When you think about racing games, you normally envision fantastic cars surrounded by low polycount crowd, cardboard trees and not exactly stellar environments, because most of the hardware resources are dedicated to render what’s close to the area where the player’s eye will focus. Most probably you won’t think about lush vegetation that would look good on its own.
At times developers will dedicate a few more resources in rendering trees and grass, and you’ll get a result that looks quite good from afar. Yet, as soon as you move the camera closer, the illusion will fade, replaced by something you really wouldn’t want to look at directly.
Driveclub is an exception, and the newly released Japanese tracks are an even better example on how crazy attention to environmental details and vegetation in particular can enrich the looks of a game, probably more than having those extra polygons thrown onto the cars.
The game’s vegetation not only stands the “close up” test, but it looks extremely good on its own, and doesn’t really compare badly against other genres in which you don’t zip around the track at 180 MPH. Interestingly, grass and trees also naturally react to the game’s awesome weather thanks to the shaders that make leaves and trunks look wet when it rains.
If you don’t believe me, just check out the gallery below, and behold the craftsmanship of Evolution Studio’s artists.
When you drive around the track you’ll probably focus on something else entirely, even if I can guarantee that the beauty of the environments will still unconsciously register in your brain. Now it’s time to tip our collective hat to the artists that designed it these subtle, but stunning details. They’re not “in-your-face,” but they’re definitely worth seeing.
[Special thanks to NeoGAF user Benzy, who inspired this post with his screenshots]