Not readily available when DriveClub launches for PlayStation 4 on October 7 in North America and October 8 in Europe, Evolution Studios says dynamic weather for the game will be added via a free update “shortly after launch.”
Taken from an early demo of the weather system – which is fully customizable – here’s a couple new short gameplay clips for DriveClub:
To go along with these videos, Art Director Alex Perkins was interviewed by the PlayStation Blog, where he explained how they’re approaching weather in DriveClub:
We’ve approached our weather system with the same guiding principles as we’ve done with everything in Driveclub: to make it as immersive and fun as possible. We’ve developed a powerful engine that has the capability to model the entire environment in stunning detail; from each cloud that makes up our living skies, to every crest and fall in the tarmac beneath your wheels. From there, we’re breathing additional life into the environments by developing the earth’s atmosphere around it. Originally we focused on authentic lighting and skies as the tool for you to customize stunning backdrops for fun challenges with your friends. Now, we’re developing a dynamic weather system that plays into all of this, adding another powerful tool to your arsenal.
The cloud cover and conditions you choose will dictate how much snow and rain will fall. The wind direction and speed determines where snow will settle. Then when it stops, the temperature and height of the sun governs how quickly clouds evaporate and roads dry out. We’re really striving for consistency in every detail just like we have done with everything else in the game.
With the dynamic and unpredictable weather, you can expect to see rain, snow, drizzle, sleet, downpours, blizzards, and “deafening thunder storms with flashes of fork lightning” (that’s what they’re aiming for at least on the last one). As Perkins puts it, “Our intention is to make this as immersive and exciting as we can.”
As for the customization, there will be “lots of options for you to be able to adjust how the weather plays out in your challenges,” but Evolution doesn’t want it to be just rain or snow options, “we want it to be dynamic and exciting.” Full details of this will be revealed closer to launch, though Perkins was able to detail how the weather will affect gameplay:
As you’d expect, weather is a game changer. When your tires get wet it’s harder to brake and easier to drift, which has a big effect on how you race and score fame for your club. It’s not just the handling that changes though, visibility can also change massively and impact on how the game plays too, especially at night when you’ve got your windscreen wipers going like crazy and your headlights are reflecting on the snowflakes ahead of you to blanket the sky in white.
Perkins finished up by saying, “To be able to make a breakthrough like this is what makes the PlayStation 4 hardware so exciting.”