If there’s one thing that you can look forward to every E3, it’s the consistently awesome offerings of Bandai-Namco. This year was no different. Among their demos was a fantastic racing setup for Project CARS 2.
Project CARS 2 is the sequel to the incredibly successful Project CARS, released in 2015, and was entirely crowdfunded. This feat allowed developers to communicate directly with fans about what exactly they want from a racing game, leading to some impressive results. I had the opportunity to try out their demo and I’ve got to say- it lives up to the hype- but more on that later.
New game modes facilitate online championships, allowing players to create ongoing leagues of races with an in game record tracker, getting rid of the need for external programs for this type of game play. This also helps with the e-sports side of things; according to the presenters, Project CARS has had the largest presence in e-sports over the course of it’s two years on the scene and they’re hoping to continue this growth with Project CARS 2.
On the single player side of things, career mode is getting an expansion along with lifetime goals and a second half to their Factory Driver campaign.
Beyond the already incredible physics getting a boost, Project CARS 2 hosts the largest track roster of any racing game on console, utilizing drones to map real world locations to build incredibly accurate in game landmarks and buildings to enhance the immersive experience. Additionally, each track has what the developers like to call Live Track 3.0- localized dynamic weather effects that alter the physics of the race. Coupled with their RipGrip system, Project CARS 2 is able to accurately simulate how a car is pushed beyond it’s limits while racing. Which brings me to my demo experience.
Full disclaimer: I’m pretty bad at racing simulators. That being said, Project CARS 2 was a very interesting experience. Never in my life have I experienced a racing game that responded so accurately to my movements; it was scary-awesome. The track was a fairly straightforward figure-8 along a really gorgeous mountain road with a slew (see: over 170) of familiar cars ranging from Ferraris to Hondas speeding along the road.
I failed miserably at the race, but honestly, it was such a rad experience being behind a reactive wheel in such a realistic situation that I could totally see myself getting lost in it for hours.
Project CARS 2 will be released September 22, 2017 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.