We are now in a world where many companies push out sequels like the first game automatically created them. It always seems easy to just slap on a new logo and throw in some new content that could easily be mistaken as just DLC for the original game. There are some sequels though that take everything that was hindering the first game and make it into an amazing experience that is adrenaline pumping whether you want to play solo or a have an online multiplayer experience. Project CARS 2 takes the latter of the two and has become a true champion in the automotive simulation realm.
I’ll admit, I never played the first game but when I learned I needed to review Project CARS 2, I had to check it out to see where the real differences lied. I’m in no way a racing aficionado but while playing Project CARS 1, it felt very hard to steer and manage control, especially while on console. First off, throw that out as Project CARS 2 has made it very manageable to steer without sacrificing the genuine feel of driving an automotive monster. Aside from the preset feel, there are plenty of tuning settings you can manage that actually ask you how you feel and what issues you are having to best tune to your desire. This in no way sacrifices the ability to fine tune your vehicle. With the near endless tuning capabilities you have for your cars, as well as the total amount of vehicles available, I found myself studying to better understand the changes I was making and how it would impact performance. From an overall gameplay aspect, Project CARS 2 feels very easy to play, but hard to master. We feel though that this is inline with any simulator.
Unless you are dead on living in a racing world, there is some risk of gameplay feeling stale after some time. Project CARS 2 has over 130 unique track configurations thanks to design and weather selections. Each of these influence greatly on how the track handles as well as the vehicle tuning. Longer races show change of weather throughout dynamically which gives a lot of life to the feel and experience but also keeps it feeling fresh. But what about the vehicle selection? Project CARS 2 comes with 180+ cars, nine motorsport disciplines, and 29 motorsport series that each feel very unique and offer new environments which all come with the purchase of the game itself; no additional DLC needed. As someone who has spent most of my time in the offline modes, I still haven’t felt like I have ever seen the same track twice and had the a similar experience. Every time we’ve loaded up Project CARS 2, it has felt like a brand new experience that continues to give you that “just one more race” mindset.
Like any really good simulator, it has to look and sound like the real thing just as much as it feels like it. Project CARS 2 looks amazing with HDR support on Xbox One S and those who plan on investing into Xbox One X will have more to look forward to. Game director Stephen Viljoen stated “I can’t tell you exactly what all the various sliders will be at when you’re on Xbox One X versus on PS4 Pro, but obviously they’ll be higher on Xbox One X, so there will be a significant, a noticeable improvement, because you have better hardware.” The visuals are great but what really won me over was the sound. If possible, play Project CARS 2 on a surround system. The roar of engine and exhaust, clutching through gears, as well as the tires squealing is absolutely amazing and provide the strongest adrenaline rush I’ve ever had from a racing game. Everything is very true to life and will keep you on the edge of your seats.
It could be easy to just pass Project CARS 2 off as another driving game out there, especially due to it being a sequel. However there is something truly unique with the ease of accessibility to those who are more casual drivers and then the true challenge to those who master driving on console. Even then, it ensures that the experience you have never gets stale with it’s near endless customization options. Wrap all that in a neat bow with the look and sound of a true simulation masterpiece, and that is Project CARS 2. With Forza Motorsports 7 coming next month, the folks at Turn 10 really have their work cut out for them because Slightly Mad Studios has struck gold with Project CARS 2.
Project CARS 2 is now available in the Xbox store, priced at £49.99.
Hitting Turns Hard While Turning A Lot Of Heads
It could be easy to just pass Project CARS 2 off as another driving game out there, especially due to it being a sequel. However there is something truly unique with the ease of accessibility to those who are more casual drivers and then the true challenge to those who master driving on console. Even then, it ensures that the experience you have never gets stale with it’s near endless customization options. Wrap all that in a neat bow with the look and sound of a true simulation masterpiece, and that is Project CARS 2.