A few months ago I remembered drive club, a somewhat overlooked racing game for the PlayStation 4 known for its phenomenal weather effects. Weather effects which in my opinion still have not been surpassed by any competing runner even on newer and much more powerful hardware. Including Forza Horizon 5 and Grand Touring 7.
What I didn’t know is that the ever-dedicated modding community for racing trima simulator originally released in 2014 on PC, improved the game in such a way that it could actually exceed Driveclub’s rendered rain in a few key areas – and absolutely blowing Forza’s and GT out of the water, no pun intended. This is what rain should look like in modern racing games, yet nothing really comes close.
what you are looking at is the latest version of Shutoko Revival Project — a fan-developed racing trim mod paying homage to the golden age of Japanese street racing, featuring a replica of the iconic Tokyo Metropolitan Expressway. It’s a setting that’s been mostly ignored in the racing genre since the Tokyo Xtreme Racer franchise in the early to mid years, and I never understood why. A lot of people seem to want a game like this, and yet it took volunteers to make it real.
That’s partly why the video above is so neat, but the other is the rain. And credit for this contribution goes to a developer named Ilja Jusupov aka x4fab who has spent years developing custom shader patches for racing trim According to them Patreon.
Jusupov’s work is something to behold. The disparate drops accumulate and move en masse on the windshield; meandering, merging and swaying from left to right, opposite to the direction of car travel. The wipers work together to move all fluid up and down, just like on a real car, leaving dry streaks as they oscillate. I know this all sounds trite in text, but the second you see it in action you realize this level of detail just isn’t seen in other racing games. Games developed by real businesses. Take the technical darling that is GT7for example:
Pretty pathetic, right? In all honesty, there are a few likely reasons for this. racing trim is a PC game of course – basically a old PC game at that – where the graphics quality is not limited to specific hardware. To be an eight-year title, racing trim isn’t particularly pushing PCs these days, which gives developers some leeway to achieve the beautiful effects we’re seeing.
The time of day also seems to be static in the Shutoko clip, which would reduce the load on the hardware. GT7 the rain doesn’t look half as good, but GT7 lighting, sky and cloud cover are variable, as is Driveclub’s. Rest assured though – there is racing trim modders who also deal with this problem, like Pierre Boeseresponsible for the Sol dynamic atmosphere system.
The results here aren’t perfect; it’s all the work of independent developers who are obviously short on time and resources. In the video, you’ll notice that as the player’s car passes under an overpass, water stops pooling on the glass and the windshield wipers stop in place. It is not a closed tunnel, so there should always be indirect sprays. But again, you have to remember that this is a game that didn’t launch with any meteorological effects strictly speaking in 2014. Even if racing trim had, they would never have looked so beautiful.
Modders literally put together new pieces of gameplay that Kunos Simulazioni, Corsa trim original developer, never dreamed. And they still manage to put new triple-A racers to shame.