As a huge racing fan, whether it be in real life or in a video game, I was more than happy to make the 90-mile trek to San Francisco in order to try out the latest build of developer Slightly Mad Studios’ Project Cars 2. In the interest of full disclosure, the game was running on a high end PC and utilized a gaming monitor, with a Logitech G25 wheel and pedals, and was not running on a PS4. When I asked if this would be comparable to my experience on a PS4 Pro, they assured me it would be pretty close.
The Porsche and the Bull
I was given three separate scenarios and cars to try out. First was the Porsche 911 on the Red Bull Ring with rain changing over to overcast. This was the easiest of the three cars to drive and handle, once I got the hang of the driving conditions. With rain falling, the track was a little sluggish, as you would expect, and the car had a tendency to get loose if I accelerated too hard. Once the rain let up I could start pushing that little beast harder and harder, but had to keep an eye out for water puddles as they would cause the car to pull hard towards the wheel hitting the puddle. With the force feedback of the wheel, it felt as if I was actually hitting a water puddle in a car. After a few practice runs I was able to win the race quite handily, putting up lap times under a minute.
Open Wheel Fun
The second car I tried out was the Renault 3.5 in an F1 race. This was open wheel fun and luckily for me the damage was turned off. Starting in last from a dead stop with only four laps to hit that top spot meant bullying my way through the pack. Rubbing fenders in a standard race is one thing, but when it comes to F1 racing, fenders are non-existent and wheels have a tendency to climb up on other wheels when they come together. Not cool. The Renault handled nicely, though, and was very quick and nimble. A fourth place finish was the best I could muster, but the car handled well and the game looked incredible.
The last car, the La Ferrari, was a true powerhouse of a machine. The real world car boasts 949hp with 664 lb-ft of torque and the in-game version felt as if it had every one of those ponies at your disposal. The race was ran at the Nürburgring Short track and my first few laps did not go well. The car has so much power that just slightly too much speed meant not being able to corner at all. On the straights, this car would accelerate like a rocket, but beware as the car had a hard time keeping full traction and got really loose on straights under heavy power.
Project CARS 2 is scheduled for release on September 22 and after test driving the game for a solid 20 minutes, I can say that it felt as solid as its predecessor.
I can’t wait to take on the full game.