After playing Project CARS for a several hours I come to the understanding that it isn’t a game for everybody. The problem I had with Project CARS is that as a racing game it is good, much better then most, it isn’t the greatest. Inside the game the developers, Slightly Mad Studios, took a lot of time to provide a creative and exciting game that people would enjoy playing. The problem is that they got the racing aspect of the game right, but messed up on all of the small details that create the complete experience of a great game.
The menu system looks like it was designed to be used on a iPad and the multiple colors ends up pulling your eye away from what you are attempting to do. In the beginning of the game I also kept running into the classic lock box that wouldn’t allow me to advance in the menu. Several times I went to name my racer and only to be held up because of the lock box. This does open up and allow a cool creative aspect to the game but in the beginning less menus and more racing to establish your level would have been better for gamers.
As a racing game it offers a vast assortment of options that range from weather, track and length of race that allows players more control of the event then in the past. Gone in it are the vast sun in your eyes racing allowing mother nature to become a part of the game. Adding weather to the game is something Slightly Mad Studios did better then Forza 5 as a racing game. Forza 5, a great game, did a good job of displaying amazing looking cars racing around tracks but because of the one sided weather we never got to see how the horsepower would handle in the wet. With Project CARS we have our first taste of handling in the wet and it is as horrible as we would expect it to be.
The problem with handling the cars in the weather isn’t the weather it is the actual handling of the cars. Each car handles horribly compared to other racing games. Every tiny bump into another car spins you out into the grass. The car also doesn’t handle like anything you have played before. It is not the arcade style of Need for Speed or the simulation style of the Forza franchise. The cars inside Project CARS appear to take the idea of simulation and raise the bar higher to what a simulation game should be. This idea of racing is hard to adjust to coming from other titles.
The game also appears to hate you unless you drive perfectly every time. If you go off track, really everyone does it, your lap time is rejected. Sometimes I could go off track and in 3 to 4 seconds and not get penalized. During the same race I went off track with only 2 wheels and I was hit for the DQ of my lap time. I’m sure to a pro racer this makes sense but I’m not a pro racer.
The graphics of Project CARS looks great. The cars look and sound fantastic and hold true to their real sounds. The problem with the graphics only shine through when you hold it up to the Forza franchise. The cars are not as clean and the environment are not as nice as those seen in Forza 5. The graphics are a huge improvement over the Need for Speed franchise but those graphics make sense in EA’s cartoonish aracade racing game.
After playing Project CARS I enjoyed the game. It was solid racing game but I will never buy it. Right now it isn’t as polished as the Forza series and takes itself too seriously compared to other video game racers. That isn’t enough to make me not buy the game however. The reason I won’t buy the game is because every time I turn it on and start to play it, my mind wants to play Forza instead.