Feel the difference: arcade vs. simulation games

Feel the difference: arcade vs. simulation games

Project CARS 3 has a hard time being accepted as a true simulation. Why is that?

Photo credit: IGDB

Arcade games come in many different forms and settings. Sometimes a game’s setting means it is already classed as an arcade game. A sim always tries to replicate real-world driving, with all realistic physics and technological effects like tire wear and aerodynamics. A science fiction scenario, for example, can never build on data from or references to reality. Games like WipEout or F-Zero (where you drive speed gliders) will always come with their own unique driving experience.

“A” is for accessibility

As a result, arcade games mostly put their focus on easy handling and accessibility, even if the setting is based on reality – like in Need for Speed for example. The player can fully focus on setting and atmosphere. The world is their playground rather than a set of lessons to learn and master. Also, arcade racing games are easily playable with a controller.

WipEout Omega
WipEout Omega for PS4

Striking a fine balance

Some racing games try to find a balance between simulation and arcade. The most prominent examples are Gran Turismo for PlayStation 4 and Forza Motorsport for Xbox. These games are realistic enough to be acknowledged as racing sims by offering numerous possibilities to create specific car setups.

At the same time, you can play them with your controller at least with driving aids turned on. F1 is another series going that way. These racing games build a very fragile bridge between arcade and simulation, which is tough to do successfully. Sadly, PC3 mostly does not manage to follow this approach. Take a look at our video above to find out why.

Do you prefer arcade or simulation games? What is your opinion on the discussion? Tell us on Twitter or leave a Youtube comment at OverTake_gg.

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