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With Gran Turismo 7 Around The Corner, What Does 2020 Sim Racing Look Like?

With the recent reveal of the new Playstation 5, everyone has become even more hyped for the next generation of their favorite games. As Sony gave us the first look at Gran Turismo 7, the latest entry into the 22-year-old franchise, lets take a look at some of its upcoming competitors.

Forza Motorsport 8

Microsoft’s direct competitor to Sony’s entry, Forza has been the only real AAA alternative to the Gran Turismo franchise for the last few years. Like many sports properties, a new Forza releases just about every year. Typically Forza games have many more cars to select from, which could be a huge factor for some gear-heads.

While official Forza Motorsport 8 game-play hasn’t been shown, we do have some significant bullet points on what will be added to the game. Of course there will be new maps and cars, but also new mechanics building off the power of next-gen consoles. Most of these improvements have to do with realistic interaction between the car’s rubber and the road.

  • Dynamic track temperatures
  • Rubber on the tracks
  • New tire pressure mechanism
  • New interaction between heat and tire pressure
  • New air density and atmosphere pressure system
  • Rehauled suspension system

The new Forza, with focus on simulation, should be announced any day now, with a cross-generation release coinciding with the new Xbox around the holiday season. Expect ray-tracing and amazing degrees of customization from Turn 10 and Microsoft for this one.

Gran Turismo 7

The best Sony has to offer. There will be an unparalleled levels of detail knowing Gran Turismo. While they do tend to offer fewer vehicles than Forza games, they are often thought of as higher detailed.

The game will allow you to bounce around a virtual city, that includes mechanics shops, stores, and even a “cafe” while little virtual assistants help you navigate your automotive decisions.  While this probably isn’t why you’re playing, it can be a helpful way to learn more about automotive workings, and help remind you what humans seem like, while you otherwise drone out on the track.

If you’re in it for realism, Gran Turismo may win you over. The game’s driving animations, especially in first-person, are slightly more realistic than their Forza alternatives.

Project Cars 3

Project cars has been a more-indie alternative to the aforementioned racing games. The third installment releases this Summer, sooner than the next-gen Forza and Turismo.

The newest gameplay footage of the game makes it seem more like an arcade racer than a true simulation. There are notable UI elements that give casual players an assist. No telling yet how much of that will be customization, allowing hardcore sim fans to get a more pure experience.

Some might be into the more alternative game, others will steer clear of anything but the top dogs. Project cars will still allow you to customize and play around with a wide variety of cars on multiple tracks. It will of course have improved graphics, mechanics, and AI, but definitely not to the extent of the other games mentioned.

F1 2020

Some racing fans are way more into F1 than they are “regular” cars. Good news for them is that this year’s installment of the official F1 racer will offer some of the familiar, with a sprinkle of new. The game is slated for release July 7, so it’s coming in faster than most other games listed.

Codemasters Software, the British developer behind the GRID, DiRT and Colin McRae Rally series games, also make this franchise. With that pedigree, you know it’s as well tailored as any game.

They’ll allow players to race on over 20 tracks, with the new inclusion of Hanoi Circuit and Circuit Zandvoort. You’ll be able to develop and improve your car, and have access to the official teams and drivers from the 2020 F1 season. Most exciting, Codemasters has brought back split-screen racing, something which many gamers don’t want to go without.

DiRT 5

While we are talking about Codemaster Software, why not bring up DiRT 5? The upcoming rally racing installment has been scheduled for release in October. The game airs more on the arcade than simulation side of things, but still has a dedicated fan-base.

With focus on off-road conditions, the weather plays a large role in the DiRT franchise. This newest version will include more “story” elements in each multiplayer race. Apparently there will be objectives that racers will have to accomplish outside the normal, come in first mechanics.

DiRT has less realism, but makes up for it in a photo mode and split-screen. The games are fun, but not the most “simulation” based. If you love rally, it may be your best bet.

BeamNG is the wild card of all these games. It’s been out for years, but it’s one of those open beta games that changes and updates constantly. It’s maybe not the most polished of these games listed, but it is a goofy time.

Pegged as the “most realistic” driving simulator, it seems far from that at times. You can navigate a giant sandbox, and just get into crazy situations with vehicles. This game plays like the freeroam of GTA or Halo Forge, but mixed together with a wacky car physics sim.

It does have some impressive features, like realistic chassis flex, tire expansion and compression, as well as fully simulated damage modelling. It’s worth a check out, even if just the uploaded Youtube videos fans have made.

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