Project Cars 2
Battling elements in the sim racer that’s all tyre and ice
Slightly Mad Studios is doing itself a disservice. The game should really be called Project Tracks, because there are more circuits here than in a box of Scalextric. Forty-six locations with over 100 routes, spanning the globe from Australia to the Azure Coast, California to, er, Caldwell Park.
Or perhaps ProjectT ime And
Weather Per mutations thanks to the staggering combination of seasons, and conditions that turn a sweltering summer’s day race into a blizzard. The effect is spectacular, a real back-ofthe-box highlight. Other racing games offer weather effects, but seeing the changing weather and shifting shadows is a technical masterpiece.
There’s 180-odd motors at launch, with a clutch of disciplines to please motorsport enthusiasts. We say ‘enthusiasts’ deliberately: This is no place for anyone who wants a quick and easy fang. You’re in this because you want to be involved in the journey of racing cars and carving out a career punctuated with distinction, no matter whether you want to strap on your L-plates in karts or the onemake Ginetta Juniors and work your way up from there, or go straight to the ferocious IndyCar open-wheelers.
That’s part of the ProjectCars DNA, though. Like its predecessor, everything is open from the off—cars, circuits, the lot. The concept of grinding out race after race for puny credits isn’t the way here.
So where’s the challenge? That’s up to you to carve out for yourself. Seven ‘Lifetime Goals’ await, where you win the Indy 500 and the Le Mans 24 Hours, and become factory driver for Ferrari or Porsche. Lofty goals, though they’re marked out for you. The true adventurer instead aims for competency at the new, nightmarish ice circuits. These are officially modelled on Mercedes Benz’s test tracks, a worrying set of curves that swing back and forth around each other in the Arctic Circle, with Aurora Borealis on the horizon. Clip a snow bank on the edge and you’re cooked— there is no rewind, just a hard restart.
Like many sims, you need a delicate hand if you’re playing with a pad, but a decent wheel is undoubtedly the way to go. The handling model is best described as being ‘agreeable’ rather than ‘tamed’ when compared to the 2015 release: You’ll know where you went wrong, and you’re likely to make the mistake again, as we did, burying the nose of our Lancer into the powder. Over, and over. There is one worrier: Forza
Motorsport7, out a month later and optimized for Xbox One X. ProjectCars
2 promises to run at 1080p60, even with a full armada of 32 cars on track (depending on the discipline and location), and with its sheer wealth of
stuff jammed in, it’ll be a race to your ‘Box’s hard drive.
“This is no place for anyone who wants a quick and easy fang”
above Pick the length of your series, and whether you’ll bother with practise sessions. We recommend you do.