If you’re a car child of the late-’90s and early-’00s, you’re likely familiar with the early car video games of our era. Games like Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 and Need for Speed: Underground, were easily accessible, friendly to kids, and a ton of fun. You might also remember that these games had genuinely amazing introductory cinematics that left huge impressions on young minds. Those clips were an amalgamation of everything that felt cool about cars; fast driving, supercars, modding… and incredibly somebody’s been remaking them in Grand Theft Auto V. If you remember those games I just mentioned fondly but don’t know YouTuber RavenwestR1, you’re going to enjoy these.
It’s hard for me to watch these without having to take three deep breaths as i’m watching my tunnel vision intensify. His work is ridiculously good. Frame-by-frame perfection.
Ravenwest on his beginnings, via an email exchange I had with him: “Back in 2010 I finally managed to get my hands on Grand Theft Auto IV… I decided to just start recreating trailers of already existing video games or movies.” “Recreating those trailers made me realize I like to see cars [moving] cinematically…”
There’s passion and dedication to making these clips, and it clearly shows. His recreation of the Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 intro cinematic is an insane journey for anyone that’s banked real hours in the game. Frame-by-frame recreations are one thing, but the direction of the action is unbelievable. The attitude and action of the cars mimic the genuine intro, and time was taken to recreate the graphics and effects used in the original.
Even more impressive is his mastery of the sandbox of GTA V, in many ways he showcases the work that was done on the game with visual variety and environments.
To date, Ravenwest has done some 20 videos, recreating intros and trailers, ranging from the Forza Horizon series to Gran Turismo 4 and Gran Turismo 5, and damn near every single Need for Speed game with an intro cinematic. Every single one is absolutely true to the original. The editing (which is what he does professionally), the color grading, art direction, the directing, it’s a colossal effort to even make one of these videos.
It strikes many chords with me. I grew up idolizing cars through these games, they were my one-and-only tether to the car world, and I held them tight. To see them recreated with this much love, passion, and detail is touching to me, and insanely cool. It proves, to me, that these games are the most important link to a generation of car people that may have been lost.
In the words of Ravenwest: “I just simply really liked doing it, I guess you could say it’s a tribute to the games we grew up… It definitely helped me paved my way to the world of video editing, which is what I do.” The coolest creators, humble as always.
Give his channel a look. It’s worth the many hours you’ll burn on it. If you want your mind truly blown to smithereens, watch his side-by-side comparisons to the original. My personal favorite is the Need for Speed: Most Wanted remake. Trust me, you won’t regret watching this dude.