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January 26 2015
Project CARS - PS4 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
7/5/2015BandaiNamcoSlightly MadSlightly Mad
Offline Players Online players Launch Price Anticipation
12-?$99.95

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Cars look quite superb in Project CARS.
Project CARS is a game that has been in development for a considerable amount of time now, but don't take that as a sign of a troubled development. Indeed the game was first announced in October 2011 - so it has taken almost three years to get to the point of release. The developers, Slightly Mad Studios, aren't inexperienced in the genre having developed 2009's very well received Need for Speed: Shift, itís fantastic 2011 sequel Shift 2 Unleashed and then the less impressive Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends in 2012.

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Open wheel cars will feature in the game.
Three years ago Project Cars was initially announced to be released on the PS3 and XBox 360 however these platforms have been dropped in favour of next-generation consoles including PS4, XBox One, Windows, SteamOS and Wii U, with the two latter platforms due in 2015. This shift to more powerful consoles has allowed developers the power to develop a very exciting looking product - one which we hope plays as well as it looks.

while much is to be revealed about the game we do know that the main options will be Career, Solo, Online, and Community. The Career is self-explanatory however the Solo mode allows gamers to select from Quick Race weekends, Free Practice and Setups & Strategies. The big question we have is how many gamers will be able to participate in Online races. So far we have seen videos online with 8, 16 and 34 player races - with Slightly Mad still to confirm the final number (taking a guess, we will suspect 16-players is about right).

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Expect plenty of close-action racing.
Another aspect that makes this game interesting is the very open development. In fact the games title holds the key Project CARS. The CARS stands for Community Aided Race Sim.

In a similar vein to Kickstared projects it was possible for people to fund development of Project CARS, but in doing so, and depending how much money you spent, contributors had access to early builds of the game, forums, and even developers meetings! This has worked well for PC/PS4 and XBox One owners, but in recent weeks the Wii U version which was a focus of much backing has been delayed until an unspecified 2015 date.

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Car interiors will be inclded it seems.
As you can see from the surrounding screenshots Project Cars, which runs on the developers own in-house developed Madness Engine, is a fantastic looking game and the developers have confirmed they are targeting 1080p visuals at 60fps on the PS4. The game also includes a complete day/night cycle as well as a weather system - as you can see from the surrounding screenshots the rain soaked racing looks absolutely gorgeous while all the cars have working windscreen wipers for yet more realism!

In terms of audio one standout is that the PS4 version will also allow the Pit Engineer to talk to you directly with the sound coming out of the Dual Shock 4 controller.

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Project CARS is due out in November.
Everything seems to be stacking up quite favourably for this game however there is one more aspect that may make this an essential purchase - it's will support VR headsets. On the PC this means the Occulus Rift, but more importantly for Playstation 4 owners the game is one of the first announced to support the Project Morpheus headset. Of course we don't expect Sony's VR solution to be released until sometime in 2015, but it's nice to know that this racer - one of the genres where we see Virtual Reality being most useful - will support the product.

With a release scheduled for May 2015, following delays from the original November 2014 planned release date, we're pretty excited about Project Cars. We have already seen Sony's massive issues with the launch, and still delayed release of the free PS+ version of Driveclub, but NamcoBandai and Slightly Mad Studios will be very keen to have a smooth launch for this game. It looks stunning at least so make sure you check out the trailer below.


If you want to see how gorgeous this game is, you can't go past the 2014 E3 trailer. Enjoy...