Project CARS – Full throttle with no publisher

Project CARS could have been one of 2014’s surprise titles… if it wasn’t delayed out to 2015. But as Slightly Mad Studios did it, they made us slightly mad as well. The thought of community development is perfectly defined by this game, having absolutely stunning visuals (and content) to boot…!

Is the developers’ name familiar? If not, that’s okay, I think it’s enough to say about them that they created both Shift games back in 2009 and 2011 respectively. After that, they seemed to have hit a bump on their road with the 2012 Test Drive: Racing Legends, but now they look like back on the road with full throttle…

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Support the developers!

This time around, the British guys did not follow the usual route. They didn’t go out looking for a publisher – this way,  they won’t have any requirements to be met, while being able to get more profit out of the income… if they can actually sell enough copies to do so.

Project CARS will be special in a different way as well: the developers and the players have put the budget together themselves, giving the term „fanservice” a new meaning in the process. Buying Tool Packs can help the development in several ways – if you have always dreamed about Quality Assurance, you can participate in that for example. You can also get money out of this project: after an amount of your cash pushed into the project, for three years after release, you will get a share of the income quarterly. This is a very interesting idea! It’s going to be possibly used by others, especially on the indie front – I wonder how they will use this formula…

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Sense of speed

The game is really thrashing the opposition in this. The guys have found something extraordinary, so if your car goes with 200 km/h on the historical Nordschleife circuit, then you will not feel like you just hit 50! Meanwhile, the graphics look really great. REALLY great. It’s already showing what the current generation consoles are capable of (no wonder that the past gen versions got cancelled… I don’t think the PS3’s Cell would have been able to handle it!): it’s fast, it’s looking brilliant… and it’s filled with content as well.

First glimpses might show there’s not a lot of tracks (at least 52 variants), but there are courses with several variants: Nürburgring has three, including the aforementioned Nordschleife. There’s Zolder, Silverstone, Monza, Imola, Oschersleben, Monaco, Spa-Francorchamps, Suzuka and de la Sarthe all waiting for the player to burn rubber on them… and then I didn’t even go into the American tracks, like Road America with its big height changes, the previously F1-used Watkins Glen circuit, and so on…

But what would the tracks be worth without some nice cars? There will be quite a few supercars in the lineup: McLaren F1, Sauber C9 (C-class World Champion cars, and yes, it’s THAT Sauber from F1, this car is from before their F1 entry), BMW M1 ProCar, Mercedes-AMG C-Class Coupé DTM, Ford GT40… but I could go on for a while just by listing the currently announced and confirmed cars.

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Realistic

Slightly Mad’s game will be a serious simulator, where we can enter in any championships in any time, going for full weekends to boot. Starting from the usual shakedown program up to getting to the checkered flag, mixed up by the dynamic weather changes – don’t always expect a wet course to be wet all the time, it might dry up by the last laps.

But just how realistic will be the driving? The Madness engine used previously in Shift will be a good point to begin with, as Project CARS will use an updated version of this engine. And even if you’re not a professional, driving aids will be there for your help, guaranteeing that adrenaline bomb for everyone out there.

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Waiting for it…

The game will support Project Morpheus upon its release, giving the gameplay a huge boost thanks to the virtual reality. If the career mode is going to be put together in a good way while making the gameplay addictive, then DriveClub will lose its throne for sure. (Or at least, it will be able to get close to it, as GT7 can mix up things… Kaz Yamauchi is definitely up to something!) Especially if the online aspect will hit home. Amazing audiovisuals, serious in-car views, great physics and details. Can we celebrate a new racing king in 2015?

-V-


Reasons to look out for it:

+ Very powerful audiovisuals
+ Could be very addictive, even if we just play offline
+ Lineup of cars and courses

Not sure about:

– Just how much of a simulator will it actually be?
– How will the career mode work?
– Why does Hungary and Poland of all places have the most preorder shops?

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BadSector is a seasoned journalist for more than twenty years. He communicates in English, Hungarian and French. He worked for several gaming magazines - including the Hungarian GameStar, where he worked 8 years as editor. (For our office address, email and phone number check out our impressum)

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