The Best Racing Video Games that Are Soon to be Released

Audi R8 in Project Cars 24 photos
Photo: Slightly Mad Studios
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As automotive enthusiasts, sometime it gets frustrating not to be able to do everything you’d like in real life with a car (or several of them). Things like racing on the streets with no concerns at all, jumping over the traffic, PIT-maneuvering the hell out of whoever stands in front and all that kind of stuff that isn’t allowed. That’s why from time to time we like to settle down a bit, grab some beer and play racing video games.
Which compared to a decade ago, are almost looking like reality, thanks to processing power, shaders and high-poly models backed up by advanced physic simulator algorithms.

Even without the yearly new Need for Speed installment, the next period seems to be a fruitful one for the automotive side of gaming. With the much-awaited Spintires off-roading simulator having been recently released, keeping us busy in front of the screen for hours, we’ll now take a look at what there is to come next, as the developers and publishers constantly keeping their long range trailer cannons pointed at us.

One of the most awaited title to come out this year (if the developers won’t postpone the release date again) is DRIVECLUB, a racing game that builds on the idea of having a crew to race rival ones over the Internet.

We know it feels a bit like Need for Speed Carbon to have custom cars with the same paint scheme/livery and race them against the other team, but trust us, this looks to be at a whole new level.

And that new level is dictated by the game’s mechanics and stunning graphics. For example, the developers managed to put up an incredible weather system, which perfectly simulates water effects along with authentic lighting and skies. Expect the weather to change depending on altitude and terrain, the amount of clouds to dictate how much rain will fall and even turn into snow if the conditions are right.

Water in DRIVECLUB will basically behave like in the real world according to the developers. It will form droplets on cars, get vaporized by the fast-moving tires, gather in puddles, freeze, melt and evaporate when the sun shows up.

Other than that, we understand the cars will feel pretty real and there are voices telling that the sounds they make are so accurate that some automakers asked to borrow them to be used within their active sound systems that brings more noise in the cabin via the speakers.

How much of these features will turn out to amaze us in the final game? Guess we’ll have to wait until the beginning of November, when the full installment goes on sale. Unfortunately, DRIVECLUB will be a Playstation4 exclusive, so if you don’t already poses such a machine, it’s time to save some money and get one along with the game itself. We heard that on some markets they will offer bundles containing both the game and the PS4 unit.

The next big thing on the gaming radar is THE CREW, a racing game that borrows a bit from the aforementioned title but brings something more. It may not have the cool weather physics, but it has enough to amaze.

What will strike you even from the beginning is the sheer size of the world. Being an MMO (massive multiplayer online) game, THE CREW will let you drive through all states of the USA, with cities and everything.

However, don’t expect to find all the country’s whole 3,717,813 square miles in the game, but a shrunk version so you could drive from one coast to the other in a more useful time. The best part of it is that there won’t be loading screens between the areas of the map, so you can also enjoy the fun of simply joyriding from a place to another in your favorite car. Oh, and you should know that you’re not limited to asphalt only...

Speaking of which, every car in the game can be used in six tuning specs: Stock, Street, Dirt, Raid, Performance and Circuit, with each one being fully customizable to make it work best for what challenge lays ahead, be it on or off-road.

Missions that you can attend alone or with your friends will be scattered throughout the map to also glue a bit of a story to the board, while doing them will give you experience points needed to upgrade perks and skills.

It seems an incredible game from what the trailers and screenshots have provided so far, but as with the rest of the games we’ll feature here, we’ll have to wait and see. THE CREW is scheduled to hit stores in the first part of November, being available for PC, Playstation4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

With these two great titles in the chamber, you would think there is nothing else out there that could be more interesting. Well, you’re wrong, because Calibre 10 promises to entangle the driving part with shooting; not in the classic car-mounted gun you can shoot with a button but with separate ones that need a partner to operate.

Calibre 10 will put you find yourself a friend to play, you can be the driver while he’ll be the gunner. To put it simply, you’ll have to drive from start to finish, while your friend will try to shoot down the opponents from one of the many turrets scattered on the track.

The tools of the trade here are looking to be straight from the future, with strange supercars, buggies, plasma cannons, rocket launchers, gatling guns and other items like shields, boosters and stuff.

You might think it will get boring after a couple of races, but there is a ranking system, based on “calibers”, with the Caliber 10 being the biggest and giving you access to the best mods, weapons and cars to dominate the opponents.

How much until the mayhem virtually breaks loose? Well, although you can play the early access version on PC, the publisher hasn’t offered an exact release date.

Teamwork and no release date is also what happens with World of Speed, a more toned down version of DRIVECLUB that comes with it’s own idea on the side, focusing a bit more over discipline than the other games.

World of Speed lets you create a crew (it looks like most games today are revolving around crews, clubs, friendships and teamwork; ain’t that cute?) that will be very useful during Team Racing events, obviously. Before each race, the players must prepare for the event, with each individual needing to be focused on something to do best during the actual race.

That’s because most of the actions performed during the race will be scored and added up to a team score, which will decide who wins or not. There is no individuality here, so it doesn’t really matter if you cross the line first if the rest of the team did nothing to raise the numbers on the clock.

Slipstreaming (drafting), finding shortcuts, overtaking, following the correct lines through corners, drifting and even combining these will be rewarded in points, all culminating with the place one of the team members achieves at the finish, which will be scored accordingly.

As we said before, World if Speed doesn’t come with a release date. It will enter in Beta testing phase towards the end of the year though, so expect to see it on shelves next spring or summer.

We’ll end the top most awaited racing games to come with no other than the Next Car Game, which, being developed by Bugbear Entertainment, will offer the same crazy atmosphere from the FlatOut series.

About seven years went by without anything exiting happening in the virtual car-wrecking scene, but Bugbear is back and will put out an amazing next generation racing game.

For those with an affinity for wrecking cars, Next Car Game will take you closer to reality than anything else in the domain. Nothing compares to old rusty bangers that can haul ass, waiting to be crushed in a pile of screeching metal while only a few of them will manage to cross the finish line.

Speaking of twisted metal, the developers said they have specially created the ROMU graphic engine for “heavy metal going way too fast and crashing into stuff”, so expect nice shaders, high-res textures and a lot of body panels that will get scratched, bent, fall from the car and even chassis that will suffer damage and affect the cars’ handling.

The best thing with this new engine is that there are no predefined damage models (patterns), so depending on the speed and angle of impact, you’ll generate different damage every time.

As with the others, Next Car Game is currently undergoing tests, to which you can also take part by pre-ordering it. There is a release date on their website saying the game might come out “sometime in 2014” at least on PC, but from experience we know that you shouldn’t trust such a vague deadline.

For the love of all that burns petrol in enclosed cylinders, we almost forgot to include Project Cars. Better save the best for the last. This is actually the little piece of heaven for whoever likes realism beyond the graphics.

Yes, it will come with "I-swear-it’s-real" visuals (at least a comparison video of the same track in game and IRL says so), but this will also go deep into the game’s mechanics, because unlike the titles up there, this wants to be a simulator.

And by the looks of it, if Project Cars turns out to be as cool as in the trailers and have a better sound than Gran Turismo 6, the latter’s days are numbered. That’s because it promises to give everything that GT6 offers, but in better graphics, better mechanics, sandbox everything unlocked mode and, wait for it, Oculus Rift support.

Which basically means it will be the most advanced racing simulator you’ve ever experienced before. And it will also come this November on PC, PS4 and Xbox One, along with the first two mentioned here.

These being said, with three titles coming out in about three months from now, there should be enough to keep you (and us) busy until the others come by. Time is ticking so you better upgrade that PC (or buy a console).
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