The original Project CARS that was released in 2015 brought an enormous amount of joy to racing simulator fans around the world. That is why we are eagerly awaiting the sequel and counting months until it hits the (digital) shelves. Now is the perfect opportunity to see what we can expect from Project CARS 2, a game that we will get to play before the end of 2017.
Even Better Than the First
First of all, it’s the team you know and like from the original game – Slightly Mad Studio is the developer, while Bandai Namco is the official publisher of Project CARS 2. The sequel was presented in big Namco’s event organized in Europe a couple of months ago, where the visitors had the opportunity to play it with VR headset combined with an original racing chair and a steering wheel. What an experience!
The Weather Changes
Even if you don’t have the expensive additional equipment, Project CARS 2 can offer a lot if you are a fan of racing simulators. For starters, if you have ever played the original game of the franchise, you know that they focused a lot of attention on realism. We will get even more of that this time, considering that the developers are working on providing accurate weather and tire modeling. The idea is to accurately bring the experience of different weather conditions to the game.
For example – it starts raining during the race, and soon you can notice that water puddles are forming along the course. Yes, the trick is in the phrase “puddles are forming.” You won’t just see a pile of water, but it will turn bigger as you go through the laps. But that’s not everything – it’s only natural that some of this water will stay on your tire after you go through the puddle. That’s what will make your car more slippery for the next part of the course and all up until the rubber completely dries. The model of weather modeling is called LiveTrack 3.0, and all this seems encouraging for now.
Aside from that, the weather will depend on the season. So, we are in for some unbearable summer heat, autumn rains, and snowy and icy roads in the winter. During the hands-on presentation of Project CARS 2, the visitors got to see the track covered with ice at some points. While they say it’s still not perfect, the graphics of the wintery conditions were just breathtaking. As for making the experience entirely faithful to the real thing, the developers still have at least several months of time.
Varying Performance of the Tires
The important thing, for now, is that difference is more than noticeable. Your tires will behave differently when you are driving on a wet course, and their performance will vary when you move to a hot or a dry track. That brings us to the tire modeling, which will enable you to see the traces of your (and other people’s) driving on the road. If you drift through a curve, you will notice the tire marks next time you go through there. Overall, Project CARS 2 is a visual treat. Each of the courses we got to see is colorful and vivid, and you will quickly notice which season you are driving it, whether it is spring, summer, autumn, or winter.
There Are NO Things to Unlock
Yes, you heard it right – the game won’t force you to play for hours before unlocking the fastest cars or the one you like the most. There are tasks to do, so you can expect to have various objectives when playing the game in single-player mode, but all the tracks and vehicles are there from the start. The cover for Project CARS 2 will feature the incredible McLaren 720s, which is only one of the supercars we will get to test in the game. There is a trailer that features McLaren’s beast driving down the Long Beach and making tight turns. The complete roster of available cars and courses has not been revealed yet, but there is no doubt it will be extensive.
Slightly Mad Studio is aware that they received a bit of criticism for how they solved the joystick controls in the original game, so the sequel will feature somewhat modified (and simplified?) way to control your vehicle by using your gamepad. Allegedly, the goal of the developers is to make the game attractive for all types of players without having to sacrifice realism.
It’s Not the Real Thing, but It Gets Extremely Close
Regardless, if you want a real experience, you should think about investing in a racing chair and a nice steering wheel. If you add a VR headset to it, you will be able to taste the unique feeling of thundering through the racing courses and experience the intense action of a race. There is a good chance that, if you have the right equipment, Project CARS 2 will be the closest you can feel to the real thing of high-speed racing (not that I’ve ever tried it in reality, but the virtual thing seems incredibly exciting).
As for the multiplayer part, an interesting concept presented by Slightly Mad was the digital driving license to be used in Project CARS 2. The licenses are supposed to help determine how good of a driver someone is and whether he just crashes all the time or tends to be fair during races. Also, this could come in handy for e-sports racing that they also announced. So if you are among the drivers with the highest license available, you are in for a real thrill in the competitive leagues. You will also have the ability to directly broadcast races via the internet so that streamers will be pleased with the game, too.
As I mentioned, there is no specific release date for the game yet. Project CARS 2 should be available before the end of 2017. You can already purchase various editions of the game, such as a standard version, the collector’s edition (including a model of the McLaren’s cover car), and the ultra-limited edition. The game is already available for pre-ordering, which means you can reserve a copy for yourself right now.