Also helpful to the less talented drivers such as myself, and similarly to the owners of less than stellar PCs, are the configuration options. AI driver ability can be set from anywhere to rolling chicane to blistering fast. The graphics complexity can be varied in much the same way to ensure that even an aging box like mine can provide adequate performance. Realizing that tuning the graphics complexity to a suitable level can be somewhat of a burden, SimBin has included a performance analyzer that suggests stepping up or down a level of fidelity after sensing how the framerate behaved after any given race. This is a neat feature, but I was unfortunately on the cusp of 'low' and 'medium,' depending on the track. After shifting back and forth between the two a few times, I finally turned off the analyzer and settled on 'low.' Even at the low setting, Race 07 is a very pretty representation of motor racing. As I'm more into racing than sightseeing, I didn't particularly miss things like reflections and shadows, although I did finally bump the draw distance from 'near' up to 'normal' because the sudden appearance of rows of trees and the like was somewhat disconcerting.
As I mentioned before, the sedan cars now have windshield wipers. You probably inferred from this that there was a need for said wipers, and such is the case. Race 07 models Dry, Rainy, and Really Really Really Rainy races. If you like all three, you can also configure 'Changing' weather so that conditions will vary throughout the race weekend. I, what with me being of a somewhat calcified age and therefore somewhat set in my ways, chose to avoid the changing weather and try out various locked-in weather patterns. As a picture is worth 1000 words, and a moving picture is worth exponentially more, I captured a few dry and rainy sessions in a few different cars and loaded them up to YouTube. One uses the Action Cam view and the rest use the in car view.
For the most part, these were done with the graphics set to 'low' and the drivers set to 'slow.' I think 93% was the setting I used to keep the AI guys from completely embarrassing me, although I still did a pretty credible job of doing that myself. Note that while Fraps probably sucked a few FPS out of the system during capture, these framerates were pretty typical of what I've come to expect from my old PC and its AGP GeForce board. Frankly, if computers were horses, I would have shot this one by now.
Race 07, while not breaking a whole lot of new ground technologically, is a solid performer in an interesting racing domain. Very few of us can ever aspire to a lucrative NASCR or F1 ride, but grassroots racing is within the reach of quite a few. I enjoyed the tighter racing of the lower (yet equally) powered cars, and the opportunity to learn new and unfamiliar tracks was refreshing. The immersive value of the superb sound and graphics was lessened only by the absence of a key mapping that would simulate the extension and display of the single-finger salute reserved for the more egregiously aggressive driving tactics of some of the AI drivers, but I suppose SimBin has to keep something in reserve for the next release.
Race 07 is a solid entry in the SimBin racing stable, but should be viewed as more evolutionary than revolutionary. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course. It's quite fun and demonstrates the high production values that are the hallmark of SimBin titles.
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