If you’re a gamer and haven’t yet heard of Project CARS, it wouldn’t be difficult to assume you’ve been living under rock of some sort for the past year or more. CARS, or Community Assisted Racing Simulator, is, as the acronym suggests, a simulation racing game. The game is developed by Slightly Mad Studios, is an award-winning developer previously known for a few Electronic Arts titles, such as the Need for Speed franchise, in the form of the SHIFT series, along with other simulations such as Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends and BMW M3 Challenge. So what’s all the hype about?
For starters, the developers have undertaken a massive task of developing the game by means of community input; a task that has seen a progression since October 2011, including, to date, more than 80,000 players. Needless to say, then, that this is amongst the largest beta programs the gaming world has seen in recent titles, with more and more extended beta programs observed, such as with DotA 2 with Valve. In addition, the extended development and testing also included real-life pro drivers, which include a line-up of Ben Collins (who has worked with the development team throughout the game’s existence), Nicolas Hamilton, Oli Webb, René Rast, Christie Doran, and William Tregurtha.
Project CARS is well-known for its attention to detail, in terms of the graphics, car and track details. The game includes the largest track roster of more than 50 tracks from around the world, with more than 70 drivable cars across multiple classes, with new additions expected every month after the release on 7th May 2015. Unlike other successful driving simulations such as Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport, Project CARS differentiates itself by presenting itself as a sandbox title, allowing users to choose their own career path, without the need for a linear career mode. The game uses an improved version of the Madness engine, on which the Need for Speed simulation titles were based on. In addition, players will have immediate access to all tracks and all cars from the start, avoiding the potential frustration of starting off with the most basics of vehicles that often fail to capture the interest of non-dedicated players.
The attention to detail and realism extends to the fully-dynamic weather and time of day events, along with full race weekends (warmups, practices, qualifying and racing day), pit stops and strategies, and extreme levels of tuning setup. The online features have also seen new system implementations that offer modes such as “join in progress” and “invite-only” sessions, and time trials with downloadable ghosts for improvement.
With all the media attention surrounding the game over the years, as well as its high aims for a complete and realistic racing experience, there has been great buy-in from quite a number of peripheral manufacturers, which has allowed for support of over 40 different steering wheel systems, 12K resolution through multi-monitor support, and nVidia Shield, as well as virtual reality support for Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus. And if you’re a manufacturer or in the market to support any of the functionalities available for the game, there’s also a Project CARS API for third-party development.
You can view more on the support via the official website, Project CARS: Beyond Reality.
With a game extending 4 years of player trials and testing, there’s no doubting that the game’s reach in terms of overall realism, and support across manufacturers and other software, so much so that’s there’s just too much to cover in just one article. If you’re a car or racing enthusiast, be sure to check out the Project CARS official website for in-depth coverage of the game, and be sure to pre-order today. This simulation is going to be nothing short of epic!