Wednesday, 27 September 2017 06:10

REVIEW: Project Cars 2 (Xbox One)

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Slightly Mad Studios were so dedicated to replicating a real-to-life racing experience with the original Project Cars, and Project Cars 2 is no different. So, be prepared to spin out, lose control and crash into a lot of walls.

Hardcore racing fans will be pleased to know that everything about Project Cars 2 is a step up from the original game. Project Cars 2 has a huge roster of cars, 190 in fact from 39 different manufacturers. There is also nine different motorsport disciplines you can sink your teeth into including rallycross, Indycar, endurance, karts, touring, track day cars and more. And as always, there’s a great selection of tracks, 60 in total including famous tracks like the Nürburgring, Spa-Francorchamps and Indianapolis speedway. Put all this together and Project Cars 2 in one impressive package.

In the Career Mode, you must work your way up through the different disciplines. Though, something a little different this time around, Project Cars 2 ditches the calendar style layout from the origianl game and instead you pick your starting point from the lower tiers of the racing ladder then work your way through to things like Formula Rookie or GT4. As you progress, the next tier of championships will unlock, as well as special invitational events. These invitational events can be tackled whenever you like, so there is not rush to get them done.

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As mentioned before, you’re going to spin out and lose control a lot, regardless of how many driving aids you have turned on. Project Cars 2 does a great job of simulating what driving at neck break speeds can do if you take a corner a little too fast. Now, if you've played the first Project Cars, you’ll be well aware of this, but Slightly Mad Studios have taken this to a whole other level. All kinds of factors can affect a race, from the weather to the wear of your tyres. So if you want to keep on the road and make your way up to first place, you’re going to need to get your head around all these mechanics. Jumping into any old car will only have you ending up off the road and losing control real fast. And unlike games like Forza where things can easily be corrected via the nice little rewind feature, make an error in Project Cars 2 and you’ll be more likely to end up in a situation I mentioned above.

So how does the game look? Well, Project Cars 2 is a very good-looking game and captures everything you would expect from the genre, with high vehicle detail, both inside and out. Some features from the original game like it's LiveTrack weather and track condition simulation have been taken to the next level in Project Cars 2. This is called, LiveTrack 3 and boy can the weather change the race with introduction of some deep, thick fog or huge puddles that form on track after some rain. Vehicle damage also returns, and when it's enabled, hitting barriers or other vehicles will affect your steering and aerodynamics making it very hard to keep the car straight and on the track. Even the sound is truly superb, with every engine and exhaust sounding as unique and realistic as possible to it’s real life counterpart.

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So how do the cars handle? In Project Cars 2, every car feels and handles very differently from each other. So learning the tracks, cars and being able to tweak a car's set-up will only increase your chances of staying on the road and win those important races. If you’re like me and find all this a little too much, the game does a great job of describing to you what each thing will do when you change it. On top of that, there is also a Race Engineer option. Here you’ll be able to search for a symptom you’ve run into and the game will diagnose it and suggest a solution. Now, one other thing you need to be aware of is the AI drivers. AI opponents are tough and their skill in the career mode can be erratic which forced me to change difficulty options on a per race basis.

So, should you spend your hard earn dollars on this one? Well, if you were a fan of Project Cars, then it’s probably a no brainer when it comes to picking up the the sequel. Project Cars 2 irons out most of the issues of its predecessor all while expanding on itself to offer one of the best racing sims out there.

Additional Info

  • Review Score: 4.0 / 5.0
  • Release Date: Out Now
  • Platform: PC, PS4, XBOX ONE
  • Developer: Slightly Mad Studios
  • Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
  • Genre: Racing, Simulation