Believe or not, your favourite sim racers over the years have been packed full of quirky secrets and hidden details. Here, we’ve listed some of the best around!
1. F1 2019 - Schumacher & Andretti quotes
It’s often hard to spot the little things in F1 games (mainly because everything's such a blur). So we were pleasantly surprised to find out about this Easter egg in F1 2019.
Posted on Reddit by user u/genghis__karl, you can clearly see here that there are quotes from F1 legends Michael Schumacher and Mario Andretti written underneath the front wing endplates of the multiplayer car - if you happen to be looking there!
2. Assetto Corsa Competizione - Task failed successfully
For many sim racers, Assetto Corsa is the ultimate experience - such is the game’s realism and attention to detail.But sometimes, the game can be so close to real life that it even bamboozles the game's creators!
According to developer Kunos Simulazioni in this video, something a little strange relating to the car’s traction control was discovered during a routine bug-check of the game.
Essentially, the car's traction control would cut the engine off - allowing it to rev but would not transfer power to the tyres - if the player shifted gears while the tyres were on top of a track's step kerbs (those bumpy "tiles" on the edge of tracks). This is because the simultaneous vibrations of the tyres, engine, and transmission in the middle of shifting would overload the traction control.
The developers originally thought that this was a bug. But the game was actually simulating a real-life issue with traction control. The issue was solved by deactivating traction control when starting to gear shift, and then reactivating it a few milliseconds after the shift finished. This is also the real-life solution.
This is what happens when you make your game too realistic!
3. Project CARS 2 - Communication breakdown
Project CARS has always championed the finer details of racing environments and the ever changing on-track experience. For example, the accuracy of track temperature and dynamic weather in this game still manages to blow our mind!
But one really nice little detail that Reddit user u/Dempixels discovered is that if your car’s radio antenna gets damaged, then you won't be able to contact your pit crew - with radio calls replaced with interference instead!
Lesson of the day: look after your antennas, people.
4. Need for Speed: Nitro - Roadster ready
We’re throwing it back to 2009 for our next minor detail and the seldom remembered Need For Speed: Nitro.
While this game has failed to live long in the memory, we can definitely appreciate the fact that the Tesla Roadster here was able to use nitrous - despite not having a combustion engine.
What’s cool about this is that the flames coming from the exhaust are purple instead of the typical green colour.
Unfortunately, this detail was not in 2012's Most Wanted, where the Tesla shoots normal flames from the exhaust like every other regular car in the game.
5. Driver: San Francisco - Blast from the Past
In the brilliantly underrated Driver: San Francisco game, you can drive the iconic DMC Delorean - the star of the Back to the Future film franchise. And just like in the films, something very special happens when the car reaches 88mph!
As you drive, you'll see a flash of lightning and the mission ‘Blast from the Past’ will become available. Here, you’ll then have to complete a number of objectives on a note that appears in the upper right corner of the screen - in a nod to a similar mission you had to do in the original Driver game.
It's not very often you get an Easter egg appearing in the form of a previous game's mission!
6. Burnout Paradise - Big Surf Island hidden messages
The Burnout series was the absolute pinnacle of the racing game genre, and the jewel of the franchise was Burnout Paradise!
But while the game is set in the ambiguous but stunning Paradise City, much of the game’s development team hailed from the UK town of Guildford. And that might explain why many of the hidden Easter eggs scattered throughout Big Surf Island are all small references to British television shows.
You’ve got “all done in the best possible taste!” from the Kenny Everett Show, “Blobby, Blobby, Blobby” which is the, um, catchphrase of Mr. Blobby, and even “just say no!” from Grange Hill.
7. R4: Ridge Racer Type 4 - Giant eagle
We’re returning to a PlayStation Classic with R4: Ridge Racer Type 4 now, and the mysterious giant eagle.
This winged wonder appeared when you quickly pressed Left, Right, Right, Right on your controller just before the countdown starts in the Grand Prix Event in Heaven and Hell. The eagle who then swoop down to the race track and follow the race!
Weird, but cool.
8. Colin McRae Rally - Alien abduction
Did we save the best Easter egg until last?
The original Colin McRae Rally was brilliant for all sorts of reasons, but one of the most unusual features of the game was the alien UFO encounter.
On any of the night-time stages, the player's car could be beamed upwards into a hidden spaceship after activating a cheat code. Someone call Mulder and Scully!
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