E3 Preview: Project Cars 2 – A Feature Packed Joy Ride

How Fast Can You Go?

Project Cars 2

OK, I’m going to start out this preview by saying that the last racing game that I’ve played (that didn’t include some kind of destruction derby element) was R.C. Pro-AM on the Nintendo Entertainment System. It’s not that I don’t enjoy racing games, it’s just that I’m not really that good at them. Throughout the years the video game racing genre has gotten too complicated for my taste. Pressing “A” to go has evolved into memorizing a combination of trigger and face buttons that this old gamer just can’t get used to. So, after our lengthy introduction to Project Cars 2, I was hesitant to pick up the controller, but as I began my race and pressed the right trigger to accelerate, my worries dissipated and I felt like I was in complete control.


Start Your Engines


If you’re in the same boat as me and haven’t touched a racing game in a while, fear not, developer Slightly Mad Studios announced that there will be a “Zero to Hero” career mode that will start inexperienced drivers off with the basics. The career mode will also will let you become a factory driver of beloved car manufacturers. In this new portion of the career mode the player will be contacted by manufacturers such as BMW & Ford if they have been performing successfully while racing in their vehicles. But what will probably excite racing fans the most is the big announcement that all exclusive agreements with other car games on the market have been wiped out, giving fans of the series access to cars that were previously unavailable.  Additionally, each and every car included in the game will be available day 1. No paid DLC, and no need to unlock.

Live Track 3.0 will include a fully dynamic weather system.


Another interesting feature that is being introduced into Project Cars 2 is Live Track 3.0. This new addition will include a dynamic weather system with seasonal changes. If it starts raining in the middle of a race the rain drops will start to form puddles on different parts of the track. What is even more interesting is that you can actually see the rain clouds roll in, sometimes causing one side of the track to have rainy weather when the other side is still dry due to the storm’s track.

It’s Alive!  It’s Alive!


The weather isn’t the only obstacle racers will have to worry about in Project Cars 2. Hazards such as pieces of rubber that happen to tear off a cars tire during hard turns will remain on the track throughout the race, which could be problematic if not avoided. The “live track” will also not be limited to individual races. A race event that takes place over the course of the weekend will retain all of the tire tracks throughout the event, making the track look as it would in reality towards the end of the series, ultimately making the game feel as real as possible.

There will be several viewpoints that you can switch in and out of during races.


To make Project Cars 2 feel even more lifelike, Slightly Mad Studios has laser scanned actual real life track terrain to get their exact representations in game, and to be completely sure that the tracks are accurate, drones were used to scan them from above. The track I had access to in the demo appeared photo-realistic, and really did seem to have a life of its own. Project Cars 2 ran at a smooth 4K/60fps, and looked absolutely stunning.


Let’s Settle this Online


Not to forget the online racing fans, Project Cars 2 will include online championships. Players will be given the ability to create their own events, and schedule race times. The online matchmaking will be based off of your online racing license, so gamers who wish to keep the race as realistic as possible will be able to do so with like minded individuals. If you’re one of those gamers who like to drive around the course backwards and ruin everyone else’s day, you will be matched with others who want to do the same. That will keep the trolls at bay!

The wealth of content that Slightly Mad Studios is cramming into the next iteration of Project Cars is nothing short of amazing.  If you’re a racing fan be sure to clear your calendar when Project Cars 2 launches on September 22nd.

Mike Vito has been a slave to gaming ever since playing his grandfather's Atari 2600. A collector of all things retro, his main focus is obtaining a full NES collection. Being a father has rekindled his spirit for Nintendo and he now spends most of his time teaching his daughter about the games of yesteryear. Check out his other work in Pat Contri’s Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the SNES Library. Follow him @veryevilash on Twitter Current favorite games: Air Zonk, NHL Hitz 2003, Castlevania Symphony of the Night, & Super Dodgeball.

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