|Dev: Evolution Studios|
|Release: October 7, 2014|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
But, if you can look past these issues to the core mechanics of #DRIVECLUB and the social experience it can deliver, it is a solid racer for the PS4.
Luckily, #DRIVECLUB is built on a foundation of astonishing visuals that are both dynamic and polished. Car models are excellently crafted right down to the printing on the tires. These models are immersed in an extravagantly detailed world of tracks that look as real as any I’ve ever seen. Adding in a dynamic lighting system that changes with the time of day during races and you get astounding scenic vistas and landscapes, colorful sunsets complete with blinding lens flares, and nighttime driving with only your headlights to lead the way.
Additionally, cars sport real-time body damage as you scrape and smash your way through the track, unless you’re a much better driver than I am. Which, let’s be honest, you probably are. It’s odd that this detail was given this much attention, considering how much the game rewards you for flawless driving and passing. But it was much appreciated, at least by me. Nothing irks me more in racing games than slamming my car into a wall and driving away without a scratch. There is a caveat to the real-time damage though--it has no impact on gameplay. You could literally crash head-on into a wall at 150 MPH and only suffer exterior crashes and broken glass. Can’t win em’ all I suppose.
The visuals are supported by a competent soundscape of revving engines, squealing tires and the like, but lacks a memorable soundtrack – another hallmark of a great racing game that #DRIVECLUB omitted. There’s nothing like tearing through the streets to an awesome song, I see this as a missed opportunity.
So, at the end of the day, #DRIVECLUB is a technically proficient racer with a social side that can be fun. But overall it lacks some things that make racing games great, especially ones that insist on arcade style progression. Hardcore racing fans will be pleased by the bevy of cars available and may enjoy creating a club with their friends, but players like me won’t be converted due to the lack of customization and/or arcade style gameplay. Despite all its flaws, #DRIVECLUB still manages to deliver a solid racing experience on the PS4, it just wasn’t the one I was looking for.
Date: October 7, 2014