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I make little secret of the fact that racing games are my bread and butter; my one, my everything. So to say I was eagerly anticipating the release of Project CARS 2 is an understatement.
The first Project CARS game is my most played game this generation. The vehicle handling, the sounds, the tracks, the thriving online community — it ticked all the boxes. It remains to this day the ultimate driving game available on the current generation of consoles.
The previous game was criticised for its lack of licences, especially when it came to racing liveries. Because Project CARS at its most basic level is a racing game created by gamers for gamers, its budget was somewhat limited, and so getting racing teams to get on board wasn’t their highest priority.
This time around, there’s content galore. The first game found a niche for the endurance racing market, and specifically GT3 class racing. This time around its an endurance race fans ultimate fantasy. Ferrari, Lamborghini and the iconic Nissan GTR have been added (among others) and it makes it a fully fleshed out experience.
Also included this year is rallycross, an increasingly popular form of motorsport. For those who haven’t seen it, it’s a mix between circuit racing and rallying, and is usually chaotic to say the least. Its inclusion split the community somewhat, some feared it would dilute the pure racing experience. I’m happy it’s there though — anything that makes the game more appealing to a larger crowd is good in my book.
However, a word of warning to the casual racing fan — this is a true to real life experience. The cars do have optional traction control and stability control, but they are still very tough. This is the aspect of the game I love the most — the realism and the challenge of mastering your lap times and completing the perfect lap is what drives me to keep playing. But if you just want to go out and do a few laps, this game will torture you.
So, if Project CARS 2 is everything that was great about the first game, with added refinement and improvements, where does it fall short?
In its current state, the game has more bugs than your average student flat. Some of the bugs I’ve experienced I’d categorise in the game-breaking category. Occasionally I had no start lights for the races, there are constant disconnects from online sessions, the game occasionally randomly penalised me before the start of races . . .the list goes on. This is the sort of thing that will be fixed in time (perhaps even by the time you’re reading this), but it would be remiss of me to not mention it in its current state if you bought it off the shelf.
In a year in which games such as Forza Motorsport 7 and Gran Turismo Sport are releasing, it might be easy to overlook the less well known Project CARS series.
Don’t make that mistake.
Project Cars 2
For: PS4, Xbox One, PC
From: Slightly Mad Studios
Rating: (G) ★★★★
- by Simon Bishop