This review is an unedited version of the review written by Zombie Dredd and published in the Tech Magazine: Issue 54 February 2018.
If cars get your heart racing, then Project CARS 2 should get your close to a mild heart attack. Following just over two years after the release of the original game, Project CARS 2 takes what made the first game a cult classic and polished it all up a little more.
This year’s model (of the game) comes packed with over 180 cars from around 38 manufacturers and over 140 track variations. That’s plenty of variety indeed and should easily sate your hunger for racing across all vehicle classes. There is also plenty of customisation options available for those needing to get under the hood (or on the car’s body for that matter).
It’s important to note that Project CARS 2 – like its predecessor – is not an arcade racer. It’s a serious game that leans towards simulation over casual cruising. The game is quick to penalise you for unruly driving habits like cutting corners or leaving the track, but due to the variety of game options available, you could choose to switch that off. The game’s in-game settings are possibly some of the most comprehensive available in current racing games, with the ability to customise your heads-up display being particularly useful. As is turning on all assists until you feel you’ve mastered the game’s handling.
It’s also recommended that to get the most out of Project CARS 2, you play it with a racing wheel rather than a controller or keyboard. It’s a decent game on a controller, but it came to life when I used my Thrustmaster racing wheel. The handling became a little more intuitive and responsive – more so when doing the same switch in other recent racing games.
The career mode in Project CARS 2 is a better experience than in its predecessor, but still feels lacking when compared to the scale of some of the other franchises. There are plenty of other mode options which includes online races with a focus on esports. This sees an online ranking system and an online championship.
All this plays out with a new time and weather cycle which sees dynamic weather changes based on the season you are competing in. This means being prepared for changing and pretty realistic track conditions throughout a race weekend.
The game achieves this all thanks to a new game physics engine called LiveTrack 3.0. Sadly, it hasn’t meant the game looks as great as its competitors. Playing on Xbox One, the cars looked fantastic, but the textures around the track looked a little wanting. However, if you own a PC capable of running the internet, you could play the game in 12K resolution which would put my previous complaint to bed quickly.
It’s clear though that the cars are the main focus and along with them looking great, they sound great too, and handle brilliantly. The game has a few bugs and just like the original game, I suspect that Project CARS 2 will reach its best after a few game patches and tweaks.
Available for: Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC
Distributed by: Megarom Interactive