Project CARS Review
Project CARS Box Art
System: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Wii U
Dev: Slightly Mad Studios
Pub: Bandai Namco
Release: May 7, 2015
Players: 1-24 Online
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p

There is a single player career mode, but even this is customizable. You can start at any level in any division with any sort of car. You can adjust your difficulty at any time, making certain circuits harder, easier, longer, or shorter. This is actually fantastic, as you can make the races you hate short and easy and the races you love long and hard. There’s no real “game end” scenario. You simply hop in, race the way you want, and hop out when you are done. You get to create a racer, but this is secondary to the cars, and you have three main goals you are asked to complete, but this too is secondary. It’s kind of like a career mode in any given sports title, but way way more open-ended. The only barriers are your own.

Project CARS Screenshot

Project CARS is a game that absolutely begs to be played with a racing wheel setup. It does its best to be welcoming if you are playing with keyboard and mouse or a gamepad, but both of these options are sorely lacking in giving you the full racing experience. You can tweak your controls and options, futzing around with your dead zones on your stick, but with a racing wheel you even get to screw around with force feedback, so it actually feels as if the wheel is tugging at you as you take sharp turns. Of course, that creates yet another barrier to entry in the form of the cost of a racing wheel.

To be honest, it’s these barriers that hinder Project CARS the most. Many modern day games hold your hand from beginning to end, but Project CARS asks you to have your own fun. Want to run time trials against yourself? You can do that. Want to race in 24 player online races? You can do that. Want to race for literally hours upon hours in just one race? You are crazy, but you can do that. The most Project CARS does is offer you challenges here and there to break up the single-player mode, but aside from that, you have to decide what you want to do, and do it. I know that I, more than once, found myself lacking motivation to continue on simply because I didn’t want to futz with options again, but at that point I had already spent several hours on the game without even knowing it.

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In short, Project CARS is a racing game that has everything, but doesn’t necessarily appeal to everybody. It’s hard to fault the game in any particular way. It runs well, looks gorgeous, and does exactly what it advertises, which is a lot, but nothing more. I wouldn’t call it a breakthrough in racing design, but rather a refinement of the racing sim formula. It knows what it is, and knows what its audience is. If you are part of that audience, definitely give it a look. It’s probably the best racing sim on the market right now. Just know that it’s meant to appeal to hardcore gear heads first and foremost, and people looking for a more casual racing experience should probably look elsewhere.

By
Angelo M. D'Argenio
Contributing Writer
Date: May 7, 2015

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.5
Graphics
It’s an absolutely gorgeous game, from weather effects to detailed car interiors.
3.9
Control
With a racing wheel, this game is gold. Without, you’ll find yourself struggling to get used to the controls even with racing assists on, but that’s part of the fun.
4.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
I really like the announcer and the epic music. Some might find the orchestral scores on the menu out of place, but I find them fitting. There is something zen about tweaking your cars to classical music.
4.0
Play Value
The replay value of this game is solely dependent on you. It’s very easy to lose yourself in the sea of options the game presents you with, but only if you know how to make your own fun.
4.1
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • BEYOND REALITY: Next-gen graphics, authentic handling, playable via Oculus Rift and 12K Ultra HD resolution.
  • BY RACERS FOR RACERS: Guided, tested and approved by fans & pilots for the perfect gameplay balance.
  • YOUR CHOICES, YOUR VICTORIES: Master a variety of motorsports & unprecedented track roster in a sandbox career mode.

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