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OS Scores Explained Project CARS Overview (PS4)
Pros
Enormous selection of track locations; Online experience, Computer AI
Cons
Lack of vehicles; No online leagues; Career's presentation
Bottom Line
Whether you’re a hardcore or fringe fan of racing titles, Project Cars is a must buy.
8.5
out of 10
Project CARS REVIEW

Project CARS Review (PS4)

After 5 years of delays and testing, Project Cars, the latest racing title from the minds of those at Slighty Mad Studios and Bandai Namco, is finally here. When you make the statement "the most authentic, beautiful, intense and technically-advanced racing game on the planet," you had better come prepared to either back that up, or be ready to deal with the inevitable crucification that is surely to follow.

Gameplay

As with any sports game claiming to be a simulation of the sport it digitally represents, there is a fine line of creating a title that is too much of a simulation, or too unrealistic and teeters on the arcade side of racing. Whether you are a novice, or love an insane challenge, Project Cars does a solid job of covering both ends of the spectrum.

Another major component of any racing game is the car handling itself, and the realism that hopefully coincides with it. Each car feels different in terms of sounds, handling and ability. The difference between each class of vehicle is large to require the user to spend legitimate time with each class to understand the particulars of that car.

One of the most important aspects of any racing game is the AI's ability to offer aggressive and unique competition, without becoming stagnant and predictable. Thankfully the A.I. drivers in Project Cars are some of the best ever implemented into a game. Sure, they are a bit erratic at times, but the digital opponents you face in Project Cars mimic a real human opponent. It's exactly what you want out of any racing title.

Project Cars offers multiple adjustment levels for both controller and wheel. I tested Project Cars with both a PS4 Dual-Shock controller, and a Thrustmaster T100 wheel, and ended with mixed results. When using the wheel, i'd make up some ground on each lap. However, using a settings-adjusted controller can offer the same experience - almost. If you have the capacity to race Project Cars with a racing wheel, that is the way to go, but using a controller will in no way cheapen the experience. We all have different styles in which the way we race, and make sure you put the time in to find what works best for you.

Career

We've found ourselves another deep and expansive online experience. It’s pretty straight forward in the fact that it allows you to pick a specific discipline and either race your way to the top, or start racing with the big boys from the beginning. What makes the Career mode so unique is that you will find everything unlocked, and no need to “grind” your way to a better experience. There is no need to upgrade your cars or unlock better vehicles in order to race different championships or disciplines that you want. Sure, you can approach it that way, but Project Cars offers the user the ability to move onward and upward simply by their performance on the track. Gone are the days of looking at the opponent next to you in the same car, only to know that their vehicle has the ability to reach the finish-line much quicker based off of what’s under the hood, not how well they can drive.

The beauty of the career mode is in the ways the game allows you to approach and tailor it to your liking. The focus is what you do on the track, not the reliability of experience points or in-game currency in order to further your career. The direction SMS approached the career mode with isn’t new, but it is definitely the path less traveled, and a breath of fresh air when compared to the grind mentality of other racing titles. Don’t think that for one second the overall experience is a shallow one because of this decision, if anything, it is enhanced in ways that many have not experienced before.

The overall presentation during career mode is a bit lacking, as you will receive pop-up notifications, and dynamic splash screens showing your accomplishments or advancements, but not much more. While we love career mode and the depth and versatility it offers, the overall presentation could have added even more to an already stellar mode, but fails to do so.

 

Multiplayer

As with most other modes in Project Cars, online is completely open and adjustable. You can setup a quick- or full-race weekend with multiple practice sessions, warm-up, and qualifying. Want a three-lap race? No problem. Rather do a 50-lap endurance race? Not a problem, either. You only have a limited number of friends to race online with? You can create public and private rooms, to control who shows up. You can race with the same type of cars, or make it a multi-class race, and you can even set it up to where all opponents have the same set ups. Not a fan of racing against other people, but want to see how you compare? Project Cars has got you covered there, with community events and time trials. If you are following the pattern we have laid out, than you understand you can basically race online how you like, when you like, and with the people you like.

While there are plenty of options online to keep that crowd happy, all of it means nothing if the connection is spotty and inconsistent. Obviously I cannot speak for everyone, but in the testing we did online in multiple sessions, the connections were great. We saw a bit of warping during one race, but it was from one individual, so our assumption was the issue was with that individual. The only issue we have with the online portion of Project Cars is if you are going to give your fans all these options and the ability to add A.I. drivers into the mix for full fields, why not include some type of league set-up? Other than the omission of any type of league setting, SMS has packed Project Cars online with multiple choices and options to keep most people satisfied.

