I recently had surgery on my right Achilles, and have been on a quest to improve my left-footed driving in the virtual world in preparation to driving left-footed in the real world. Towards that end, I decided to buy City Car Driving (Home Edition) because it’s supposed to be a realistic traffic simulator.
I’ve driven in the US, Canada, and UK, and have been a passenger in cars in various parts of Central America and Western Europe. The traffic patterns in CCD are a little different from what I’ve seen, and I’m guessing the setting for this game is Russia.
CCD gives you plenty of vehicles to choose from right away, which include some familiar looking Japanese and European models as well as some that are probably Russian. Sorry, what I know about cars in the US is small, and anything outside of the US mostly non-existent. The Steam Workshop is full of additional vehicles. I paged through them and subscribed to a few favorites: Lancia Delta Integrale, Ford Crown Victoria, Honda CRX, Mazda Miata, and a 1990s Toyota Corolla.
The graphics are charming. Meaning they are pretty low resolution and look on par with original rFactor. I have a pretty good graphics card, but on high resolution (which was still low quality) the game delivered about 85 fps rather than the 144 I was expecting to sync with my monitor. There is a lot going on in the game, however. This isn’t a racing sim with 10 cars on track. It’s a city sim with hundreds of vehicles as well as people. Maybe that’s the reason. Anyway, this is city driving and one doesn’t need more than about 30 FPS to be playable.
Setting up the driving controls was pretty straightforward. I’m using a Thrustmaster wheel and pedals, so I don’t know how difficult it would be if they were different devices. That said, the game had no problem recognizing and using my external hand brake.
The viewing system can use buttons, hat switches, keyboard, mouse, or even VR. I used buttons on my wheel for looking left, right, and back. Unfortunately, 3 buttons isn’t really enough to view around your car. The game really needs VR or a head-tracker (e.g. TrackIR) because operating the vehicle controls and the view controls at the same time is awkward.
The reason I got the software was for the realism. How realistic was it? If I had VR or TrackIR or something, I think it would be highly realistic. The other drivers act a lot like drivers in the real world. There are people who will cut you off and blow their horns. There are people who drive too slowly. There are confusing intersections with confusing signage. It felt a lot like driving in a foreign country. Also, like city driving, it wasn’t much fun. Just a lot of stop-n-go with your head on a swivel. For someone who has never driven before, I think this might be a decent training tool because the driving situations are complex and varied. I think the developers have done a really great job of making something that feels like actual driving. I don’t mean this from the perspective of physics, but from the behavior of the other drivers. I didn’t drive in such a way that I could really test the physics.
In order to get a refund via Steam, you have to stop playing before the 2 hour mark. So that’s what I did. I can’t imagine playing this for more than a few hours. But for someone who has never done any real driving, I think 10-20 hours would be a fun and practical introduction to real driving.