Bird’s Eye Vroooom: Real World Racing

Also, make a police chase game like this, pleasethankyou.

Italian devs Playstos Entertainment have announced a rather novel looking racer. Real World Racing is a top-down racing game that focuses on realism, rather than arcade antics. Also, it’s using photographs instead of graphics. Photo-realistic graphics!

It’s surely only a matter of time before someone invents a version of this idea using Google Maps, allowing the entire planet to be available to race in. For the moment, we’ve got sections of Rome, Paris, London, Berlin, and apparently others.

Whenever I want to know the exact truth about a game, I always look to the unattributed statements of greatness written as fact in press releases. For Real World Racing they say,

“The high level of driving simulation and the finely tuned controls are designed to achieve both unparalleled precision and a natural driving experience unprecedented in the top-down racing genre.”

See what you think for yourself:

The game will feature a career mode, arcade play, online gubbins, 80 cars, weather and other stuff too, all aiming to be on Steam by the end of this year.


  1. GallonOfAlan says:

    Now you too can pretend you’ve TWOCced a Micra and are being chased by Police, Camera Action!

  2. grundus says:

    I can feel the emotion from here.

  3. Cinek says:

    Looks really nice :) I guess it’s something that would work better on an iPad then PC, but well… PC version is always great thing to have :) I just wish they would sell standalone version instead of selling it though game rental service (aka. Steam). You know – I like to own things, not pay a full price for stuff that’s borrowed to me.

    • P7uen says:

      EULA comments are the new DRM comments!

      • PoulWrist says:

        Steam is also a DRM :(

        • Unholymess says:

          No it isn’t. Steam is a delivery platform that offers DRM as part of it’s functions, however, it is up to developers whether they use it or not.

          • MichaelPalin says:

            It is DRM, because you always need Steam to install Steam games. Then maybe you can copy the installation folder and play somewhere else without Steam, but the installation does have DRM.

          • notjasonlee says:

            you cannot play steam games without being logged into your account on steam. how is that not DRM exactly? you can’t even play the games from their directories…it has to launch through steam.

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      I swear to cow I will garrotte the next person who mixes up “borrow” and “lend” with their own intestines.

      • Premium User Badge

        Hodge says:

        I’m going to hold you to that.

      • deke913 says:

        use the small intestine that way if you screw up the knot you have plenty of room to adjust

      • Aedrill says:

        How could anyone possibly mix up “borrow” and “lend” with intestines?

      • Cinek says:

        well, in some languages there’s only one word for both: lend and borrow :) hence the mistake :)

  4. Jekhar says:

    Not bad. There were already some attempts to combine google maps with some driving action (just google “google maps racing”), but this looks far superior. The other games were mostly proof of concept, without map collision detection.

    • P7uen says:

      I was ready to scoff at this, from the screengrab, but I saw the video and thought “ooh that’s lovely”.

      • dazman76 says:

        I felt the same way :) Came in with mild reservation, and left thinking I really fancied trying it :) Among other games, it reminds me of Nitro on the Amiga, by Psygnosis. I loved that game back in the day, and this looks like a vastly improved game along the same lines. Colour me interested!

        • Jekhar says:

          Yeah, those were the days. Nitro was always fun in splitscreen-multiplayer. Skidmarks and ATR – All Terrain Racing were fun too.

  5. Creaturemagic says:

    “Now make a police chase game like this” Haha, you want to live out some of your real world police chase fantasies John?

  6. Amstrad says:

    There’s no ‘matter of time’ about it. A google maps driving/racing mashup was done as advertising for the Mini: link to
    Peg in your town and race a customizable mini around the streets of your neighborhood. Road collision detection is a little spotty and the controls are loose as hell, but it’s not bad for a game made just to advertise cars.

    • Gnoupi says:

      I guess that was mostly the point of the “matter of time”, the detection of the roads. Because as lovely as this game looks, it’s still restricted to some places. So while it uses satellite photos, the track is actually designed by them, to match it.

      The future would be to have a game interpret correctly the road’s edges, type of material, etc, so that you can do that anywhere.

  7. Dunbine says:

    I wonder how my brain will deal with steering from the top down as “left” and “right” constantly change as the roads curve, etc

    • max pain says:

      Exactly the same as with tons of other top-down racers, I would guess. Birds eye racers are nothing new.

    • maninahat says:

      The same as any other, I should imagine. All you need to know is which way the car is facing, and which is the left and right side of the car. Simple stuff.

      • Dunbine says:

        Ah, but you fail to consider that I am both old and dumb and haven’t played a top-down car game since the original Spy Hunter and such. I only understand the top of the screen as the direction I’m going and the bottom as the direction I came from.

        • grundus says:

          Well in that case I guess you’ll just have to wait and see, or go and buy a Mega Drive and a copy of Micro Machines, which quite frankly is still one of the best racing games ever made.

        • dazman76 says:

          I think you’ll be fine Dunbine – it becomes surprisingly natural after just a bit of practice :) I’ll recommend trying something like Nitro by Psygnosis, on an Amiga emulator – if you likes the looks of this, Nitro would set you up nicely with regards to controls :)

        • rapchee says:

          or you could get the original death rally (google for DeathRallyStrategyinformer_10.exe)

    • LionsPhil says:

      They might provide a up-is-always-forward map-rotates-instead mode?

  8. razgon says:

    Looks very nce – The maps themselves looks kinda dead though, in that its a static image and the only thing moving is the cars themselves. Kinda gives an uncanny valley effect, that.

    • Eophasmus says:

      Aside from vegetation or perhaps pedestrians, there’s not much to move though. The lovely lighting and particle effects give the tracks more ‘life’ than I was expecting and presumably whilst playing, the speed and focus on not skidding or crashing will mean that we’ll barely notice any lack of movement derived from the photographs.

      Personally, I don’t see any problem with this and I’m sure the more they tinker with it, the more effects will be added to apply movement to the world.

    • sonofsanta says:

      The cars lack shadows, which looks mighty odd given how strong some of the shadows from the landscape are. If they’re coding the tracks by hand, they should just bake the illumination angle into that level’s code and get the engine to generate it. Would make the cars look a lot more like they’re in the map rather than on it.

  9. nautsch says:

    I LOVED Micromachines 2 on the Mega Drive. This looks just like that.

    • Tom Walker says:

      My thoughts exactly. Presumably in this one though, you won’t be able to accidentally launch yourself off the side of the map by hitting an irresponsibly placed potato waffle.

  10. Eophasmus says:

    Uh oh, their trailer’s on Vimeo. It’ll probably get taken down soon enough…

  11. dahools says:

    Since its not yet been mentioned. Is it only me then who looks at this and thinks Grand Theft Auto 1, 2, London etc. just without people in it?

    • Lykurgos says:

      It reminded me first of Skidmarks (Amiga) and then of Micro Machines, but yeah, it could remind me of the original GTA too.

    • The First Door says:

      In style it definitely looks like a mix between Micro Machines and GTA 1 or 2… although thankfully it has more than just 90 degree corners!

  12. Zeewolf says:

    Heh, that looked so much better than I expected.

  13. bglamb says:

    It’s going to be strange to reconcile ‘realistic’ driving with what will forever be (for me anyway) the GTA camera angle.

  14. KaptainKarnage says:


  15. Xaromir says:

    When i’ve seen the screenshot i thought it would be another game easteregg in Google Earth or Maps, which would have been fun too.

  16. Syra says: