BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment's Gamescom Event: Project Cars 2 - Demo Review

  • System: PS4, Xbox One, PC-Steam
  • Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
  • Developer: Slightly Mad Studios
  • Release Date: 9/22/2017
  • Price:Standard: $59.99, Digital Deluxe Edition: $89.99
  • Rating: Everyone
  • Genre: Simulation Racing
  • Players: Offline: 1, Online multiplayer: 2-16
  • Official Website: http://www.projectcarsgame.com

What to Expect

As one of the most anticipated VR titles, Project Cars 2 is at the forefront of realistic physics. Built on a custom engine, Project Cars 2 simulates a real driving experience, backed by input from professional drivers and real world data for its respective cars. Simulation Racing is a genre that breaks the boundary between video games and the virtual world. Project Racing 2 wants to break the barriers between real racing and you.

Project CARS 2: Built By Drivers – “From Sim To Pro” Featuring Tommy Milner:

Who it Caters to

At the current moment, Project Cars 1 is finishing its season 2, global tournament. The original Project Cars was well recognized within the racing community as the number one eSports racing game on the market, and its sequel caters to the competitive community with broadcasting functions for streamers and the ability to host your own tournaments. Project Cars 2, however, is not solely a competitive game. Its real world physics, an important aspect of the simulation genre, allows a more casual, practical approach to the game. For those looking to improve their driving skills, Project Cars 2 can be played with a variety of methods, including a racing wheel controller and a virtual reality headset. However far a gamer wants to go to achieve realism, Project Cars 2 will meet them the entire way.

Gameplay

There was undoubtedly a lot of effort placed into how the game feels in your hand. When one thinks of a simulation game, usually one thinks of realism, but the barrier to achieving said realism can be graphical, financial, or accessibility. Luckily, the demo for Projects Racing 2 provided a gaming wheel and pedal. The vibrations and real world effects are something difficult to describe--truly, you don’t know how this game feels until you’ve played it.

Imagine you’re driving, and the rain starts to fall as you access the freeway. Logic (and hopefully memory) tells you that driving fast is a dangerous endeavor, the moisture mixes with the oils and dust that hasn’t been washed away, making for slippery roads. Now take that logic and apply it to Project Racing 2. You’re racing, you’ve got to make first, but it starts to rain, and the windows become littered with rain drops. Suddenly, your control of the car dips, and a turn you’ve always made becomes your fatal drop into last place.

Fortunately, it was just a game, but it all seemed so real, the rain, the traction, the control. In being so realistic, describing Projects Racing 2 feels like an exaggeration, an unbelievable hyperbole. Just like realistic environments, Cars are tuned to handle as close to their real counterparts as possible. The demo allowed only 3 choices, but that was enough to tell, even for a complete rookie, that each car required its own nuances and practice. Players experiencing it for the first time at the event all faced similar troubles--the cars were so real that they felt so foreign. It really took a moment to come to terms with this fact.

For some reason, even though multiple players drove hours just to experience this game, we all suddenly forgot how to apply the brakes and turn. Racing is a skill that takes years of practice. It can be difficult to achieve and for some, it might not be accessible. That’s why Project Racing 2 deserves its recognition, it truly hones in on a realistic experience, making you appreciate the competitive sport and simulation genre so much more.

Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

While I wouldn’t call myself a seasoned racing game expert, I’ve managed well enough in arcades and console adaptations of the genre. I’ve never failed so miserably in a racing game before, but the funny thing is, I don’t feel bitter about it. Rather, I feel content. Project Racing 2 was a new experience, but one that I’m hoping players will try, especially those unfamiliar with the genre. My only worry is accessibility. While I don’t think VR is required for this game, I do feel that a racing wheel would be appropriate. This might turn away some players, but one of the complaints that were addressed was how a normal controller feels when playing the game. It’s been improved, but I can only hope that will be enough to make players take their place at the wheel.

Honey's Pros:

  • PC2 is so real, I could cook eggs on the tracks.
  • Cars feel unique, their characteristics are really apparent when driving, allowing for a variety of choices and player preference.
  • Environmental effects and visibility during races add an extra component and strategy to the game.

Honey's Cons:

  • None to say, although if you’re dead set on buying a gaming wheel, the costs might scare players away from a true gem.

Honey's Final Verdict:

I have never enjoyed racing before until I played this game. It’s strange to say this so happily, but that’s how I came out from this demo. Project Final 2 is leading in the right direction for the VR market, definitely, give this a try if you happen to open a VR headset.

Let me know how you feel about the article or game. Is racing something you’ve always aspired to do or are you already inducted into the genre? We’re always happy to hear your thoughts and comments!

Sean

Writer

Author: Sean "Coopa" Hoang

A motivated writer hoping to share his passion for video games, literature, and visual media. I'm the main streamer of FinestKO, a variety game stream with roots in the fighting game community. Whenever there's time, you can usually find me broadcasting or writing for the next article.

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