The concept of racing games is about as simple as it gets; Go from point A to point B faster than the other guys. The problem is that one mistake can easily take a competitor out of the race. There’s nothing more irritating than hitting five perfect turns in a row, only to end up facing backwards in the grass due to one small tap from an opponent. Rather than slog through the rest of the track with no hope of winning, many gamers would choose to quit the race in situations like this, wasting their own time and detracting from the overall racing experience for others. With their upcoming racing title, Driveclub, Sony and Evolution Studios aim to make “Rage quitting” a thing of the past thanks to their new Face-Off system.
Instead of penalizing players for taking the quick, easy way out, Driveclub will use dynamic Face-Offs to keep players pushing forward, no matter their position in the race. As players race, they’ll be able to take part in smaller challenges throughout courses, making every turn of the race a competitive endeavor. Even if you spun out in the first lap, eliminating any chances of finishing first overall, you can still earn points for yourself and your club by maintaining a high average speed through the second lap, or by pulling off an impressive drift through a hairpin turn. Exceptional performances on these mini-challenges can be set as challenges for friends, club-mates and other racers to try to beat.
Game Director Paul Rustchynsky explained the appeal of the system, stating, “It’s demoralizing when you make a mistake and it costs you the race. With DriveClub we challenged ourselves to design a better game that deals with this aspect of racing. What we’ve come up with is a racer that constantly gives you new goals to aim for, whether you’re way out in front of the pack or find yourself spinning out of control because you pushed your car a little too far.”
Evolution used a similar system in their previous racing title, Motorstorm RC, but Driveclub looks to expand the concept. “We tested an early version of our challenge system in RC,” said Rustchynsky, adding, “In RC there were no rewards off the back of it, other than ‘Ha, I beat you!’ and that was great, but we wanted to make sure we evolved that so there’s a reason to keep jumping into challenges over and above the bragging rights. As you improve, there’ll always be someone else out there to chase. This idea that it’s not over when one player puts the pad down, it just works so much better in Driveclub.”
The video above explains Driveclub’s Face-Off system in its entirety, but we’ll have to wait until the game’s release this October to experience it ourselves.