Being a big fan of simulation games like Forza and Gran Turismo, I was drawn to the simulation aspect of this game more than anything else. After playing this for about a month, here is a quick review to help prospective buyers.
So is it really worth of the Sim badge?
Graphically the game is superb, the 'dirty' line on the track is littered with stones and rubber, while older tracks sport cracks and fatigue throughout. The cockpits are spot on to the model, including working tach, speedo and boost gauges, and the tyre deformation while driving is realistic as well. Damage on the car, in terms of graphics and the consequences they have on the driving physics are also brilliant and also add to the simulation aspect of the game.
The sounds in the game again, are spot on to the model of car, with even similar models being easily distinguishable (for example different models of the R8 and the Gallardo which in other games have no differences whatsoever). The sounds involved in crashes are very detailed and not repetitive, and each object has a unique scraping or full on crashing soundtrack.
Overall the way this game involves the player is mind blowing, night races in helmet mode, can really get the players heart pumping and go some way to replicating the real thing. The only drawbacks are the up close graphics of the cars, where certain colours can make the cars very unrealistic, and the gloss effect on all finishes can be a little over the top. However, from what i can tell this issue only becomes prominent in the menus and not in actual gameplay. The steering sensitivity can also be a little too much for a controller, meaning a wheel is the logical choice to heighten control of the cars.
For maximum involvement, get a force feedback wheel, preferably the Xbox wireless one if you can find somebody selling one.