(PS4, X-One, PC)
Think Grand Turismo is the be-all and end-all of racing games? Time to think again…
So far driving games on the next generation of consoles have hardly set the world on fire. Granted, the likes of Forza, The Crew and DriveClub have been fun to play, they are more aligned to the arcade racer genre than anything remotely approaching a simulation.
Project CARS changes all that by bringing us a curious mixture of Gran Turismo and Codemaster’s F1 series. And do you know what? It works. Magnificently. This is serious racing, where the difference between winning and spinning out isn’t anything to do with speed, but more how late you apply the brakes as you head into a corner.
With all this realism bandied about, it is only fitting that you can follow a realistic career path, taking you from humble go kart beginnings, through to trial days, and onwards via the different formula categories. You can choose which path your career takes by signing contracts with teams that sit up and notice you. Win more races, and you get offered more opportunities.
This isn’t an easy game by any stretch of the imagination, and – unless you quickly change the opponents difficulty – you will have to endure hours of frustration as you grow used to driving in the pouring rain or foggy conditions where you can barely see an inch in front of you. However, this is certainly one of the most rewarding ones. There are hundreds of cars to master as you progress, along with the opportunity to challenge other drivers online and take up various challenges. There is even to chance to drive in the Le Mans 24 hour race (yes, in real time), although you would have to be a special type of masochist – with plenty of time on your hands – to take up that particular feat.
I couldn’t recommend Project CARS highly enough. This is a real belter of a racer, with plenty to keep you occupied and coming back. There is a real sense of speed as you go flying around the tracks, the handling is incredible, and with so many options to get stuck into, this is a petrolheads oil-soaked dream. Racing has just got serious…