Video Game of Europe?
April 13, 2008 2:17 PM   Subscribe

Is there a car racing video game that realistically depicts european cities?

I really like car racing games and I really like european cities. So I was wondering if anyone knew of a game that allowed you to drive through a lot of european cities to get a realistic view of some of the main parts of the city?

I know I could just use explore the cities using google maps, but it's not really that fluid.

I found one myself – European Street Racing.
posted by fantasticninety to Travel & Transportation (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I've never played it myself, but The Getaway was advertised as featuring an extremely meticulous model of London, like down to the level of using digital photographs of the actual walls of specific buildings being used as the textures for those buildings in-game, etc. Its a GTA clone rather than a racer, but like GTA I'm sure you could probably just get in a car and drive around.
posted by ChasFile at 2:38 PM on April 13, 2008

Metropolis Street Racer on the Dreamcast had parts of a pretty realistic London, if I remember the magazine reviews correctly. The follow-on series from that is Project Gotham Racing, which also has London tracks.
posted by pinkbuttonanus at 2:57 PM on April 13, 2008

That is EXACTLY what I'm talking about. Thanks!
posted by fantasticninety at 2:59 PM on April 13, 2008

Project Gotham II has some circuits that look at least a little bit like the cities they're modelled after (Edinburgh comes to mind).
posted by drmarcj at 3:08 PM on April 13, 2008

Midtown Madness has a pretty decent Paris.
posted by pompomtom at 3:20 PM on April 13, 2008

How much of the city has to be there? The PS2 Gran Turismo games have a number of real-world circuits that realistically model parts of Rome (GT3) and Paris (GT4). The upcoming GT5 Prologue is supposed to have a London track in it as well. The caveat is they're all set up as racetracks, so you can't roam through the cities freely and there are barriers, walls, etc. put up that obscure storefronts and the like.
posted by chrominance at 3:40 PM on April 13, 2008

So far the Getaway looks like the best as you have a free roam option to explore much of London. As great as the graphics look on some of the other ones, it's fairly limited how much of the city you can see. So I'd take more territory to explore over better graphics.
posted by fantasticninety at 3:55 PM on April 13, 2008

PGR4 - city guide

But as others have said, you are mostly on a fixed route. The Getaway is your best bet for more open spaces.
posted by mkn at 5:28 PM on April 13, 2008

So far the Getaway looks like the best as you have a free roam option to explore much of London.

The Getaway got mediocre reviews but I'm a fan. I even bought the sequel. It's realistic, but not photorealistic. You can't take out your London A-Z and drive around-- it's only very major streets. For example, there are no perpendicular streets depicted on Tottenham Court Rd between Oxford and Goodge. In real life there are about 10. The streets too small to depict are blocked off by jersey barriers, scaffolding or, very occasionally, generic Victorian townhouses.

But other parts of it are really impressive. The photorealistic aspect was oversold, but it's very, very good. The producers seem to have accurately depicted what goes where in terms of shops, but each type of shop is represented by one or two skins. Like there are two cafe skins, but if you know an area of London, you can identify what's supposed to be there.

For instance, to expand on the previous example, there's a Pret A Manger at the corner of Tottenham Court and Goodge in real life. There's also one in the game-- it's clear that they licensed to the developers. But other companies didn't pay for inclusion-- two blocks down on Goodge there's a Snappy Snaps, but there isn't one in the game. However, there's the standard photo shop skin in it's place. So the developers knew that a photo shop belonged there and cared enough to put a photo shop there. One of the three pub skins is right where The Cambridge pub should be a few shops down.

It's a really, really impressive depiction of Central London. The reviews I read before I bought it oversold it, but it's still fantastic. I've had the game since it was released about five years ago and still play it just to drive around.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:06 PM on April 13, 2008

fantasticninety -- check your memail.
posted by the dief at 8:40 AM on April 14, 2008

These two previous questions might be interesting for you.
posted by tomcooke at 11:15 AM on April 14, 2008

The Cities in Games blog mentioned in one of the questions I linked early is still very active and interesting.
posted by tomcooke at 11:19 AM on April 14, 2008

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