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Sept 22 2014
DriveClub - PS4 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
8/10/2014SonySonyEvolution Studios
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
12-12$99.95

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DriveClub is a stunning looking PS4 racer.
It's hard to imagine, but the Playstation 4 is almost a year old already. Launching in November 2013 the console had a decent lineup of games, but the last minute delay of Driveclub was a big blow for Sony - the great looking racer was one of the most anticipated titles especially given that Gran Turismo 6 was only heading to PS3 and not Sony's shiny new console. After almost a year Driveclub is finally set for release and the delay has seen some massive improvements. What was potentially set to be a good game, now looks phenomenal.

Driveclub has been developed by Evolution Studios, the development team behind the very successful, and technically impressive, WRC franchises on PS2 and Motorstorm franchise on PS3. This time they have moved to road based racing for this next-gen title, but it looks every bit as exciting as their off-road games. Tracks are located in five different countries - India, England, Norway, Canada and Chile which will provide quite varied locations and race track styles.

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DriveClub - the most gorgeous game ever?
While DriveClub is a racing game, it's also about teamwork and forming Clubs. As the games description states "It's about teamwork. It's about everyone fighting for one another and earning points and rewards together. Most of all, it's about joining a club and sharing in the sheer thrill of the race."

More and more details about the game are slowly being unveiled as the release nears, and it's quite exciting with the game including 38 cars, with more added through post-release DLC. These cars aren't mundane every day cars (and doesn't include dozens of Skyline variations like another Sony racer), but includes vehicles such as the Audi RS5, BMW M135i, Ferrari California, Austin Martin V12 Zagato, Lotus Exige S, Ferrari FF, Audi A1 Quattro among others.

The developers have confirmed a variety in track lengths from those that take less then a minute to complete to others that are over 5 minutes long with each being based on real-world locations in the countries mentioned above. In terms of online players Driveclub will allow clubs in 6 vs 6 races. Much like EA's Autolog this game will allow you to share events, best times and much more between friends.

Initially unveiled at E3 2013, DriveClub was going to offer many new and unique features not least of which is the ability to get a friend to take control of your game from their PS4 system. So if you're having trouble with a part of a track you can simply have your friend take over and show you how it's done. This is apparently going to appear in Firmware 2.0 but without a specific release date may be added post-launch.

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All cars in Driveclub can have liveries.
In terms of DLC Sony and Evolution Studios have announced that Driveclub will receive free car DLC every month until June 2015 - thats 9 free cars to go with the 11 free tracks post-launch. Or course those that pay for the full game or Season Pass will receive additional cars, events and liveries.

During the PS3 era Evolution Studios's Motorstorm was one of the first jaw-dropping games which remains (along with the sequels) one of the best looking games on Sony's console. From what we have seen from their latest racing game Driveclub looks set to set benchmarks on Sony's new console as well.

As you can see from the surrounding screenshots, DriveClub is indeed a stunning looking game which the developers have confirmed will be at 1080p resolution and running at a locked 30fps - a frame rate which may disappoint some, but we'll be happy if it's rock steady and of course unlike many other racers this game will, in a post release patch, include realtime dynamic weather which not only looks astounding but also affects the handling of the cars. Naturally the game will also include a day/night cycle with gamers even able to set the speed of the cycle. Not only that but the cars will be customisable with paint colours and liveries across multiple layers.

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Even close up the cars are stunningly detailed.
When Driveclub was first announced a Playstation Plus version was also confirmed which would give PS4 owners an in-depth look at the game - and Game Director Paul Rustchynsky has confirmed that "The PlayStation Plus Edition hasnít changed. Itís hardly a demo because you get access to all of the gameís features online and offline. The difference is that you only have 10 cars and you can only race in one country (which gives you access to 5 tracks with 11 distinct variants)." Not bad for free...

Sadly while Driveclub was originally announced as a PS4 launch title, a couple of weeks before Sony's latest console launched Sony and the developers quietly announced the game was delayed until 2014. Apparently the social functions needed more polishing, but with a new release date announced for October 2014, and the departure of the games director in early 2014 we suspect there were a few more issues then Sony were letting on. What we can see though is a game that promises to be a truly next-gen experience and all indications are this is a game rev heads, and casual or social gamers, should love. We'll know for sure on October 8, 2014.


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