Much has been made of DriveClub's visual prowess. However, this new tasty trailer tries to convince you that it sounds just as good as it looks.
Let's be honest: so many racing games fail miserably when it comes to replicating ear-splitting engine sounds. Gran Turismo, for example, frequently fails to deliver in the audio department – it's become a running joke among fans that its cars sound like vacuum cleaners. Fortunately, DriveClub aims to teach Polyphony a lesson and set a new benchmark in automotive audio design.
This video demonstrates DriveClub's thunderous audio with applaudable simplicity. A single shot pans around a Ferrari F12 Berlinetta as it belts down a track, its throaty V12 engine roaring like an uncaged lion, before swooping inside the cockpit to show how the engine sounds change depending on your position. In other words, the audio is entirely directional, so the sound you'll hear from behind the wheel in the cockpit camera will be markedly different to the external camera – just as it would in real life.
“Our audio team goes out to visit all of the manufacturers. They get the car on a dyno, hook it up to 18 different microphones inside and outside of the car and then record the audio doing gear sweeps, braking and everything you can do on a dyno,” Community Manager Jamie Brayshaw explained in our two part interview with Evolution.
“This data is brought back to our studio and then built into the game by layering it properly. So when you’re racing in what we call first person racing, which is in the cockpit as the driver where you can see your hands on the wheel, the dashboard and the reflections in the windscreen, it not only looks amazing, but actually sounds like you’re in the car – the loud roar of the engine is actually accurate to where you would be if you were driving that car.”
“If you’re a bit old-school like me and you want the camera on the bumper so you can just see the road, it changes the audio too. If the camera’s down in front, it sounds like you’re in front of the engine. If you change to the camera behind the car, i.e. the traditional chase cam, which dynamically adjusts if there’s objects or cars blocking your view, it tilts so you can see above them. It’s a clever system, and it changes the audio as well. You sound like you’re out of the car and a bit further away.”
So, let that be a lesson to Polyphony: this is how you capture audio for racing games properly.