Race 07

November 16, 2007

RACE 07 is built for the hardcore race simulation fan. For those of you that have a racing wheel and want your racer to assign you a weight penalty for winning then RACE 07 is the game for you. Racing sims are punishingly hard, and RACE 07 is no different. This is great for fans of the genre, but it makes RACE 07 a game aimed squarely at a small audience with little to no chance of expanding that audience.

Racing sims are about two things: force feedback and realistic damage, and RACE 07 deals with both concepts wonderfully. You can feel when tires aren’t gripping the track, and you can hear (or not hear) when you’ve overaccelerated, lost all traction, and pinned the steering wheel to the left with no effect.

Damage is realistically modeled, but plenty of games do that. What RACE 07 does differently is that damage affects gameplay. The car both looks and feels different after being slammed into a wall. The fine folks over at SimBin are so proud of their damage modeling that the manual actually encourages you to hit the wall just for fun to see how it can affect gameplay.

Further adding to RACE 07‘s realism is the default viewpoint. Your default view is from inside the car, and it makes sense. Were you actually racing as a part of the WWTC your only view would be from the driver’s seat. Handy as it may be the follow viewpoint isn’t terribly realistic. To go along with this realistic viewpoint you can alter your seat height and position, and the game will automatically push your view in at the apex of a turn. It’s the little touches like this that make RACE 07 a game for the racing afficonado. The sim fan will also be ecstatic to learn that the genre’s newest and best peripherals (like Track-IR and the Logitech G25) are supported by default.

RACE 07 provides a robust experience: six classes, 32 real-world circuits, and the little details mentioned earlier like automatically adjusting the view at the apex of a turn. Unfortunately, RACE 07 isn’t all positives. Multiplayer requires you to register your game with Valve’s Steam service. If you don’t want to use Steam then you can’t play the game online. There’s also a lack of analytical software bundled with the game. Admittedly, this has little to do with the racing itself, but SimBin’s last game, GTR2, provided this tool, and its absence is obvious here.

If you’re a racing simulation fan then RACE 07 is east to recommend. The experience provided here is less a game and more a true-to-life approximation of the WWTC for those of us lucky enough to own a PC and racing peripherals but not quite lucky enough to trade our lives of cubicle work for the life of a race car driver.

Score: 4/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.