Review: Project CARS 2 (PS4).
Rally and racing fans have had good times. As with the premiere of the first part of the studio Slighty Mad there was simply no simulation on PS4, so two years later we have a lot to choose from, and in a moment there will be a new version of the Gran Turismo series. Is it worth being interested in such a situation? Project CARS 2? Well it’s worth it.
First of all, it is more difficult than in the first part. You can feel it from the first meters traveled by any car. To get used to the physics, I had to turn on the assists – which I don’t get in ANY game. Mastering the McLaren 720S or Pagani Huayry BC (but a tongue twister!) Is almost a miracle at first. Rear-wheel drive monsters are so butt-throwing that you can sweat in minutes from turning the wheel. Of course, tops are guaranteed and included. Front-wheel drive cars, in turn, are masters of understeer and you need to brake much earlier than it seems at first glance. The same applies to the “four-legged”, but here you can shoot at the exit like a rocket – the king of this technique is the famous Nissan GTR.
However, there is one thing about physics Project Cars 2 it attracts attention and disturbs me a bit. These are the disproportions between driving road vehicles and racing / rally machines. Logically, the mechanical and aerodynamic downforce is incomparably greater in the case of racing series vehicles, while no other simulator that I had the opportunity to play showed such changes. When the tires are warmed up, road cars slide all the time and are too understeer when entering a corner, while virtually every racing machine is glued from the first meters – be it a Toyota LMP1 car or a Ferrari 488 GTE rear-wheel drive train. For me, this is a weak option, because I definitely prefer to play with “normal” vehicles, not those from closed racing series. That doesn’t mean it’s bad – it just takes getting used to and switching to bipolarity in game physics.
I like the difference in grip on a cold and warm vehicle. In addition, during the game we can use the help of a racing engineer – if you are not interested in mechanics and you do not know what to change in the suspension to make the vehicle more suited to driving preferences, now the game will help us comfortably. Just a moment of conversation with an engineer and voila – setup is ready! There is still fun on the gravel, a mode that probably every creator of a racing game has recently liked – Rallycross. Here I have the impression that the creators went more towards a demanding arcade game and not a total simulation as in the case of Dirt 4 – It’s good! It drives really well, flying sideways with these monsters is very satisfying and even AI can fight well. Here a plus.
I had the opportunity to play the Thrustmaster T300 RS steering wheel… and that’s how you have to play. A steering wheel is necessary. Riding a pad is very frustrating, but it’s probably no wonder. The cooperation with the steering wheels is perfect! The feeling of losing stability, grip or understeer is simply fabulous. I will repeat it once again – don’t even approach this production with a pad. The game gets completely different, loses character and just isn’t fun. Not to mention that you have to spend a lot of time getting the optimal settings for your pad.
Something a CARS game can’t do without is, heh, cars! And here it is two heavens better than in the first part. We have a wide range of the aforementioned “ordinary” cars that can theoretically be found on the street, from McLaren 570S / 720S, through Porsche 918 and GT3 RS, Ford GT, Mercedes AMG GTR or A45 – well, everyone will find something for themselves. NASCAR / Indy / GTE, different classes of LMP cars … classics to choose from! Each model is beautifully made and really impressive. The sound is worse. While vehicles that have low roars, such as Bentleys or Mercedes, sound tolerable (gurgling and blasts from the exhaust are present), the machines spinning higher, and here an example are the Porsche GT3 RS and 918, are a bit different from reality. Personally, I would sacrifice the visual aspect in favor of the sound of the machines, but what to do? Fortunately, there is no tragedy – it just could be better.
It’s also great for the tracks and better than 2 years ago! Nurburgring, LeMans, Laguna Seca, Zolder, Spa – these are just some of them. Of course, practically every available route can be traveled in several variants. Additionally, fictional routes (like California) provide beautiful views along the way. A big plus!
As for the visual side – it’s great. Most of all, the game is very fluid. Even the night race at LeMans with 31 opponents did not result in a clipping. It boasts! Vehicle models are exemplary – both inside and out. A great thing with setting the camera on the driver’s helmet. In combination with the ability to turn off the HUD in flight, it is a great curiosity. An interesting fact because it’s hard to drive, but it looks nice. The setting is average. Unfortunately, the biggest drawback of the graphic design of the first part of the game still appears – teeth and shimmering everywhere! Fortunately, sunsets and weather effects make up for this. And let’s face it. As always, I have the opportunity to mention in reviews of games of this type – there is no time to admire the graphics!
Weather effects are also a separate matter. It drove me one day to include the Red Bull Ring at night. In rain. In the Mercedes AMG GTR. Absolutely. No. Da. Myself. Thread. Do. Driving on wet asphalt in this game is hard! Interestingly, driving in the snow caused me less problems. Yes, it is possible! What’s more, the game features a trophy that requires you to complete a lap of the Nurburgring in less than 8 minutes. It is not an impossible challenge, but in this case we have to do it in winter. Good luck! Or maybe desert Dubai in the snow? You’re welcome.
At the end, I leave the least important thing in Project Cars 2 – career mode. It is completely boring, unnecessary and uninvolved. Each car and track is available immediately, so we can play any races / time trials anyway. On the one hand, it is a pity, on the other – maybe a good thing? I have the impression that most people who reach for PC2 anyway want to keep down the next tenths of a second on a given track, and not painstakingly climb from the lowest ranks in boring racing.
What I like about online games in such productions is… what can I say – people who know what they want from simulations. It is much harder to find people who will push us off the route, and instead I encountered a cultural ride within the limits of sports sense. And it has to be! In addition, you can take part in the online championship or watch the races in spectator mode (here the esports aspirations of producers speak up). Something for everyone.
I have the impression that PC2 is what the first part was meant to be – a complete game with tons of vehicles and tracks, great physics, brilliant lighting and weather effects, a good network mode and simply – a smooth experience. Will he defend himself against the coming king in the form Gran Turismo Sport? I do not know, but one thing is certain – Slightly Mad compete with Polyphony Digital as equal to equal.
The game was reviewed on the Thrustmaster T300RS steering wheel provided to us by a representative of Thrustmaster for which we would like to thank you.