Project Cars Box Art.jpgAfter three and a half years of heavy community involvement, Project CARS (Community Assisted Racing Simulator) has crossed the finish line and is now available. Developer Slightly Mad Studios, known for successful racing franchises including Need for Speed: Shift, Shift 2 Unleashed, and Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends, devised a new platform for games creation called WMD (World of Mass Development). It is this unique platform that has fueled the development of Project CARS.

The WMD platform allows developers to submit ideas, raise funds needed to develop their game, get constant feedback from community team members who play work-in-progress builds, as well as promote their project by using the WMD Portal. The platform also provides aide from other developers, and ultimately assists with launching the game to the public.

To participate in the WMD process, eager fans became an active participant in development of the game by purchasing varying levels of Tool Packs. Depending on the contribution, your involvement can range from playing monthly builds, to attending meetings with the developers and providing your input face-to-face. What’s really cool is, once the game is released, the developer gets 30% of all profit, and get this, the remaining profit is distributed back to the contributing team members. How cool is that!

Project CARS is developed by Slightly Mad Studios and published by Bandai Namco Games
Release date: May 12th, 2015
Rated: E for Everyone
Genre: Racing Simulator
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and coming later to the Nintendo Wii U

A Racing Sim unlike any other

With help from the WMD community, Slightly Mad Studios set out to differentiate Project CARS from other established industry giants, such as Forza Motorsport, and Gran Turismo. The time has finally come for Project CARS to shine.

If you’re a fan of racing simulators, or have a remote interest in cars, you will want to pick up Project CARS. Here are 5 undeniable reasons why every racing sim fan should have Project CARS:

5. Unbelievable graphics

Slightly Mad Studios took the graphics engine it developed in the Need for Speed: Shift series and improved it for Project CARS. By implementing advanced artificial intelligence, world and vehicle physics, Project CARS is a simply stunning racing simulator that looks better than any other racing simulator I have ever seen.

Project CARS contains an amazing amount of detail, cars and race tracks are exquisitely recreated. They look so good, you will have a hard time distinguishing them from real life. Running at 1080p 60 frames per second on the PlayStation 4, and 900p 60 frames per second on the Xbox One both console versions look spectacular.

However, if you have a powerful PC, Project CARS supports 4k and 12K resolutions for an unmatched level of visual definition that has to be seen. Mind-blowing!

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4. Racing locations

Sporting one of the largest rosters of race locations in recent memory, Project CARS features 30 different locations, and an astonishing 110 different courses for you to play on. With more locations and tracks on the way.

Locations include licensed circuit favourties such as Belgium’s Circuit de Spa known for Formula One and endurance racing, Chesterfield in the United Kingdom, and even non-professional tracks such as the California Highway. These locations are truly awe-inspiring to look at. In addition, tracks feature a full day-night cycle, and real-time dynamic weather that can change at a moments notice.

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3. Game modes

Wither you are using one of the many wheels or controllers supported, Project CARS offers you a number of different ways to play. There are four game modes: Career, Solo, Online, and Community. Interestingly enough, these four modes are represented in the four pillars of the games logo.

In Career mode, unlike other racing simulation games, you can select any of the race series and locations without having to unlock them. Start by creating your driver, and then choose your championship or series. Everything is completely open and unlocked from the very beginning.

Next, solo play gives you the chance to experiment, test drive a new car, or practice a track by yourself. The Quick Race Weekends sub-mode allows you to create a unique single event where you can choose the location, weather conditions, number of opponents, and number of laps. Additionally, the Free Practice sub-mode removes all time limits, lap counters, flags, penalties and allows you to have some good old fashion fun.

My favourite mode, online play allows you to host and participate in public, private, or friend matches. Public matches are designed for quick games, where a timer counts down to the start of the race. Alternativley, private matches are designed to allow players that meet a certain criteria play against each other. Friend matches allow a host to invite friends from their friend list, and determine when the race starts.

The Community, also referred to as the Driver Network, allows you to race in community events that offer real-world rewards and special races. You can also race against other drivers ghosts from around the world and compete on track-specific leaderboards. There is even a highlight reel, where you can view replays and breathtaking photos you’ve taken and share them with the world.

 

2. Cars

What would you say if I told you, that you could drive the super slick Aston Martin Vantage GT4? Or, what about the iconic Ford GT40 Mk IV? I know what you’re thinking. Awesome!

From the get-go you have access to over 60 playable cars in Project CARS. Yes that’s right, you have an enormous amount of cars that you can play from the very beginning of the game. No need to unlock the cars by winning races or earning points. Each cars physics are spot on, with individual car models no two cars drive or handle the same.

So, you’re probably wondering what types of cars are available to choose from? You can choose from Retro Touring, Road Cars, Karts, Track Day Cars, Super Cars, Le Mans Prototypes, GT (Grand Touring), and Modern Open Wheel. How’s that for selection?

Slightly Mad Studios keeps the suprises coming, unlike other racing simulators, Project CARS allows you to use team racing paint jobs that give your car an authentic look and feel.

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1. Support after launch

Slightly Mad Studios with the help of Project CARS WMD team members have one goal, making Project CARS the ultimate racing simulator of all time. One of the ways to ensure this is by the increible amount of post launch support that is planned.

To show appreciation to their fans, Slightly Mad Studios is giving every player a free car each month. That’s unbelievable! These aren’t your average cars either, the first free car is the highly-exclusive and ultra-fast Lykan Hyperspot from W Motors. This is the exact same car that is featured in the Furious 7 film.

So you think you have some ideas you would like to see implemented into the game? Slightly Mad Studios is listening, ideas and suggestions can be submitted to the community via the Project CARS discussion forum. Submit your ideas and you just very well might see them in the next game update.

Oh did I mention, Project CARS has support for virtual reality headsets? The Oculus Rift, and Sony’s Project Morpheus for the PlayStation 4 are fully supported from day one.

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Final Thoughts

As you can see Project CARS has it all: eye-popping graphics, an unrivaled selection of locations and tracks to race on, four extensive game modes, oodles of cars to choose from, and a dedication to support after launch that is in my opinion unequaled in the industry. If you love racing simulation games, pickup Project CARS you will not be disappointed.

See you online!

Jon Scarr
Based in Toronto, Jon is a proud Canadian who has a serious passion for gaming. He is a veteran of the video game and tech industry with over 20 years experience. Jon loves to talk about gaming and tech, come say hi and join the conversation with Jon on Twitter @4Scarrs_Gaming.