CBS Sony released Paris-Dakar Rally Special, an imaginative racing game with platformer and action-adventure elements, featuring Dakar Rally cars that could fire bullets, the driver able to exit the car and go exploring to lower a bridge or bypass other obstacles, underwater driving sections, and at times having avoid a fleet of tanks and fighter jets.In 1989, Atari released Hard Drivin', another arcade driving game that used 3D polygonal graphics.It also featured force feedback, where the wheel fights the player during aggressive turns, and a crash replay camera view.
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The game is generally regarded as the first true auto racing simulation on a personal computer.
Accurately replicating the 1989 Indianapolis 500 grid, it offered advanced 3D graphics for its time, setup options, car failures and handling.
According to IGN, it was "the first racing game based on a real-world racing circuit (Fuji Speedway in Japan)" and "introduced checkpoints," and that its success, as "the highest-grossing arcade game in North America in 1983, cemented the genre in place for decades to come and inspired a horde of other racing games".
Racing games in general tend to drift toward the arcade side of reality, mainly due to hardware limitations, especially in the 1980s and 1990s.
Another notable video game from the 1970s was The Driver, a racing-action game released by Kasco (Kansai Seiki Seisakusho Co.) that used 16 mm film to project full motion video on screen, though its gameplay had limited interaction, requiring the player to match their steering wheel, gas pedal and brakes with movements shown on screen, much like the sequences in later laserdisc video games.
Alpine Ski, released by Taito in 1981, was a winter sports game, a vertical-scrolling racing game that involved maneuvering a skier through a downhill ski course, a slalom racing course, and a ski jumping competition.
While not the first third-person racing game (it was predated by Sega's Turbo), Pole Position established the conventions of the genre and its success inspired numerous imitators.
According to Electronic Games, for "the first time in the amusement parlors, a first-person racing game gives a higher reward for passing cars and finishing among the leaders rather than just for keeping all four wheels on the road".
In general, they can be distributed along a spectrum anywhere between hardcore simulations, and simpler arcade racing games.