Project Cars: The good, the bad and the ugly

Project Cars: The good, the bad and the ugly


Project CARS is the newest kid on the block of the competitive scene known as sim racing. Project CARS is developed and published by the UK-based studio Slightly Mad Studios, who were responsible for groundbreaking racing sims such as GTR2 and GT Legends (when they were still known as Blimey Games and working for SimBin) and in recent times for the more arcade-influenced two Need For Speed Shift games and Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends. This game is SMS's most ambitious title yet, promising class leading graphics, physics and sounds in addition to a robust career mode and multiplayer racing, for both PC players and console players on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. This has all been backed by an advanced but controversial crowdfunding system launched over 3 years ago, which allowed people to buy into the project early in development at different levels, each of which promised varying degrees of test builds, differing level of input into how the game would shaped up and also how much of the profits of the game you would receive when it was finally released. In addition, numerous real world racing identities like Ben Collins (the old Stig from Top Gear), Rene Rast and Nick Hamilton have all had input into how this game mimics real life racing.

However, for all this promise, does the game deliver for an audience that are likely to be the most critical of it, the sim racers? I have been a Junior Member at WMD since early 2012 and have been playing this on and off since then, so I have had more time to settle down with this game than many others. This review will go in detail in multiple aspects of the game and eventually answer the question: is Project CARS worthy of standing alongside the likes of Assetto Corsa, Game Stock Car Experience and Raceroom Racing Experience in terms of class leading simulation, or is it merely another disappointing meld of arcade and sim that have never truly captured a long-term dedicated audience? Read on to find out!


6 Comment responses

  1. Avatar
    May 13, 2015

    A fantastic review that unfortunately won’t be read by nearly enough potential buyers. You’ve completely put the major publications to shame, and I really hope your efforts gain a wider audience.

    With so much controversy surrounding PCars, your review is the most informative, objective I’ve read.


    BTW, what did you think of the classic car content. Are these cars integrated into career mode at all, and if not, do you think they ever will?


    • Avatar
      May 14, 2015

      The classic cars are integrated in the career only through invitational events I believe. They aren’t particularly my favorite car class in pCARS either, there’s just something that doesn’t feel quite right about them compared to Assetto Corsa and rFactor 2 in recent times and they even feel less fun to drive than how they were in GP Legends over a decade ago now.


  2. Avatar
    May 13, 2015

    An excellent review. No other site is taking the time to analyze why this is or isn’t a proper motorsport game. I appreciate your efforts and hope people looking for an actual sim experience take the time to understand that project cars falls somewhere short of sim, yet certainly beyond an arcade experience.
    Here is hoping for some serious quality of life patching.


  3. Avatar
    May 14, 2015

    Great review, I enjoyed the comparisons you made to other sims and how you discussed down each component of the game (essentially starting with FFB, which all sim reviews should do!)

    The performance issues with graphics and abstract FFB tuning are enough to keep me away for now, but I would like to read a follow-up piece to this review after SMS deploys significant updates.

    Note: For the achievement hunters out there, SMS included 45 for Steam. While Assetto Corsa may have 182 achievements, those are very specific tasks for a track+car; pCARS achievements appear to be more grander in scale and significant to the gameplay of Career and Online modes.


  4. Avatar
    May 18, 2015

    You’ve risen above the hype and cowardice displayed by major reviewers. Congratulations on an informative, comprehensive review. The sim racing community is shortchanged badly when your review doesn’t return the top result if a google search for “pCars review” is requested.


  5. Avatar
    July 10, 2015

    very good test, I myself prefewr AC for the better feeling. The only thing today why I use pC is Oculus Rift and the direct to Rift mode from Project Cars. At least for me it is a bit arcadish


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