Saturday, June 6, 2015

Project CARS: Did It Overtake Gran Turismo?? Er, No

Here's the deal: When the PS4 was ready to launch, my interest was there, but not enough to overcome my lack of money for one, mainly because the latest games I was looking forward to were going to come out on PS3, not 4 (Gran Turismo 6 and Grand Theft Auto V).  The only PS4 game garnishing my interest then was Driveclub, but as you probably know, that got delayed of course, which only strengthened my decision to stick with PS3 at the time.  So I went about my business, and though I would have liked a '4, I was doing okay without.

Then fast forward to last fall, when I moved out here to Hawaii.  I broke down almost immediately and got a PS4 along with NHL 15 to play with my brother.  I still was thinking I'd get Driveclub, but then it came out and had the online issues and all that, plus it just seemed to be getting sub-par reviews anyway, so then I was unsure whether I'd bother or not.  Well, following the advise of one of my friends who is REALLY good at Gran Turismo and racing games by the way, he mentioned Project CARS was getting ready to debut.  Now, I'd certainly heard about it, but man, wasn't that like 4 or 5 years ago, seriously?  I almost thought it was only going to be a PC game anyway.  But alright cool, I considered The Crew as well, but again not getting a ton of praise, so what's the deal?  Hawaii is expensive.

I went out and preordered pCARS, and picked it up after work the day it came out.  First impression: The career progression looks interesting, and it looks like there are a lot of options to tweak.  So how much money do I get?  What kinda cars can I buy?  Oh, this is like the other racing games, where you just have the cars.  Maybe others knew it was going to be like that, but I didn't, and honestly it disappointed a bit.  More than not having the whole garage, build a collection thing, the car selection was honestly underwhelming for me.  Nevermind the almost complete lack of Japanese cars (I get the complaints against GT for having too many Skylines and MX-5s, but really?  Not one Nissan Z or GT-R?  No Mazdas, Hondas, or Toyotas period??) but it doesn't even have many other cars, and only a couple "ordinary"-ish cars like the Ford Focus RS.  No Volkswagen, Subaru, Peugeot, Chevrolet, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Fiat, Alfa Romeo.  Mind you, there are more cars in the works, but most if not all of these brands (and that was only a handful of examples) are not listed in the works.
What this game is then, is a racing game, whereas GT is "the real driving simulator" - keyword "driving".  Project CARS is quite different, I did not know that going in.  It focuses on racing and strategies and weather changes.  Cold tires.  Qualifying sessions.  Things like that.  And I love all of that about it, but unfortunately I also love having my own garage with cars I bought, everyday cars that are just as fun to toss about and push to their limits.

So I am enjoying the competition aspect of it, but I've found myself resorting back to GT6 more and more recently.  I was foolish to think this game might actually replace GT as my top go-to racing game!  It's good, but for me, Gran Turismo remains the racing game king.  Now I just hope GT7--which will presumably be on PS4--will live up to the hype I started building for it a long time ago, and will release within the next year or two.

*Project CARS is definitely worth getting if you're looking for next-gen physics and graphics, plus a more true racing game.  I do like the different racing disciplines it has, from karting to open wheel, touring and GT, all the way to LMP cars.  One variant of stock car as well, with a newer one on the way I believe.  Plus some hyper cars and the like.  If you like the idea of signing contracts with different race teams and participating in race weekends, and tweaking things like tire pressures and tire strategies for pit stops, then you'd probably love this game as I know many do.  You can get it on Amazon right now for just $51 plus free shipping looks like, here is a link.  Feel free to comment and discuss!