets you do it, because Race Pro is awesome, and it enjoys being a videogame. The last F1 race held in Porto was in 1960, and only 5 cars finished the race, all scattered within 5 laps of the winner, Sir Jack Brabham.
Of all the British circuits, they picked Brands Hatch. Want to know how punishing this circuit is? Someone DIED there driving something very similar to an F3 car two years ago (a newly failed F2 series). Not just anyone, but the son of champion John Surtees, who is the only man in history to be a world champion in both Formula 1 and Motorbikes. If only young Henry Surtees knew he could do the same thing in the safety of his living room playing Race Pro. This game could save lives. Of course, nothing comes close to the real thing, but Race Pro at least tries to. Time to get real, people. Want a realistic driving simulator? This is it.