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Review: City Car Driving [1.3.3]


Admire my 'put-a-logo-above-a-car' Photoshop skills.
Reviews are something I do not do very often, and there is a very good reason for that: I can't bloody drive yet. This is because I am still too young to have the mental capabilities to work one of these fine machines, so I have to resort to my imagination, or car simulators.

Ah yes, the car simulator. There have been plenty of these throughout the years, but the developers have always had an itch to turn them into a competitive game. This is understandable, because there are only a minute amount of people who want to sit in front of a screen and drive just like in real life. But nevertheless these people like me do exist, so enter City Car Driving.





City Car Driving was built from the ground-up by a few guys in Russia, not by a multi-billion dollar company who have decades of gaming experience. So right from the word go, it would be completely unfair for me to start making comparisons of this game to, say, Gran Turismo 6.

GT6 has been built with money and experience. CCD hasn't.
Once you load the game up, you are presented with a simple but rather neat-looking menu that gives you the option of a career, a free roam and then your various options to adjust graphics and whatnot. The menu looks quite professional, and gives you no clue that this game was built from start up developers.

CCD menu

But what about the actual content of the game? After a massive loading time, you are placed in a virtual city to either do a mission, or to just drive wherever you want in free roam. I'll concentrate on the free roam mode for today; comment if you want to know about the missions more. The cars you can choose from are debadged real models, from Ladas to Fiats. The interiors look really rather nice, and superbly detailed - just how a simulator should be.

Interiors are nicely detailed with good textures

The outside world could be described as a bit more disappointing in my opinion. Lots of textures are incredibly low-res and very two dimensional, which does not compliment the amount of effort that seems to have gone into the cars themselves.

The textures of this building leaves a lot to be desired

Driving with a keyboard is impossible. There are way too many controls to function (and remember) on the keypad, so it is extremely advisable to use a steering wheel, especially since this is a simulation. I used a Logitech G27 wheel here, which is one of the very few wheels that comes equipped with a clutch and a proper H-shifter gearstick. Once you have a steering wheel set up, you quickly realise how life-like the controls are.

You will need a good wheel to get maximum enjoyment

Just like a real car, you have to lift the clutch into the biting point in order to gain some movement. Below you can see a video where I display that using the clutch wrong can make you stall or rev too high, just like a real car. The steering is well weighted and self-centres with ease. The game comes equipped with strict road rules (which can be turned off) that requires you to signal, yield for pedestrians, be in appropriate lanes and so on. This game was created to help people learn to drive, and with such life-like controls and rules it has clearly met its goal.

video

But because this game was to help learn people to drive and not to race around town in, you will find the physics becoming much less realistic if you decide to hoon around a little. Understeer occurs at very low speeds even in sportier cars, oversteer is impossible, and there is no tyre scream sound effect. You'll just be crashing into the nearest tree in silence. You can spin the wheels when you set off though, but again there is no tyre scream or rubber smoke. But hey, this is not what the game was designed for.

There are mods aplenty. Check out this Mercedes S-Class

Any bugs? Yes, there are a few, but remember this is a start-up game. AI cars will sometimes come to a halt for no reason at such a quick rate, you have no choice but to rear-end them. Sometimes, the AI will appear to be floating above the ground. Some of the walls are actually not walls at all, and allow you to drive right through them, meaning you end up in a no-mans land. These bugs will hopefully be ironed out in the future updates though.

Yes, you can even drive a bus

I guess I need to make a conclusion then. City Car Driving is a great game if you find genuine enjoyment from driving a car properly, or if you are learning to drive. If you like to see how quickly you can overtake people and see how much air you can pull, I suggest you stick to playing the Need For Speed franchise. Don't expect hours of gameplay: the map is quite small, and there are only about a dozen missions, lasting about 2 minutes on average each. But this game is constantly growing, so I recommend you take a look here.

Disclaimer: Apologies about the picture quality. Screenshots did not work, so I had to resort to using my trusty camera!
Review: City Car Driving [1.3.3] Review: City Car Driving [1.3.3] Reviewed by Jack Cooper on 11:40 Rating: 5

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