Project CARS originally started as a crowd sourced game that has now involved into a full fledged car racing simulator with one of the best gameplay and visuals in the genre. This is not an easy task for the developer Slightly Mad Studios, but they have achieved exactly that and then some more with the release of this sequel to the original game.
Project CARS 2 builds on the foundation laid out by the first game but attempts to tackle the issues that were faced by fans. It also remains one of the most technically ambitious game by focusing on realistic weather and tire simulation with effects depending on weather, improved handling of the car and audio feedback. The visuals have also been touched upon with the launch of the game while offering better post-processing effects. To top it off, if you are a fan of taking gorgeous screenshots of your racing cars, the photo mode offered in the game gives you the choice to capture the action from every angle making use of a variety of effects to highlight the car in its best condition.
2017 has proven to be a great year for racing fans and Project CARS 2 continues the streak of offering quality games in the genre. The new additions this time around are a completely revamped career mode that seems to have been developed after taking the fan’s feedback into consideration. It doesn’t matter if you are a newbie or experienced, the game offers you plenty of options in how you tackle the career mode. There are multiple types of racing series available in the career mode including the much needed RallyCross and you are free to choose from any of them as you start with your own character. The gameplay modes have also been increased from the previous game with more focus on community related events and esports aspect of the game.
The developers have also implemented a set of customization options letting you tweak your car so it performs the best in a race, but of course, this won’t be quite easy to grasp if you don’t have much knowledge of the general gameplay mechanics. It will admittedly take a while to figure out the best setup for your racing car but thankfully the game offers to let you drive test laps around the track before each race, so you can plan your experience accordingly. You can also manually configure your pit stop for the longer races. There is no shortage of options here to customize your racing experience from the tuning of the car to the layout of the tracks.
For the sequel, the improvements are not just limited to the career and gameplay modes, the tracks and cars have all received a significant boost. There are more than 180 cars available in Project CARS 2 which is twice that of the original game. Track locations have also been doubled to more than 60 locations from the original while offering more layout for the tracks so that you can practice your racing skills on them.
One of the feature present in Project CARS 2 is the improvements to the LiveTrack 3.0. This is a unique feature that lets the developers dynamically alter the track conditions based on a number of factors. This has a profound effect on how a race plays out in real-time with the condition of the weather and the cars racing on the track. It is possible that the track might face wear and tear with time if the weather condition starts to get severe with rain and thunderstorm offering a slippery surface track making it difficult to steer the car. This makes every race a different experience for the user and just when you think that you have mastered a lap time, you could potentially hit these circumstances that will have an affect on your performance. Understanding the conditions to make sure to perform each race with full effect is the key to enjoying Project CARS 2.
If you are bored of the career mode, you can try some of the custom races or time trials that offer plenty of replay value, especially if you are one of the dedicated fan who prefers to master each track. In these races, you are free to set the weather conditions or the number of AI cars that are available on a track. These are also good test beds for determining how the AI reacts to some of the more severe conditions including the real-time weather and day-night cycle. It is a nice change of pace from the restrictions of the career mode.
Slightly Mad Studios has always delivered on the technical front and their latest project is no exception. I have played the game on the PS4 Pro where it manages to hold really well in term of the frame rate by sticking closer to the 60 FPS target. It is hard to notice any performance issues with the game atleast on the PS4 Pro and the resolution upgrade over the regular PS4 is already significant here. Overall, I was pretty satisfied with the support of Project CARS 2 on the PS4 Pro since it is rare to see developers taking the full advantage of it.
Project CARS 2 Review (PS4)
Game Reviewed on: PS4
Game description: Project CARS 2 is an upcoming motorsport racing simulator video game developed by Slightly Mad Studios and published and distributed by Bandai Namco Entertainment.
Slightly Mad Studios appears to have taken the feedback of the fans into consideration when developing the sequel resulting in a product that is a solid upgrade over the original Project CARS. This might not be the perfect racing simulator but it definitely offers the best package overall in term of the visuals and the gameplay simulation.