Oct 17, 2017 Last Updated 12:43 PM, Oct 17, 2017

Project CARS 2 Review

Published in Sport
Read 398 times
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Project CARS 2: A high-octane masterpiece.

tl;dr version: If you love racing, do not pass up this release.

There comes a time in the life of every of every motorhead (erm… car enthusiast) when the desire to get behind the wheel of a high-powered racecar pulls them in one of two directions: making their dreams a reality, or pursuing the virtual high of racing gameplay. For me, the latter came to fruition with Pole Position (Namco, 1983). It was two years after its release, when I was 5, that I first came across what would be my first racing experience, and it was awesome.

See, racing games have always been a boring run from checkpoint to checkpoint, and on occasion something cool happens, or you shave .001 off your split time. Who cares, right? For someone who had just experienced it for the first time, though, it was fantastic. The cheesy engine revs and absurdly clunky gameplay were just want 5-year-old me thought real driving was all about… I’m a real boy! (shouted in a Pinocchio voice).

Sure, in hindsight both the graphics and the gameplay were atrocious, and I couldn’t possibly stomach it now. But once you’ve played a racing game, you’ve played them all, right? Wrong. For the first time since my formative years, I installed a racing title that stunned me with that same childhood giddiness, that same sense of awe that I had when I was just a wee lad. Project CARS 2 (PR2) is not just a racing game; it’s an experience with more wow factor than I could bargain for.

For starters, PC2 is just visually stunning.

The graphics are exquisite, and the camera work in the cinematics is stunning. Never have I been happier that I sprung for the 4k display on my gaming box. The best part was that after the cinematics, the graphics quality and gameplay didn’t disappoint at all. Everything is crisp and polished. Frankly, the experience of my meager 15” Alienware screen just left me wanting more. Out came the HDMI cable, and next thing I knew, the 65” 4k TV in the living room, along with the 600 watt sound system, was transporting me to the land of burning rubber and checkered flags. [EN: Bruh, can i habs mooney?]

Still, possessing a little of that five-year-old in me, the first thing I decided to do was to run a quick race to get a feel for things. This is where I was rudely awakened by the fact that this would be no coin-op racer. I wasn’t going to peg the gas from start to finish and ride the guard rails around the corners. This became quickly evident when I was penalized for crossing a white line on my way out of the pit. Seriously? I guess that’s a thing. I completely lost control of my car just afterward, as control was handed off to me, and made best friends with a wall. Little did I know it would be my best friend for the next few minutes until I got up to speed (pun intended).

The amount of control you have over your vehicle, crew, and pit strategy is awe-inspiring

I was amazed at how much I yearned for a force-feedback steering wheel and shifter setup, like I used for my review of WRC 6. The gamepad I had quickly grabbed was not giving this title justice. After a little tweaking of my settings, I was able to settle in and do an entire lap without slamming into the wall. Of course, I celebrated by doing donuts on the finish line… for four minutes straight. Why, you might ask? Well, on my screen were readouts of my tire temp and tread life (amongst many other things) and wouldn’t you know the physics are so dialed in that it accurately represented what each tire would have experienced. My only regret was that after my passenger-side rear tire was spent, it didn’t blow up and sparks didn’t fly. SO MUCH FOR REALISM…. Jk (kinda).

After I was done screwing around (am I ever, though?) I jumped into the career, and realized fully why this release was a race-lovers dream come true. The amount of control you have over your vehicle, crew, and pit strategy is awe-inspiring. It’s almost a shame to call this merely a racing title — it’s a full-on sim. Not since I had my beloved 1974 Dodge Charger was I as excited to be behind the wheel again, virtual or otherwise, and it felt good.

9

The Verdict: Genre Revolution

Project CARS 2 sets the benchmark for what a true racing sim release should be. With exquisite graphics, exceptional realism, and palpable thrill, the gauntlets have been thrown down, and it’s up to every other dev to try and get close to this masterpiece of its genre. Now for a fresh dose of caffeine… it’s time to shave some time off my split!

Dizzyjuice

Most widely known for never suppressing his impulse control disorder, and his stubborn position on the jet fuel vs. steel beams argument, Dizzyjuice is your typical renaissance man. An avid photographer, chef, classically trained musician, meme addict, philanthropist, and IT geek, he spends most of his spare time watching hours upon hours of ‘related videos’ on YouTube, and then purchasing random things to try and recreate them. Most notably, however, is that he hates it when biographies don’t end the way you octopus.

Related items

  • Road Redemption Review

    The updated graphics and physics engine are sure to bring enjoyment and laughs. Road Redemption builds on a relatively simple concept that has worked in the past, repackages it, and allows the unpredictability of other players a large selection of tracks, bikes, and riders in online death races to round out a uniquely enjoyable experience.

  • Project Nimbus Review

    Project Nimbus has a somewhat anticlimactic ending, but that’s only because the climax revealed in Early Access set the bar so high, both in terms of gameplay and story. Those awaiting this title’s full release after playing the Early Access might feel a little ripped off, but they might also realize just how great this experience is a second time through. Impressive mech combat that never grows old and interesting story elements equate to an impressive win for this small indie developer.

  • Throne of Lies Review

    Throne of Lies is yet another addition to the very specific social deduction genre, requiring time and patience to get the best experience.  For those who don’t mind doing a little bit of homework before starting a game, Throne is a great experience which raises the bar for the genre.

More in this category: Road Redemption Review »

Latest Indie Reviews

The Indie Scene, Under Review.

Latest on Twitch

Watch it live on twitch.tv/opnoobsonline.

Latest Shows

Utomik Interview

The OPN interview with Frank Meijer. Utomik is the no-nonsense unlimited play gaming subscription that offers a growing library of games from over 20 leading publishers. Gamers can...

We Need To Go De…

The OPN interview with Deli Interactive. We Need to Go Deeper is a 2-4-player cooperative submarine roguelike set in a Verne-inspired undersea universe. In the game, you and your c...

Out Soon

PC Gaming Incoming

Project Nimbus R…

Project Nimbus has a somewhat anticlimactic ending, but that’s only because the climax revealed in Early Access set the bar so high, both in terms of gameplay and story. Those awai...

TAURONOS Review

Tauronos promises an intriguing story, but since running out of lives forces you to start your journey again from the beginning, few players will have the patience to persevere and...

Battle Chasers: …

Battle Chasers: Nightwar combines the classic turn-based RPG with action-RPG elements. This fun twist to the traditional RPG divisions enhances gameplay, strategy, and character cu...

Raiders of the B…

Raiders of the Broken Planet just isn’t there yet. While an alpha build of the title showed promise, the title has much development ground to cover yet. Raiders of the Broken Plane...