Final Thoughts

The amount of hype that has surrounded Project Cars is typically reserved for games that are considered true AAA titles, but the hype is real, and so are the expectations. Project Cars is a great racing title that offers so much to the user, and delivers in almost every way imaginable. We would have like to have seen a league option online, and a much larger variety in car selection, but hopefully these are things that can be addressed down the road. When I judge a racing title I need it to look great, have competitive A.I., and represent the sport in a realistic fashion. Project Cars does that as good as any of their predecessors, and better than most.

Learning Curve – Depending on the level of difficulty you start out at, the curve could be quite deep.

Visuals – Simply stunning on the PS4. There are times where moments in-race look photo-realistic, and the tracks are alive.

Audio – The audio is acceptable, but forgettable. The cars, tracks, ambiance and voice work sound fine, but lack far behind other components.

Value – With the amount of off-line customization and online variety, Project Cars offers more than enough to validate a purchase.

Score: 8.5 (Great)


Project CARS Videos
Member Comments
# 1 bxphenom7 @ 05/17/15 12:39 PM
Guess it's time to get my first racing game
 
# 2 oakevin @ 05/17/15 01:21 PM
Cant agree with a lot of things in this review. The A.I. is pretty dumb a lot of the time and the game is not "stunning". It has severe "ghosting" and gets very blurry every time you take a turn.
 
# 3 NC12 @ 05/17/15 02:12 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarke99
If I'm more of an arcadey don't like to brake at every turn kind of guy, im guessing even at lower difficulties this isn't a good game for me is it? My favourite ever was midnight club LA...
I would say go for Driveclub if you're on PS4. I consider myself in the same fan category of racing games as you put yourself in, and I must say that I am very impressed and haven't been able to put my controller down since I made the purchase.
 
# 4 Pappy Knuckles @ 05/17/15 02:18 PM
Anyone have any tips for the Karts? It seems the the A.I. can turn on a dime, but it's a struggle for me to get around corners.
 
# 5 bcruise @ 05/17/15 02:21 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pappy Knuckles
Anyone have any tips for the Karts? It seems the the A.I. can turn on a dime, but it's a struggle for me to get around corners.
It's a relatively simple tip, but you're going to be able to turn much sharply when accelerating from a slow initial speed. So for corners you know you aren't going to be able to make just by letting off the gas, brake deep in the corner, cut the wheel and roll back onto the gas.
 
# 6 Dazraz @ 05/17/15 02:30 PM
The one thing I fînd hard to comprehend in this review is the positíve points in regards to the AI. AI is good In that it doesn't stick to a predefined racing line but on the other hand it seems to have no awareness of your car. Therefore if you position your car at point at which the AI car expects to be it will have no reservation of driving straight into you.
The lack of cars cannot be underestimated. If you were expecting the plethora of cars that Forza & Gran Turismo bring then you will be sorely disappointed.
Yes Project Cars is a solid Sim based racer but it isn't the dream racing game some would have you believe.
 
# 7 razorkaos @ 05/17/15 03:18 PM
I played it on pc at a friend's house, and i would like to know if one feature in particular is available on console versions.

The game (on PC) has a config. menu that allows for some decent gameplay tuning, ranging from analog deadzone and sensivity to how responsive the brakes are and how sensitive the gas pedal is.

Can someone tell me if these options are available on consoles? I plan on buying this game as soon as i get my PS4, but i fear that without the ability to customize the gameplay, i will end with the same results i have with GT6 (which are not ideal for me).
 
# 8 RunN1st @ 05/17/15 03:27 PM
Yes you can adjust the all of the options like deadzones and sensitivity.
 
# 9 razorkaos @ 05/17/15 03:56 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by RunN1st
Yes you can adjust the all of the options like deadzones and sensitivity.
Thanks man!
 
# 10 ultralow36 @ 05/17/15 03:57 PM
got this on pc and love it.....@oakvin ....A.I is pretty solid on 60% and above but 80% is the sweetspot....
 
# 11 RunN1st @ 05/17/15 04:04 PM
One more thing worth mentioning, this is a simulation racing game. You can't just get in and gas/break mash or drift around. You have to learn how feather the gas/break inputs, while taking care of your tires, and avoiding contact with other cars and surroundings.

Quick tips:
1. Find a controller setting that works well for you. See controller setting post in the racing section. Trust us, the default is junky and will frustrate you quickly.

2. Keep most driving aids on and gradually remove them as you get comfortable. However, don't use the acceleration and brake aids, this will only serve to build bad habits. And for crying out loud, use the automatic gearing.

3. Learn each track by watching the A.I. turn laps while keeping the telemetry visual
aid on. Focus on the entry braking and corner exit acceleration points.

4. Try the different camera views and stick with one. Constantly changing the cameras will make you inconsistent and it will definitely show in your lap times.

5. Focus on being consistent vs. fast (hot lapping)... This may not sound like a good idea but if you drive the car on the edge you will most likely bake your tires, make costly mistakes which will nullify any gains you made have made while hot lapping.

