Growing up a bit of a petrol-head, I was enamoured with cars and racing games. When I refer to ‘racing’ games however, usually I refer to games such as Mario Kart, Need for Speed… games I was good at. When it came to ‘racing simulator’ the technicality of driving meant that I spent most of the time off-road, or careening into walls at high speed.
Safe to say that years later, not much has changed. Getting my hands on Project CARS 2 reminded me not only how terrible I am at realistic racing simulators, but it also shows just how far the genre has come.For those of you looking for a gaming experience akin to Need For Speed or Burnout, now’s the part where you look away – Project CARS 2 is not the racing game you’re expecting, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a chance. Stepping into the world of Project CARS 2, players are presented with a beautifully rendered video that shows the game at it’s rawest form – brilliantly-rendered tracks with highly-detailed cars coupled with a dynamic weather system. Hundreds upon thousands of races and vehicles are at your disposal, to forge a career path through the ranks and be the top racing driver around.
Entering the game is relatively straightforward – but each menu is explained with simplistic detail that allows you to get racing quicker. You can jump straight into a career mode and climb the ranks, or you can take your time and test out different cars and different tracks in custom race seasons. And if your skills are rusty, boy are you going to need some training!As is the aim of the genre, Project CARS 2 is all about racing simulation, and the experience it provides is exactly that. There is no wall-riding, no bumper-bashing, certainly no off-road shortcuts – you adhere to the race rules and you tune your racing technique to suit the track and the car you’re driving. Naturally, on my first few attempts at setting pace, I’d lose control completely, either by coming out of a corner too fast or slamming the brakes on too heavily before a turn. Once you begin to understand how the car drives and the layout of the track, you can adjust your racing and gameplay style to suit.