Project CARS (CARS standing for Community Assisted Racing Simulator) has had a long drive to get here. It’s finally arrived and, yes, it was worth the wait.
Games that are often delayed usually turn up with a whiff of crap about them. (*Cough* Drive Club *cough*). Project CARS, however, bucks the trend and that’s not the only trend it bucks. Lately, games have been released whilst withholding a large chunk of stuff, preferring to try and claw more money out of you with micro transactions (Stop blushing Forza 5!) for extra cars or tracks. The developers, Slightly Mad Studios, should be commended for releasing what feels like a pretty complete game. I’m sure there will be extra tracks and cars offered over time, but what you get in the box feels like the full fat version all the same.
Eager to dive straight in, my initial impressions were that this game is unforgiving and definitely not for casual gamers. I felt you need to be a hard-core racer to get any enjoyment out of Project CARS as I couldn’t get the car around the track without sliding off on every corner. It’s true the game does cater for hard core race fanatics – the endless array of options attest to this – but dig around around those options and you will also find you can also tailor the game to be easier for the person who prefers their racing games to handle a little less like every Formula 1 game I’ve ever played. Tinker with the driverâ€™s aids and reduce your opponents A.I., and then the game can be a little less off-putting for the casual racer. Those looking for Burnout Paradise or Need For Speed should still look elsewhere, though, as its driving dynamics are still based in the realms of realism.
Those willing to stick at it will begin to reap rewards for their efforts. The old saying “practice makes perfect” rings true in Project CARS – use the practice laps to learn the track and you will slowly bring your lap times down. That’s of course if youâ€™re allowed to make one. Going off the track results in a notice that your lap time will not be counted. Maybe it’s just me, but I found this to be incredibly unfair. One single error can cost you your lap. Even in Formula 1 if you make a mistake your lap time usually still counts – itâ€™s the error itself usually being the penalty. In Project Cars, the lap simply doesn’t count at all so there’s no chance to make up time further in the lap. Annoying is not the word.
Project CARS – Part 1 – Mercedes SLS AMG! (Let’s Play / Walkthrough / 1080p Gameplay) – TmarTn2
There’s a career mode that let’s you start out your career in any of the motor sport classes available, mving through a championship, attracting the attention of scouts and receiving new offers by email depending on your progress. You can also win endorsement deals and switch between teams. If an offer is made, you would be advised to accept it. My mate got to the end of a season and stupidly decided to choose loyalty to his current team. Yes, he had to start the season again from the beginning. It’s seems these offers from teams are part of your progression.
If you just want to get started there are quick race events, free practices or an entire race weekend. (Even quick races give you an endless array of choice.)
The game doesn’t skip on tracks either, offering a mix of real life tracks such as Brands Hatch (memories of TOCA are evoked again) and fictional ones to beef up the roster. All the tracks are as detailed as the cars with elements like pits and various sponsors adding to the realism.
Project CARS takes its racing seriously. You will find yourself disqualified from a race if you drive dangerously. I was disqualified once for reversing back on the track after an off. I hit another car as I rejoined the track (That’s one for Channel 5’s Car Crash TV! – DVDfever Dom). This gained me an instant disqualification. Another time, my car was damaged and my pit crew advised me to pit. I missed the pits and decided to drive the wrong way seeing as I was in last place anyway. I was given 5 seconds to turn around which I failed to do, so and saw myself disqualified for the second time.
If anybody remembers the TOCA series by Codemasters, then Project CARS feels like it’s spiritual successor. The way the cars handle and the way you progress through the career mode is reminiscent of TOCA. Project Cars, though, would be TOCA on steroids.
The beauty of this game is that you can start anywhere. There isn’t the usual ‘start with the slowest car and try to earn cash to buy a better car’. The roster of cars you see at the beginning are all selectable. If you wish to drive that GT class car straight away, then drive it. There’s no need to unlock, no need to buy – select it and off you go. Talking of the list of cars playable, it isn’t as comprehensive as say Forza Horizon 2’s, with noticeable omissions of certain manufacturers. Ferrari for instance is amongst the missing. The selection available, however, will more than keep a car nut happy. There’s classics like the Mk1 Ford Fiseta RS1600 or Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth (the one with the whale tail), to more current rides like the Mercedes SLS or the Pagani Zonda. There’s Aerial Atoms, Renault Clio R’s cups, Aston Martins to the Audi R8. Even Formula A cars (Formula 1). There’s something for every petrol-head.
Go to page 2 for more thoughts on the game, plus conclusions.
Project CARS – Part 2 – Let the Racing Begin! (Let’s Play / Walkthrough / 1080p Gameplay) – TmarTn2
I’m all about the Games and Gadgets. Rumoured to have been born with a mobile phone in his hand. (It’s not true. It was a Gameboy) You want to know more about my business? You better invest in it then hadn’t you.