Project CARS has been a long time coming with it's many release date delays but it has been worth it wait, this game is a sim racer and not an arcade racer so it will not be to everybody’s tastes, yet at the same time it is easy enough to pick and play.
The main career mode is a sandbox experience made up of three historic goals from the games 8 racing tiers, you can compete in any of these tiers in any order you wish to complete the historic goal, or if you want your career to be in just karting or GT4 over multiple seasons that's also entirely up to you, the game also lets you start and play multiple careers at the same which I found to be refreshing , Project CARS lets you do what you want, when you want. The sheer amount of tuning and adjusting options could be daunting at first should you delve deeper going into places you may know nothing about, however there is a digital manual in the options menu that will open the PS4’s browser and give an extensive breakdown including videos should you need them.
From the start all 71 cars are available which includes the free downloadable Lykan Hypersport, there is no money needed to buy cars or xp gained to unlock cars for your garage, all cars can be raced on the 72 variations of the 29 tracks with no reverse tracks, racing feels like racing and at times moving up one position throughout the whole race felt like an achievement, the AI is fully adjustable and they will race wheel to wheel with you which makes for some great races, you can even adjust the AI option and start at the back of the grid and win the race if you wished, the options are extensive throughout.
Graphics run natively at 1080p and 60fps on the PS4 and colours are vibrant on clear race days, this game looks great. The framerate can drop to around 50fps under heavy rain conditions according to Digital Foundry and some screen tearing can occur, but considering how buttery smooth the game runs with 22 cars on track is a testament to the hard work Slightly Mad Studio has put into this release, graphical effects can be turned on or off similar to PC games and I wish more developers would implement these graphical options as seen in this game, the amount of opponents can be adjusted up to a maximum of 35 which will result in interesting first corner pile ups, especially when you are in the middle of it.
The sound gets a special mention as you can hear every bump affect the engine noise and the sound heard from different views of the car really does impress, for those that like in game music Slightly Mad Studio has cleverly used in conjunction with Spotify 8 curated playlists using Spotify.
Multiplayer works well with up to 15 human opponents plus 1 CPU if needed, but i found it best with a group of 8-10 like minded people that want to race wheel to wheel which can make for some epic races where you wait for an overtaking opportunity or press the other drivers into making a mistake.
Overall Project CARS is a great racing which should be in every racers library, the game is at least on par with Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport but with a wealth of tuning options under the bonnet they could only hope for, there are a few bugs in this release which really shouldn’t be there and will no doubt be patched out, otherwise the game would an easy 9/10
Written By Jason Fontaine