Tell me about PC and PS2 racing games

I was in the market for a racing wheel, figuring I’d grab an old driving force pro off ebay for $50 or something, when I saw that best buy had the Logitech G27 on sale for $150 (normally $300). I don’t play many racing games so spending $150 on a peripheral is splurging, but considering they go for like $225 used on ebay I figured it was too good a deal to pass up. So I’m now the owner of the pimpingest racing wheel they make.

The wheel only works for the PC and PS2/3 (I guess microsoft uses their own hardware only as a way to price gouge for wheels). I’m mostly interested in PC racing games, but I don’t really know what’s out there. I get the impression that there are very serious racing sims equivelant to the gran turismo series, but I don’t know anything about them. I like rally racing the most by far - the scenery is beautiful and it’s more interesting racing on dirt than asphalt, but I liked GRID (touring cars) a decent bit. I haven’t really played a sim racing game but I’m willing to give it a try, especially now that I have a nice clutch/H shifter setup with a great force feedback wheel.

What can you tell me about the various racing games available for PC? And I’ve got a PS2 sitting around here, so I guess I should grab GT4 - any other PS2 racing games worthwhile?

You might check out iRacing, online, multiplayer, and very realistic (or so I’ve heard). No rallying, but a good variety of cars and tracks.

Hey beef, have you tested it out on Dirt 2 yet? How does it compare to using a controller? I got my mouse hovering over the buy button.

Haven’t got it yet - it sold out everywhere very quickly. Their website says “sold out online” and I called around to the local stores only to be told they sold their last units earlier in the day and passed to the next store. I eventually got to a store that had it, but they were closing soon and I had to reserve it for tomorrow. So if you want to get in on this deal, you’ll have to act fast - chances are your local stores are already sold out. But the unit seems to be extremely well regarded. I’ll tell you how it works tomorrow - hopefully as I t-bone your evo X.

I like Trackmania for my low-realism arcade racing fix–the cars kinda handle like automatic-transmission open-wheel F1, with heavy emphasis on cornering lines/braking and not so much on anything else. Trackmania Nations is free on steam, there’s a pay version that supposedly adds more stuff and more realism but I haven’t even finished the free one yet.

Curse you thrice Beef!

None of the three Best Buys near my work had it in stock, but one near my home did, so I raced down there in my lunch hour and picked it up. Some other dude was eyeing it, and I think he left to ask someone a question about it. Too bad for him 'cause I snatched it up and ran for the register. My wife’s gonna try it out tonight. I have feeling it might be you and Lilliphe taking the lead from now on.

I already have the lead! And you shouldn’t curse me, you should be thanking me when you have the leather pimpwheel spinning through your hands returning to center position after a turn. We’ll probably have to play tomorrow - the place I’m picking it up from is a bad place to go during rush hour, so I’m giving it a few hours, and since you go to bed 4 hours ahead of my grandma, I don’t think it’s gonna work for us tonight.

For the PC, you can’t beat rFactor for downloadable content (someone is converting the 44 mile long Targa Florio from the granddaddy of all PC sims, Grand Prix Legends). Anyone can PM me for some must-have mods.

Ok, I’ve been playing with it and so far:

  • It works best with the head cam.

  • It’s great for simming, but not for competitive play

  • Have to re-learn some of the nuances of making turns.

Now, this could be me being a newbie at using the wheel and not very good at racing games to begin with, but it’s just a hell of a lot easier to turn the analog stick to make tight turns than it is to do the same with the wheel. There’s just a lot more movement involved. Which is why I think this makes it feel like i’m really racing, but I’m not going to beat anyone in multi-player with this.

Gonna let the wife try it next see what she thinks. Watch her prove me wrong.

Ok maybe I just have to get better at it 'cause this guy is rocking the wheel a lot better than I am:

And this guy is rocking it on third person camera:

Ok I just suck then. Gotta try again.

So jealous!

The racing nerd we both know says it takes a day or two to adjust to the wheel, and then you’ll be better with it, due to the increased precision and feedback.

I’m getting better already :slight_smile: Still gotta get better at those hairpin turns.

Unfortunately my wife doesn’t want to try the wheel. She say’s she’s getting used to the controller now. And she is a bit, I suppose. I killed the lag that was going on by using the VGA input on my TV. The lag was noticeable through the HDMI output for some reason.

Oh well, she’s missing out.

Had some time to get better ergonomics for the wheel and did some driving. Totally different experience than playing with a gamepad. It feels much more real, but I’m definitely worse at it - in dirt 2 for example, doing a drift that requires countersteer is easy on a gamepad, you flick the stick one way and then the other - but with a powerful force feedback wheel you’re now fighting the wheel’s desire not to turn and it’s not nearly so easy to flick it back and forth. You get more precision, and much more feedback, but so far it’s much more difficult so I won’t be competitive in multiplayer. Hopefully I’ll get as good or better eventually.

Played some test drive unlimited, mostly because it fully supports the clutch and gearbox and I wanted to work on that in a not so difficult environment. Having some trouble getting it configured properly though - it doesn’t seem to recognize the gear shifter position neutral as neutral, and therefore it won’t let me assign the various stick states to gears. Maybe I can manually force it with the logitech profiler somehow.

That is a sweet deal on that wheel. Thank god it’s sold out or I might be tempted to buy it. And then my girlfriend would kill me, because with all those guitar hero instruments and wii shit lying around, our apartment already looks like the fucking Neverland ranch.

Look for an .ini file or a controller configuration .ini or .xml file. I belive there’a setting in there for dealing with the clutch when in H gear configuration.

I re-installed race 07 and Grid. Man, when am I going to finish the Dragon Age expansion?