I’m not a reviewer, so I know nothing about how to structure a proper review, so don’t consider this as such. I just wanted to share my opinion, and push anyone who is on the fence right off of it. I bought Game Stock Car Extreme the other day, and I can’t believe how good it is. If you are thinking about buying it, do it right now. I was hesitant to buy GSC. I thought I’d be paying $30 for an rFactor mod, when I could get several other good mods for free. That is the wrong way to think about GSC. It’s not just a payware rFactor mod. Not only is every single piece of content that I’ve tried so far in GSC exponentially superior than anything I’ve tried in rFactor, but somehow it runs better! The physics are better too. When you buy GSC, you’re getting what you pay for. The first thing I noticed when I fired up GSC was just how good it looks. Let me rephrase that. I didn’t just notice how good it looks, I was shocked. Lots of people say that a sim doesn’t have to look good, it just has to race well. I reluctantly subscribed to that line of thought when I joined an rFactor league racing HistorX cars on tracks that vary wildly in quality, from “poor” to “pretty good.” Well, I’m singing a different tune after trying GSC. Looks do matter. I felt more immersion the first time I tried GSC than I ever have playing rFactor. The tracks are phenomenal. The surrounding environment feels expansive, with wide open places that extend deep into the horizon, and trackside objects that are well crafted and diverse, instead of the same old objects copied and pasted everywhere you look. I wouldn’t have thought that would have the impact it did, but I felt more like I was really racing with that type of environment on my 3 screens. The cars also look amazing, inside and out, and the cockpit detail really sells it. I find myself enjoying replays, something I haven’t done since I quit playing Gran Turismo 5. More important than the looks, however, are the physics. Reiza is doing something different here, and it’s a marked improvement. I don’t know anything about coding physics, and I really don’t know anything about how a real race car feels on track, but regardless, let me try to explain what I perceive here. GSC has somehow advanced the suspension model of rFactor. The cars in GSC actually feel like they are suspended above the ground with springs. They are a little bouncy, as I would expect a real race car to be. But more importantly, they seem to correctly model what that effect has on grip in a more noticeably dynamic way than rFactor does. I can feel the grip loss when going around a corner if I hit a bump that raises the front end, and I can feel the car regain grip as the weight settles. I can feel the effect that weight shift has on traction. I think rFactor does this too, but I’ve been playing the HistorX mod in a league for a couple of years now, and I can safely say that I immediately noticed it more in GSC. The only other sim I’ve noticed this type of attention to physics in is Assetto Corsa, and it’s one of the first things I noticed about that sim as well. On top of all that, the cars seem to lose grip in a more realistic way as well. I noticed it most in the Opalas. In the HistorX mod, when I come into a corner too hot, if I can just manage to throw the car sideways, I can scrub off lots of speed, and save the corner pretty easily. Not the case with the Opalas in GSC. If you get the car sideways too fast, be prepared to slide right off track. Don’t get me wrong, I can keep the Opala sideways through a corner pretty easily, and it’s always extremely fun, if not the fastest way to take a corner. The drift physics are realistic and fun, but if you’re going too fast, you’ll regret it. It seems to more accurately simulate what those old thin tires were like, at least according to what I’ve seen of them on YouTube. When you couple that attention to physics detail with the level of detail that the track surfaces have, it makes for a really enjoyable physics experience. Force feedback is fantastic, and easily rivals that of all the modern sims. That’s all that really needs to be said about it. Each track I’ve tried in GSC has a realistically bumpy surface, which really makes the FFB enjoyable. So many rFactor tracks are flat, or even worse, plagued with that ridiculous sine-wave canned track surface. GSC tracks are alive, and full of bumpy character. Another added bonus of GSC is how easy it is to use. I can’t stress enough how refreshing that is. We run several different mods in the league I’m a member of, and setting up a mod can take hours. I have to install Realfeel and Leo’s FFB to get FFB anywhere near enjoyable, and tweaking those plugins and editing files can take a lot of time. Then there’s the .plr file to edit, and that’s if you can remember everything that needs to be changed the first time you’re in there. Then I have to edit each car file to set the FOV at a reasonable level, which is extremely frustrating. I simply loathe setting up a new mod. I should be getting paid for all that work. It’s extremely refreshing to be able to install a sim, and then just run it, with all the glorious FFB and FOV you want, right there, ready to go. And how is it that GSC runs faster at higher settings than rFactor? It’s noticeably smoother on my system. When running triples in rFactor, I get this unavoidable stutter that occurs every half second like clockwork. I’ve given up trying to solve the problem, and just try to race through it as well as I can. Miraculously, GSC runs as smooth as silk, and I seem to be able to run it at higher settings than rFactor, even with a full grid of AI. How is GSC smoother than the base sim it’s built from? So, if you’re like I was, and you don’t know if GSC is worth the money, let me tell you, it is. The hype is real. For at least a year I put off buying it. I’m so glad I finally did. I’ve been enjoying driving it around with the AI, and it’s worth the $30 just for that. I’ve only tried 4 cars so far, and each one I’ve tried I would happily join a league to run. I can’t believe this sim isn’t more popular in the U.S., considering that the developer so kindly created an English version for us. If Reiza continues to produce product of this quality, I’ll be a customer for life.