Reviews// Project CARS: Game of the Year Edition

Posted 17 May 2016 10:35 by
It may come as a surprise to some of you that Namco Bandai have decided to release a game of the year edition of Project CARS. You may think that the game came and went with little fanfare despite positive reviews.

Others aren't as surprised. Project CARS is a bigger game than you think and has found its feet with a huge community of racing fans. It now supports VR via Oculus Rift and appears at motor shows across the country. To those who are aware of its underground success a re-release with all the DLC seems more inevitable than a strange decision.

It's been nice following Project CARS since I reviewed it. I hold it in high regard. It was the game that got me back into racers when I'd all but given up hope on the genre. As seriously as it takes itself, the intensity of driving heavy lumps of metal around some tarmac grips you and you soon find yourself falling into a focused trance as you aim to overtake an opponent in a tight spot.

Rarely do serious driving games wholly shun the more light-hearted side to driving and remain po-faced throughout but for me that's part of this game's success. While the likes of Forza tries to appeal to a wider audience with its Top Gear affiliation, slightly whacky challenges and custom spray painting, Project CARS doesn't care for those who haven't got motorsport in their hearts. It knows the audience it wants to appeal to and doesn't care about anyone else.

Since its release the game has gone through the usual series of tweaks and updates. Performance has been improved and although the odd frame is dropped here and there it's certainly better than it was at release. Minor bugs have been fixed from car clipping to tire overheating. It's been well supported.

This new release boasts the full game along with over 50 extra cars (two of which are exclusive to the GOTY edition) a new track and all updates that have been released since launch.

It's not a package aimed at existing fans. Those would already have purchased the extras this version has to offer already and the updates to the base game have been free anyway. The GOTY edition is there for those that either missed this last year or have since joined the next gen revolution.

If you're in that market then this is easy to recommend. Project CARS is as comprehensive a hardcore racing game as there has been. You can have a short blast with the preset cars on courses you'll recognise and have a good time, but the depth this game offers is pretty astounding.

It's not for everyone, but it doesn't want to be. It aims to simulate rather than titillate and in turn manages to scratch the itch of those who have seen their genre of choice being taken in a direction that they didn't want in the days since Burnout hit the market.

Personally, I thought I was done with any racing game that refused to let me drift around corners like I was racing on ice or fly over hills as though gravity wasn't very important, but Project CARS reminded me that grounding yourself in reality can provide satisfaction in a completely different way.

Going back, things haven't changed. Within a few hours of play I was already wrapped up in my own thought process, taking a clean corner to stay ahead of the pack, or taking one wide to position myself for an overtake on the next.

I can see why Project CARS still has a huge following and if you've only just joined us in this latest generation of games consoles or have just upgraded your PC and are looking for a racing game that refuses to add bells and whistles but focuses to a deep and satisfying driving simulation, then you don't have to look any further than Project CARS. And if you
want the most out of the game then it's this version you'll want to pick up.

+ Excellent base game
+ Improved with the latest patches
+ Extra Cars and a new track

- Not for everyone

SPOnG Score: 8/10

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