Am currently playing a few differnet race games on various systems like PS3, tablet and PC and was fascinated by an article by a guy tlaking about AI in modern games not progressing as much as things like graphics and sound.
it is a common theme in race games too isn't it?
Let's do a quick reckon up of the main culprits.
1) Rubber banding - You know the thing, you start a race last in a developers feeble effort to make life hard for you, and you fly thorough to lead the race after a lap of the 3 being asked of you. Then for the rest of the race the guys behind are less than a second off your tail for the whole race, lap records or not. Nice touch devs.
2) Queueing - Again you know the detail here, packed grid, you start at the back. Why is it every single time you do, everyone stays side by side for an entire lap? Making it impossible for you to pass unless you ram them, cut the track or go round the outside. Especially annoying when you are in a game that penalises cutting.
3) NoS - Picture the scene: You are at Spa, (starting at the back as usual eh devs) You get a decent start, but as usual they all get better ones (come to that later) and you pass a few on the brakes into La Source. There is a guy ahead who is slow on the exit, you get alongside and then he suddenly finds some power from somewhere and outdrags you despite you getting a better exit and being alongside with that extra speed. NOS is a bummer eh.
4) Holeshot king - Tell me a game anywhere that you have managed to get a holeshot without cheating. How many times do you play a racing game (not talking about sims here but they do it) and the entire grid, naff cars or not, slow cars or not, manage to somehow pull away from you into the first corner? It's an amazing feat.
5) The blocker - So, you've managed to get into about 5th or 6th. All the slow guys are history and it's now time to reign in the leaders. Then you come up against the blocker, no matter which way you go he blocks you, inside, outside, alongside. This guy has eyes in the back of his head, is a total genius at changing lines while in mid corner just as the AI realises you are about to overtake him in a place he wasnt expecting.
6) Tortoise and hare - So, you are in 4th place now, your rival (that you had no choice about picking) is leading, and in front are 2 other guys. you know you have about a second a lap on the leader but then the strangest thing happens, all the guys start driving against you, even your team-mates! This way, so cleverly, the leader managed to pull a bit of a gap as you are engaged in battling with two guys who are more content taking you out than actually running their own race for a good finish.
7) Sore loser - Cmon devs, we all know you have to be seen to try, but at least make an effort. If you are racing against the same people all the time and keep beating them all the time, why do they still say the same things "I had a bad start but I'll beat you next time" After being beaten for the 150th time said Lorenzo Marinelli the imaginary Honda NSX driver. Jeez.
Seriously devs are so lazy, if they spent more time on what matters, physics and realism, and less time on tinsel these games migth actually start doing something right.
There are very few that have to be honest, despite that we all still play them. Weird huh