Project Cars: The classic racer with a new-gen touch

Project Cars sets out to be the boundary braking racing game avid motorsport enthusiasts have been waiting for. The stunning graphics detail (aimed 1080p/60 FPS) this racer will be featuring on both Xbox One and PS4 was highlighted in a previous article, and now I’d like to focus on the features of the game, its varied range of content, and what it has to offer in terms of racing experience. Slightly Mad Studios’ Project Cars is an old school core racing sim with a highly realistic feel and next-gen looks. The game will test players’ racing abilities and race management skills to the last detail – knowing how to tackle a tight chicane without “flapping” the tail of your racing beast, or when to go full throttle when exiting a corner, will be some of the key racing skills you’ll need to showcase in order to pose a real threat on the circuit. Talking about racing circuits, there are over 50 to choose from; starting with point-to-point courses such as Road America and Watkins Glen, and cruising down to the iconic Spa-Franchorchamps or Nurburgring Nordschleife, Project Cars has the largest roster of race locations of any recent racing game. 

Before starting a race, you will have to employ a strategy, whether it’s tyre management, gear ratios, engine mapping, fuel consumption, you will have to be accurate in your choices, as this is not a game in which you can simply add a turbo to your car and gain a 100 BHP advantage. So far, 67 cars have been confirmed by developers, with a lot more still to come. Five additional racing-prepped models have been allegedly identified in recent build notes: Audi 90 IMSA, Merc CLK LM, 1997 McLaren F1 GTR, the BMW V12 LMR, and RUF CTR Yellowbird. Project Cars will have a huge list of racing and stock models, which are refined copies of their real life counterparts. The Slightly Mad development team aims to separate this game from its main competitors – a category in which we can include the Gran Turismo, Grid and Forza Motorsport series; perhaps the recent PS4 release, Driveclub. Developers intend to introduce a sandbox approach that will allow the player to choose from numerous motorsports paths, granting immediate access to all featured tracks and vehicles. Racers will be engaged in multiple-day events progressing from test runs and qualifying sessions to the race itself.

Forza Horizon is the Xbox exclusive title in which we have already seen that kind of sandbox/open-world approach, and it’s hard to predict how the one in this game will carry itself compared to the Forza racer. Project Cars employs an improved version of the Madness Engine which stood at the core of the Need for Speed: Shift titles. Weather changes and lighting conditions will be simulated dynamically, a feature we have also seen implemented successfully in Driveclub. We’ll see how this new racing simulator stands out from the rest of the crowd. My guess is it will be a Gran Turismo type of game, with a more versatile approach in terms of racing environments and player movement. That being said, Project Cars promises to bring a tone of great things to the racing sim world, but will it manage to do so brilliantly? Will it stay with us for years to come or will it fade away into obscurity? We’ll find out this November. Take a closer look at this new Project Cars vs Real-Life Competition trailer.