Go back to Ford Racing 2

Written by: Rik

Date posted: April 26, 2015

While I was compiling my thoughts about how best to bemoan – once again – the lack of dashboards in a racing game, I considered making unfavourable comparisons between Ford Racing 2 and Ford Simulator 2, an extremely old promotional game that I had played at some point in the early 90s.

According to my memories, Ford Simulator 2, despite being visually unappealing and rather basic in design, did at least manage to allow you access to an in-car view of a variety of different Ford vehicles. A quick check, however, proved these memories to be faulty. You can look at lots of pictures of different Fords in Ford Simulator 2, but you can’t drive them. There’s just the one generic car.

Suitably chastened, I figured it must have been a later version that I had played and went running off to the internet to investigate. But, while you can indeed choose your vehicle in both Ford Simulator 3 and Ford Simulator 5, there appears to be little significant different between them once you get onto the road (well, they all have the same dashboard, anyway, which is all I care about, obviously).

To be honest, I have absolutely no idea which version I had played previously, although in fairness the driving portions of FS3 and FS5 are extremely similar to each other, with both revolving around a trip to a lake, keeping your car on the road and avoiding other traffic (and the attentions of the police) as you go.

They’re a bit like Test Drive 2 really, which I guess was a pretty suitable template for the time, but obviously not as good (or exciting, because you get to drive a Ford instead of a Ferrari F40). Still, at least there is some acknowledgment that Fords can actually crash and sustain damage, which became something of a sticking point for manufacturers in later years. I guess having multicoloured letters that say ‘POW!’ coming up on screen isn’t exactly the same as allowing relatively realistic-looking polygonal versions of your cars to become twisted wrecks of bent metal.