It's been over a year since sir Joe Burling and I recorded episode 1 of Mommy Are The Monsters gone. It was, at that time, a live video dealie. It is no longer that kind of dealie. It is another kind of dealie altogether. We have fired up the podcasting engine and are now joined by Sumizzle and Billzilla to deliver weekly geek-speak.
When I picked up GTA IV, I had just earned my "A" license in Burnout Paradise and was well on my way to the next (whatever that was.. "plaid" license, or "wookie" license or whatever). Burnout epitomizes arcade racing and, after spending some time with its cars, you feel like you've got absolute control over your vehicle. Switching over to GTA, I suspected I'd need some time to adjust to its driving model, which immediately seemed floaty and imprecise.
I'm 35 hours in and it still seems floaty and imprecise. All but a couple of the cars control like a 95 Chevy Astro with a raised suspension.
Don't get me wrong, I've been digging GTA IV, but I find myself taking cabs everywhere now because driving just isn't much fun. In past iterations of the game, I loved driving around and, save maybe some required cross-state trips in San Andreas, always enjoyed just getting from one place to another. I've still got my copy of Vice City, so I may go back and see if either A) The driving really was better before or B) My arcade driving tastes are just super-refined and now I'm a snob about it. Either way, everyone I've brought it up to seems to feel the same way, so I don't think I'm entirely alone on this one.
I was actually motivated to write the bit above after playing the 360 demo for GRID tonight. I didn't think I'd be game for a racer any time soon after Burnout and GTA, but the demo really impressed me. I just can't decide if I'd rather have it on PC or 360. The 360 is in the living room which is home to all the best gear in the house. Also, my chances of finding people I know to play online with are 100% better on console. While the PC might suffer a smaller display and inferior audio rig, I do have a decent Logitech wheel. If a game is actually designed to make proper use of a force feedback wheel (and considering that this is a Codemasters game, I'm sure it is) then its a much better experience with one than without (and I know there's a 360 wheel, but I don't have it and dont necessarily want a wheel that sits in my lap anyway). Lastly, although I know its sort of a non-factor, I'm pretty sre this is meant to be the successor to the Race Driver franchise and it just feels more at home on PC.
The impatient may want to skip directly to 2:20 for the goods. There's some funny to be had up to then, but if you really must skip, then thats where you need to be.