6. Learn the passing sections for each track. This is huge especially when racing online. (This will make sense the first time you get stuck behind someone slower.)

7. The driving line is your best friend but only use it for a lap or two. Instead, use the track landmarks to help you identify braking and acceleration marks.

8. Rumble strips - some are forgiving and some are extremely dangerous. Test the limits of each in your practice sessions.

Most importantly... Don't expect to be fast right away... I use a 50 lap rule for each track... Turn 50 laps (minimum) of practice without going off track and work from there.
 
# 12 Trevelyan @ 05/17/15 04:09 PM
I really can't figure out what people love about the AI. Yes, they don't stick to the driving line so it creates some excitement, but thats quickly taken away by their willingness to plow you off the road. Not bump, but full speed hit you off the road. Not a great experience.
 
# 13 JohnDoe8865 @ 05/17/15 08:13 PM
This is truly an amazing game. A must buy.
 
# 14 OhioCub @ 05/17/15 10:16 PM
Simple question that I didn't see mentioned in the review and it's a must if I'm going to buy, does it support local multiplayer or online only?
 
# 15 SinisterAlex @ 05/17/15 11:12 PM
We really need to start racing together. I'm getting so pissed off with these idiots online. I'm always getting smashed into when I corner and on straights. So frustrating when you're holding a podium position and get knocked off the track by some moron who tries to take you inside where there's absolutely no track available....

I let off quite a few f-bombs during my last session. Just downright frustrating. Oh also getting bumped off the starting grid too. I'm already 15 seconds behind and I haven't even crossed the start line yet....
 
# 16 LingeringRegime @ 05/17/15 11:17 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by RunN1st
One more thing worth mentioning, this is a simulation racing game. You can't just get in and gas/break mash or drift around. You have to learn how feather the gas/break inputs, while taking care of your tires, and avoiding contact with other cars and surroundings.

Quick tips:
1. Find a controller setting that works well for you. See controller setting post in the racing section. Trust us, the default is junky and will frustrate you quickly.

2. Keep most driving aids on and gradually remove them as you get comfortable. However, don't use the acceleration and brake aids, this will only serve to build bad habits. And for crying out loud, use the automatic gearing.

3. Learn each track by watching the A.I. turn laps while keeping the telemetry visual
aid on. Focus on the entry braking and corner exit acceleration points.

4. Try the different camera views and stick with one. Constantly changing the cameras will make you inconsistent and it will definitely show in your lap times.

5. Focus on being consistent vs. fast (hot lapping)... This may not sound like a good idea but if you drive the car on the edge you will most likely bake your tires, make costly mistakes which will nullify any gains you made have made while hot lapping.

6. Learn the passing sections for each track. This is huge especially when racing online. (This will make sense the first time you get stuck behind someone slower.)

7. The driving line is your best friend but only use it for a lap or two. Instead, use the track landmarks to help you identify braking and acceleration marks.

8. Rumble strips - some are forgiving and some are extremely dangerous. Test the limits of each in your practice sessions.

Most importantly... Don't expect to be fast right away... I use a 50 lap rule for each track... Turn 50 laps (minimum) of practice without going off track and work from there.
Great list.

You have convinced me to go with automatic transmission.
 
# 17 RunN1st @ 05/17/15 11:26 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioCub
Simple question that I didn't see mentioned in the review and it's a must if I'm going to buy, does it support local multiplayer or online only?
Only online multiplayer... Can't imagine the PS4, PCs or XB1 being able to run this game on two screen due to the resources.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SinisterAlex
We really need to start racing together. I'm getting so pissed off with these idiots online. I'm always getting smashed into when I corner and on straights. So frustrating when you're holding a podium position and get knocked off the track by some moron who tries to take you inside where there's absolutely no track available....

I let off quite a few f-bombs during my last session. Just downright frustrating. Oh also getting bumped off the starting grid too. I'm already 15 seconds behind and I haven't even crossed the start line yet....
bluengold34 (Bob) has been hosting some fun rooms online with a bunch of OS guys.
 
# 18 SinisterAlex @ 05/17/15 11:51 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by RunN1st
bluengold34 (Bob) has been hosting some fun rooms online with a bunch of OS guys.
I need to get into those! These randoms are just killing me.
 
# 19 DJ NEO @ 05/18/15 01:27 AM
If U want REALLY good racing simulator with nextgen physics and car handling buy Assetto Corsa on PC.

Im a fan of both games, but AC the way to go.

Its like comparing Saints Row and GTA, if U know what I mean

Cheers.
 
# 20 OhioCub @ 05/18/15 04:37 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by RunN1st
Only online multiplayer... Can't imagine the PS4, PCs or XB1 being able to run this game on two screen due to the resources.
Thanks, looks like I won't be buying. Wasted money on driveclub already assuming it had local multi-player. Not that it's a bad game but the funnest aspect of a racing game is competing with family and friends.
 

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