8 videogame corners you must experience before you die

The cornerstones of the racing genre

Oh, how cruel. One of the most breathtaking corners in one of the most breathtaking driving games of all time is almost impossible to enjoy because it's so hard. It's like someone's put a magnet on the outside of the corner, which is guaranteed to catch the tail-end of your Ferrari and drag it into the wall.

This one does it just as you're on the brow of a hill that just so happens to contain one of the game's best views. As a result, if you don't know it's coming, this wonderful vista is positively wrecked by screen juddering and screeching metal akin to an exotic sports car having sex with a cheesegrater. Observe:



Still, once you do know its there and realise you just have to approach it from a position so far right you're risking a controversial career in politics, it all just clicks and flows by like some kind of automotive ballet. The flare from the sunset as it bursts into view between the rocks, the drift across the track, the rollercoaster stomach-drop of the track sprawling before you… I wish it could last forever.


Above: Look at the water in the distance - this corner is more banked than Wall Street

Ridge Racer -Right-hander after the beach

"Next corner's tough – watch yourself!" shouts the commentator in his hateful, smarmy voice. But damn, he's not lying. This corner is impossible to take at full speed… unless you've mastered the drift mechanic. It's second nature to any Ridge player these days, but back in 1994 it was the turn of champions.

Better still, it had an angled layer of concrete between the outside of the track and the wall. So even when you crashed into the wall, you were left staring at an insanely high-resolution concrete surface that showed you were racing a 3D game. You wondered if just maybe you could find the right line to use this banking to your advantage. You couldn't, of course – even if you got the real slide right, you'd hit the wall at the end of the concrete before you had a chance to straighten up.

It doesn't matter. It still stands as one of gaming's boldest corners. The long straight before it and massive chevrons say 'can you handle this'? How can anyone not relish that challenge?


Above: Look at the track map - you're attempting a hairpin bend at 100mph

Gran Turismo -Turn 2, Grand Valley

If one corner could encapsulate everything Gran Turismo stands for, it's the right-hander at the start of the Grand Valley circuit. Even from the grid, you've always got a decent speed up by the time you reach it. But to do it right, you've got to play by the game's rules. You've got to get the balance of the car right, as you move from the shallowest of left-handers, onto the brakes and then change direction without falling off the track into the gravel.

The track is nice and wide, so as long as you do brake, you'll probably make it through. But making it through with the ultimate line is much trickier than you'd imagine. It always feels like you could have done it quicker, as when you do it right, you end up with far more road than you needed. Which is why it rocks.


Above: be honest - how many times have you had to drive out of that gravel trap on the left?

F1 2010 - Eau Rouge

Well, what can I say? The game may not be out, but in terms of rewarding corners, it's absolutely full of them. But which one to choose? Has to be Eau Rouge. It's one of the few corners in the world that can be taken flat out – and any time you lift, even slightly, people will say you chickened out. Like this guy on YouTube:



Why is it so great? For starters, you've got several seconds to take in the enormity of what you're about to do as you fly down the hill towards the most terrifying corner in the world. Indeed, the elevation change is so pronounced, it simply wouldn't be allowed in the design of a modern racetrack.

How do you do it? Stick your wheels as far to the right as possible and turn in late so that you can squeeze as much width from the left-hand side of the track as possible at the bottom. Then, change direction as quickly as you dare, and hope it sticks as you turn right up the other side. If it doesn't... just be glad it's only a game.


Above:I simply cannot wait to play the finished version of this game

So there you have it. Eight corners you need in your life.But these are not the only eight corners in the world. Maybe you have a favourite that I haven't mentioned? A special camber, a dreamy apex... maybe even a quadruple apex. Let the world know in the comments.

09 Sep, 2010

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The longest-serving GR+ staffer, I was here when all this was just fields. I'm currently Reviews Editor but still find time to speedrun Sonic levels and make daft Photoshop articles.
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