It’s the ultimate driver experience, with the latest cars and most thrilling conditions

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of travelling to Sydney to part-take in a pre-launch Project Cars 2 developer showcase. We had the chance to try out the “next evolution of the award-winning racing series”. Project Cars 2 has it all. From driving whatever car you have your heart set on, to battling the craziest weather conditions. Not only did I get to test out the game, but I had plenty of one on one time with the CCO and developer.

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So what did I learn, and how did I find the game? Well let’s break it up into a few segments, complete with some exclusive screenshots given to me by the amazing Mad Studios team.

Driving Experience

Whilst I haven’t had lots of time behind the wheel, this game is next level awesome. Unlike Project Cars 1 which looks very fancy, but lacks some of the dynamics of driving, Project Cars 2 has worked tirelessly with pro-drivers to fine tune the game to its full potential. It still has the amazing visuals of the original game, but Project Cars 2 packs a punch with its precision physics, and “1:1 digital craftsmanship”. All I can say is that it felt incredible to drive something that felt so realistic. Watching the game was on par with watching a live feed of the Bathurst 1000.

Weather conditions

Okay, now this is one of the coolest things that caught my attention instantly. The team at Slightly Mad Studios has bought on a whole new element of realism with their dynamic weather display. The game features a full 24 hour cycle that recreates the weather based on a specific time of year (summer, autumn, winter, spring), time of day (down to every hour), and unique atmospheric conditions (rain, fog, clear, cloudy etc.). You can pre-set any condition you want, for example, start the race at 1pm and have two weather changes, starting clear and moving into cloudy weather.

The above images were taken approximately five seconds apart which shows just how dynamic the weather changes are

The track conditions also change based on the time of day. At dusk you can see the sunset, while at night you better have made sure you picked a car with headlights. With the atmospheric conditions themselves, you can pre-select this before you race, or set it to random. This brings a whole new element of realism to the game and makes simulation racing far more realistic. So are you a fare weather driver? Or do you prefer a challenge?

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Want some night time driving? Photo credit: Project Cars 2

One of the other really cool things with the weather is just the shear detail that has gone into every part of the weather. From the cloud streaked sky to the ever changing wind direction, everything has been carefully laid out to replicate the real thing as close as possible.

Tracks

Is 60 tracks a little bit of overkill? Nah! Project Cars 2 has an insane number of tracks, making it the largest track roster of any console racing game ever! Now that’s neat. Not only do they have the usual suspects in the racing tracks (Silverstone, Monaco etc.) they even have a few fictional tracks inspired by different locations around the world. One of my favourites is a track based in Scotland that has a quaint church, and a road that loops around underneath a stone bridge. In VR you can drive and just look up at the bridge in awe and experience it like you were really driving there.

Speaking of tracks, apparently every track (every real track that is), was visited, and time spent there scanning elements of the track, taking photos, and getting as much information as possible to accurately replicate the track in-game. Apparently one of the circuits took them six months in order to gather all the images they needed to recreate it. Now times that by how many tracks there is in the game, and you get an idea of the amount of work and effort put into the development of Project Cars 2.

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Check the realism out of this track in Spa. Photo credit: Project Cars 2

Cars and Vehicles

Project Cars 2 brings you even more options. Again, there’s the usual favourites but there’s also some nice new additions. There’s Red Rally mode which is very cool, IndyCar, and there’s even some go-karts for some more fun. Basically, there’s a lot of cars! Over 170 I  believe, all fully licensed from your favourite brands. I tried my hands at a few different drives, Formula A, GT, Mini, Skyline, and a couple more. I still think my favourites are the FA cars. There’s just something about driving these. I must say that it’s definitely easier driving Formula A around Silverstone than it is trying to navigate a Nissan Skyline down the Bathurst hill – more practice need I think.

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Blowing lots of smoke in Red Bull’s Rally mode. Photo credit: Project Cars 2

Simulation, Motion, and VR

We all know VR is big, and Project Cars 2 has taken it to the next level. The game is fully VR capable, with really good response between the game and the headset, giving it a really dynamic feeling. The visuals as I mentioned above, makes this the idea game to play in VR. It really does feel like you’re there in real life.

And even if you’re not playing on VR, but use a static simulator, the game even has 12K resolution (on a PC).

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Static driving rig with 12K res

So I had a go at a static simulator no headset, tried my hands at static sim in VR, and then gave it a shot in motion VR as well. The game is perfectly setup for motion and I can’t wait to try it in a fully blown rig like the ones they have at Motum Simulation in Melbourne.

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Driving in static VR. Don’t do this too long or you can start feeling but a bit detached from real movement

What’s next?

Since I got to have a good chat to the devs, the game will feature some great broadcasting capabilities. These are still to be announced but it is looking very amazing. eSports really is on the rise and the Project Cars team has recognised this and has built very robust eSports functions into the game. It’s perfectly setup for a new style of online competition… keep your eyes out for more.

Well that’s my first take on the game. Hopefully I’ve pipped your interest. If you’re looking to pre-order the game, it’s available on the Project Cars website, at EB Games, or on Steam. I should probably mention too that this game comes with a tonne of options, Standard, Limited, Collectors, and Ultra. The Ultra Edition looks absolutely incredible but will set you back… just a bit. Anyone want to chip in for a copy?!?!?

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The Ultra Edition of Project Cars 2 with only 1000 copies made!

I will leave you with this awesome link: Built by Drivers

Click it, just click it! If you want to see some more Project Cars 2 action, just click it.

Keep following me (here, and on social media) as there’s some pretty exciting things coming up that I can’t wait to tell you all about.

Oh I guess the only final thing I need to tell you is… release date for Project Cars 2 is 22nd September!

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