- + Flexibility to play as you wish
- + Pin-point accuracy with cars and tracks
- + Fully configurable handling
- - Roster could be buffed up a bit
Want to look beyond the score? Read the full written review below…
*Project CARS was provided to Start Replay on PS4 by Slightly Mad Studios
Laying down the track for any racing game is a complicated task. If it aims for absolute authenticity, then it’s at risk of alienating a large audience beyond passionate car enthusiasts. It takes a huge amount of skill to develop a racing simulator that can cater toward both professionals and amateurs. Slightly Mad Studios’ Project CARS has achieved this feat, and I think they’ve created a worthy rival to blockbuster titles such as Forza or Gran Turismo.
Unlike those games, everything in Project CARS is open and ready to go from the beginning. You’re given the keys to every car and track as soon as you press the start button, which means you can play exactly as you wish. You might need a little shift in perspective if you’re used progressing through races to unlock cars. You’re given absolute freedom in what can only be described as a “sandbox” racing sim.
With a total of 30 different locations across the world, each with a number of tracks variations, there’s plenty of road to master. Add to that a respectable 65 cars, and there’s sure to be something for everyone. I’m not a huge follower of the motorsport world, but surely there could’ve been a large amount of variety? It won’t be a deal breaker for those looking for just a bit of fun, but car “elitists” might be left wanting in one or two areas, especially with the lack of Ferraris.
Having a full garage is peaches and cream, but what you accomplish with it all is up to you. Featuring Career, Solo and Online modes, you’re never pushed in one direction. Want to earn supremacy in online racing? Go ahead. If, however, you’re more inclined to follow a path, then the Career mode will provide a wealth of challenges. My favourite was “Zero To Hero”, which lets you replicate Lewis Hamilton’s career from simple GoKarting to Formula 1. If you didn’t know your car history before this, you will do after sinking your teeth into Slightly Mad’s asphalt.
Once pit against any other racing sim, Project CARS offers the best of the best in terms of graphics and authenticity. Every single car features a fully-modelled interior, and whether you have the sun beaming or rain lashing down, everything looks stunning. Despite its creation via community funding and input, there’s little difference in scope versus that of a multi million dollar corporation. I’m impressed with what people with nothing but a true passion for cars have accomplished.
I could waffle on about details and statistics forever, even telling you about how much configuration each vehicle has (you can change tyre pressure for example) but I won’t. Project CARS gives anyone the freedom to play exactly as they want. It might go against tradition by giving you everything without having to earn it first, but Slightly Mad aren’t being traditional, they’ve made a car simulator for beginners and professionals, making it accessible for all.
Like cars? Don’t worry if you’re a noob like me, just have some faith, put your seatbelt on and warm your tyres. Oh, and try not to crash.