Racing game that allows free-form driving?

Praetor

Diamond Member
Oct 14, 1999
4,499
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I'm looking for a current game that allows you to just drive around in an open environment similar to what Midtown Madness allowed?

Yes, I want something that also has a course or path that would need to be followed on a timed event like what the NFS series requires. Do the recent NFS games allow for that, or are they course only?
 

Raduque

Lifer
Aug 22, 2004
13,141
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Burnout Paradise takes it to the extreme, with pretty much zero menus and UI.
 

CP5670

Diamond Member
Jun 24, 2004
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NFS Most Wanted is like this to some degree. There is a fairly large city that you can roam around in freely if you're not in a race, although you generally get cops coming after you soon. Not sure about Carbon.
 

Juno

Lifer
Jul 3, 2004
12,575
0
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Originally posted by: CP5670
NFS Most Wanted is like this to some degree. There is a fairly large city that you can roam around in freely if you're not in a race, although you generally get cops coming after you soon. Not sure about Carbon.

same thing but i'm not sure about pro street.
 

pontifex

Lifer
Dec 5, 2000
43,806
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Originally posted by: Raduque
Burnout Paradise takes it to the extreme, with pretty much zero menus and UI.

why are you posting console games in the PC forum?
 

NYHoustonman

Platinum Member
Dec 8, 2002
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I definitely highly recommend Test Drive: Unlimited. For me all it's missing to be truly perfect is realism akin to games like GTR and GTL, but I'm willing to overlook that for everything else it has; it's pretty, it has a wide selection of vehicles, and I can drive wherever the hell I want (and it's a big island).
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
70,096
5,639
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Dang, trying to remember the name of a game, Midnight (something). World Racing had a similar free roam ability as well.
 
Apr 17, 2005
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Originally posted by: NYHoustonman
I definitely highly recommend Test Drive: Unlimited. For me all it's missing to be truly perfect is realism akin to games like GTR and GTL, but I'm willing to overlook that for everything else it has; it's pretty, it has a wide selection of vehicles, and I can drive wherever the hell I want (and it's a big island).

is it a system hog? also, do you use a gamepad with it?
 

Praetor

Diamond Member
Oct 14, 1999
4,499
4
81
Originally posted by: Juno
Originally posted by: CP5670
NFS Most Wanted is like this to some degree. There is a fairly large city that you can roam around in freely if you're not in a race, although you generally get cops coming after you soon. Not sure about Carbon.

same thing but i'm not sure about pro street.

Do the cops chasing interfere at all with the free-form driving?

Originally posted by: Inspector Jihad
i think test drive unlimited is like that.

I'll look into that game. Any other suggestions? This has been a great help so far. :D
 

superjohnyo

Senior member
May 6, 2005
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In both Most Wanted and Carbon, you can drive around as much as you want, but if you hit a few cars or run over a few road signs, there will be a report on the police radio and you will usually be chased by the police anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes later.
 

CP5670

Diamond Member
Jun 24, 2004
5,510
588
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Originally posted by: Praetor
Originally posted by: Juno
Originally posted by: CP5670
NFS Most Wanted is like this to some degree. There is a fairly large city that you can roam around in freely if you're not in a race, although you generally get cops coming after you soon. Not sure about Carbon.

same thing but i'm not sure about pro street.

Do the cops chasing interfere at all with the free-form driving?

Yeah, they do, unless you only stick to the highways where you can typically outrun them. You need to attract the cops' attention to complete many of the objectives throughout the game, but I often found myself wanting a way to disable them to explore the area without having to worry about them. (especially since knowing the road layout well is vital when you get into the higher level cop chases)

I guess they won't come if you obey the speed limits, but those are often about a quarter of the speeds you would normally be going at and it's boring to drive like that. :p
 

cw42

Diamond Member
Jan 15, 2004
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Originally posted by: sandorski
Dang, trying to remember the name of a game, Midnight (something). World Racing had a similar free roam ability as well.

Midnight Club. I played it for orig Xbox, it was fairly fun, and you got to drive motorcycles too.
 

NYHoustonman

Platinum Member
Dec 8, 2002
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Originally posted by: Inspector Jihad
Originally posted by: NYHoustonman
I definitely highly recommend Test Drive: Unlimited. For me all it's missing to be truly perfect is realism akin to games like GTR and GTL, but I'm willing to overlook that for everything else it has; it's pretty, it has a wide selection of vehicles, and I can drive wherever the hell I want (and it's a big island).

is it a system hog? also, do you use a gamepad with it?

It gives my brother's rig some trouble (Athlon 64 3200+, 6800), so it may be tough on yours, but it works.

I originally used a Logitech MOMO wheel and that worked fine, but I bought myself a Logitech G25 and I haven't looked back - it's worth it if you can find it on sale. Either way I wouldn't play a game like this without a wheel.

/\TD:U has motorcycles as well but I found them poorly implemented - and using a wheel to control them just didn't work for me.
 

effee

Golden Member
Sep 4, 2004
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uh midnight club? fun? i found it too hard actually, to win a race, you had to do everything perfectly, meaning, one wrong crash would make you lose.
 

PepperBreath

Senior member
Sep 5, 2001
469
0
0
Need for Speed: Most Wanted - For an arcade racer, this is the best of the bunch. They stick you in a relatively large sandbox area and you can just drive around for a while. Races are enclosed but in-between races you're free to go wherever you want. Police chases are fun because they're not enclosed and you can go from one end of the sandbox to the other trying to lose them.

Need for Speed: Carbon - More or less the same as Most Wanted although in my opinion the city they offer here isn't nearly as interesting as the one in Most Wanted.

Need for Speed Underground 2 - Interesting city to race around and they have interesting races where you flash your lights at another racer and then you have to race to get as far ahead of the other guy as you can. The leader makes the coarse by essentially going wherever they want to go and the follower has to try to overtake and become the leader. Otherwise, very similar to the other more recent NFS games aside from ProStreet which is strictly track racing.

Test Drive Unlimited - This one has a little bit more stuff than the NFS games. You have the entire island of Oahu to race around, not just one city. There's also little missions here and there such as picking up passengers, etc. You can also buy more properties with your race winnings. Although considered an arcade-ish game and not a sim, I felt that the driving model was a bit more stiff than the NFS games. You have to be far more careful around turns or bumps than the other games I mentioned.

Depending on your rig, the games will run from best to worst in this order: NFSU2, NFS:MW, NFS:C, and TDU. They're all perfectly playable on my old rig which was an A64 3000+ with 6800GT but more and more details need to be lost in order to get them to run ok. You might have to drop the res on TDU, depending on how fast you like your refresh rate.