New York Comic Con came and went featuring the best mix of comics, TV, movies, and a sprinkle of video games to top it off. I was given the chance to play a few games, but Project Cars, the most graphically impressive game with awesome game play to boot, took me by surprise.
For you gamers that have yet to witness the awesomeness of Project Cars, here is a small breakdown to catch you up to speed.
Project Cars is a simulation racer developed by Slightly Mad Studios and distributed by Bandai Namco. The game was crowd-funded by the community and Slightly Mad Studios to kick start the development. Contributors could participate in the development of Project Cars with content creation, Q and A, and marketing media. Backers also received perks depending how much money they invested into the project. These individuals will receive a share of game sales profits generated within the first 3 years after launch.
Impressions: Fluid Controls & Best Looking Racer on the Horizon
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, how do I feel about Project Cars? To put this into a two word phrase, I was “pleasantly surprised” by how good the game felt. I’ll be the first person to admit that I’m not a simulation racer type of gamer, but after many crashes and burn outs, I actually started to adjust to that style of gameplay. Grand Turismo, from the late PlayStation 2 to PlayStation 3 era, is as far as I know about the genre. Also, since the demo was running on PlayStation 4 hardware, the controller configuration felt right at home for me.
First off, if you’re inexperienced, the game can be little over bearing – the simulation is definitely that – extremely simulated, life-like. Your cars will burn out, sometimes you won’t get that perfect turn if you don’t drift properly, if you can’t grasp the feel of your car or you’re unaccustomed to simulation racers, you may want to approach cautiously. This is not a pick-up and play casual type of racer. This game was made for hardcore simulation racers – and honestly, that’s not a bad thing. Most sim racing fans I’ve come into contact with have been calling out for a great multiplatform simulation racer. The only sim racer that gamers have been depending on up to this point is Forza, which is a Xbox exclusive. Forza 5 has recently released on Xbox One. Driveclub, a new IP exclusive to PlayStation 4, has sim elements, but mechanically the driving follows more closely to arcade racing, a mix of both genres.
Graphically, Project Cars is top notch and might be the best looking racer to come out thus far into the generation. As you can see from the video below, weather environmental changes look astonishing. In person, the cars look extraordinarily detailed. The demo tracks were highly detailed, but I did not see people in the crowds based on what I’ve played. I’m not really sure how the tuning and customization aspects of the game work in comparison to games Forza Horizon 2, or lack thereof, in Driveclub.
This is not a game for me, but to you simulation racing fans, boy you’re in for a heck of a treat! Fluid gameplay, beautifully detailed cars, precise detailing of every aspect of the game – you can’t beat that. This might be a sleeper for the genre. Never did I think I would ever enjoy this type of game, but it was pretty fun after I knocked the cobwebs off. Project Cars doesn’t suffer from an identity crisis like some newcomers do and the developers knew what type of game they wanted to give to fans. From what I experienced, they knocked it out of the park. With that being said, unfortunately this past week Slightly Mad Studios and Bandai Namco officially delayed the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC versions of Project Cars into an already jam-packed 2015 calender year. March 17th will be the release date.
Check out the full statement below:
Ian Bell, Head of Studio at Slightly Mad Studios, also stated:
“Our goal has always been to deliver a landmark title that encompasses the wishes and desires of racing fans from all around the world; something with features and content powered by the community that provide a truly unforgettable and pioneering experience. Whilst a tough decision to make, the change in release date allows the game the greatest chance of success and visibility, and the opportunity to polish the game even further to the high standards that both ourselves and our community demand and expect. We’re eager for you all to see what we’ve been working on in just a few months”.
The delay according to Bell’s statement makes sense since the end of 2014 will be full of heavy hitters with games like The Master Chief Collection, Far Cry 4, and Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare this holiday. They also mention that the delay into March would give the team more time to polish the title and give gamers an even better end-product. This came at a surprise since, in my opinion, they could have capitalized off of Forza Horizon 2’s success and Driveclub’s boisterous launch. Another thing that doesn’t make sense is the fact that 2015 is going to be even more crowded with promising offerings. Even though it will be releasing in a quieter month with its only competition being Final Fantasy: Type Zero, that date still sounds a little off to me.
All in all, if the New York Comic Con demo is any identification of what’s to come, I’m very confident that Slightly Mad Studios will deliver a stellar experience.