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Project Cars 2 is Racing to be the Top Simulator

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Slightly Mad Studios has returned with the follow up of Project Cars. For those unfamiliar, the first game was talked up to be the best racing simulator yet, but upon release, it was plagued with bugs, glitches, and questionable physics. With this sequel, they're looking to right their wrongs.

For starters, the tire model is completely redone. This time around, the sidewalls flex and bend, and supposedly the overall chemistry of the tire changes as you slide. Hopefully this makes catching a car in a slide a little more life-like. This might sound rather small, but sometimes a fresh set of tires can make all the difference.

Next, the weather and time dynamics were heavily touted, specifically the newly improved fluid dynamics where the water actually pools into puddles in the same spots it would in real life. In fact, if you were to block a drain with your tire, the water would actually begin to pool up around the tire. Slightly Mad also talked about how you can now experience different seasons, including a little bit of snow in the winter, and how the sun accurately moves in the sky.

In conjunction with the weather, all of the surrounding track details are just as they should be in real life. When the sun goes down, the lights will come on in different buildings around the track, just as they would in real life. The representative explained how it was necessary to replicate the details around the track, because if you used a certain tree on the side of the track as your braking point in the real world, they wanted to have that same tree in that same spot in the game. There's a lot of attention to detail here, which is never a bad thing.


They also boasted about how they have the largest track roster of any racing game on console, have multiple eSports affiliations, and have licensing from high-end automobile manufacturers such as Ferrari, McLaren, and Porsche. There's also the newly acquired Indycar rights, which adds some oval and road racing in some of the fastest race cars there are; oval racing is a welcome addition to those who were looking for some in the first entry. All of this means that there can be a lot of options and a lot of good competition.

Continuing wirh the idea of good competition, Slightly Mad introduced a way to match people based on how cleanly they drive, similar to a Safety Rating in iRacing. This will let you play against people who either want to wreck, or who want to race. It all depends on how you drive. Online lobbies can also be set to only allow other racers with a higher rating. 


Now, I did have a few uncertainties about the game. During the presentation, there was a lot of emphasis on how the cars and tires were all improved, but there was no mention about the aerodynamics, or how cars handles on water or dirt/snow. I had wanted to test an Indycar around Indianapolis to figure out the aerodynamics, as when an Indycar is in traffic, it's not getting the same levels of downforce, making it harder to corner. Unfortunately this wasn't available in the demo provided, and the demo didn't have any aero-sensitive moments in it.

I can say that the demo already felt better than the first entry. I drove a McLaren 720s on a dry track, and the overall experience left me wanting to try more. The AI was a little blind to where I was at times, but it wasn't quite as bad as some other games are. There's still a bit of time left for the game to be improved, and I hope it is.

Overall, there's a lot of promise here. Slightly Mad kept emphasizing how this is a big step forward, and that while their competition was busy catching up, they were busy moving forward. This includes adding the insane option of 12K resolution for PC. Project Cars 2 can certainly go toe-to-toe with other console racers such as Forza 7 and Gran Turismo Sport, but how it compares to Assetto Corsa or iRacing is still unknown.

Project Cars 2 is due for a worldwide release on September 22nd 2017.

About the Author: Christopher Weil

The 2006 Time Magazine person of the year, born in Toronto, Canada, Christopher developed a passion for gaming at a young age. His favorite franchise has always been The Legend of Zelda, but he can also usually be found playing SimRacing games such as iRacing. He's in university studying mechanical engineering and looking to start his own 3D printing business.

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