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About the product
- Created by gamers and fine-tuned by pro drivers. Featuring class-leading visuals, digital craftsmanship, precision physics, challenging AI, and dynamic real-time vehicle & weather-surface conditions.
- Discover your ultimate driver journey and test your skills against the most intense competition to become the next motorsport hero. Project Cars 2 was built from the ground up with e-sports in mind.
- Race without boundaries - Anytime, anywhere, with any car. Day or night, wet or dry.
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Project CARS 2 is the next evolution in the award-winning racing series, featuring the most iconic cars under the most thrilling of conditions to deliver the "Ultimate Driver Journey" experience and adrenaline rush. Created by gamers, tested by world-class racing drivers, and the definitive choice of e-sports pros, Project CARS 2 brings together the essence of real racing in the most beautiful, authentically crafted, and technically advanced racing game on the planet. Project CARS 2 has it all: From GT to touring cars to endurance prototypes and exotic hypercars, delivering the full spectrum of motorsport racing with complete freedom to choose what and where to drive. Anytime, anywhere!
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- Great car list. A few notable misses (sidenote - include the ZL1 but not the ZL1 1LE?.. sadness), but all in all a big step up from the previous iteration. And the cars look gorgeous (the rest of the game, not so much).
- Sound design. Wow, this is fantastic. Much much better than PC1. While PC1 had some decent sounds, many were screechy and straight up painful. They were very rough. This version? Not at all. The sound design/ production values are a significant improvement over the predecessor. There are a handful of underwhelming cars, but for the most part it’s automobile music.
- Track list. Many of the notable misses from PC1 are here and it is just wonderful. The track list is possibly the best I’ve seen in a racing game in this console generation.
- Verticality. Honestly, I can’t believe this isn’t being talked about more.. Wow! The verticality is incredibly well done this time around.. before, the corkscrew was alright but lacked that real feel of just how insane such a drop really is. This game nails it. All of the tracks that contain verticality of any kind are fantastically well done. It’s an element I didn’t even realize how much I needed being done right. Nailed it.
- UI/UX.. while not going to win any awards, the menus and car selection are handled much much better this time. Feels like a real game, and not a jumbled mess.
- Customization. This is another big one. From tire traction to steering sensitivity to engine sounds.. the customization allowed in this game is tops of any racing game I’ve seen to date.. and if not, it’s darn close. This ties in to playing it all on a controller.. the sheer amount of options make this possible (but still a nightmare). On its own, this level of customization is simply incredible.
In the middle:
- AI. The AI in this game isn’t nearly as bad as some people make it out. However, when it is bad... it’s really bad. Cars cropping up on turns (notably turn 1) or accidents is painful. Overall the AI driving seems mostly generic. No opponent really differentiates from any other one. Still, at times it can be wonderful. On higher difficulties they really take advantage of your mistakes and it can become quite thrilling. There are definitely moments of bonafide racing with AI drivers, but they are surrounded by bugs/lapses and an overarching generic feeling.
- Driving with a controller. Like I said, you can find a sweet spot and have quite an awesome time. But not only is this a headache, it’s lack of adaptability from one car to the next on a fundamental level (and even in similar classes) excaserbates this problem tremendously. Plus, this has to be tweaked to begin with. Out of the package, driving with a controller is nearly impossible.
- Graphics. Ok here’s the thing. The cars look AWESOME. And, some of the tracks even look pretty darn good. But outside of that, the graphics are mostly last gen. The environments are especially cringe worthy. Very poor texture quality in areas combined with significant overall levels of aliasing.. drag the whole graphical experience down significantly. It’s a darn shame considering how good other things - especially the cars - look. I would have loved a setting on console to add some anti-aliasing in exchange for lower quality somewhere else. If I had to pick one thing that bugs me the most graphically, it’s the aliasing. I mean it’s is nowhere near modern standards (and I’m on ps4 pro),
- Load times. Loading a track is pretty slow, but combine that with the fact that to change any of the meaningful configuration settings you have to exit out and reload the track.. if you are trying to tweak the game to your style, this can become quite a nuisance.
- Bugs. Already a lot has been patched, but it was frightening how many bugs there were at launch. Almost as if they were trying to speed up the release before GT Sport.. it would have been nice to see this game finished a little more before launch.
- Overall lack of polish. This obviously ties in with all of the cons I have listed.. but it really is sad that such an incredibly well done game in so many aspects is marred so significantly by a multidimensional lack of polish. QC needed to spend more time with this game. Pure and simple.
And there you have it. The positives and negatives of this game are both very strong in their prospective directions. This game is as close to being a 2/3 as it is a 4/5. It’s a darn shame considering just how good some of the elements really are. The cars are beautiful, they sound beautiful, they handle beautifully when tweaked correctly, and they have iconic tracks to race on. The handling definitely is fantastic with a wheel (I borrowed a friends for a day) and can be with a controller as well - it is just an absolute nightmare trying to figure out how to make that happen on your own (the in game tool to help with this doesn’t help as much as it needs to). The graphical oddities, bugs, and severe lack of polish further drag down the entire experience. It’s a fun game, however, and there is a lot here to like. Overall, it has been a positive experience and I am personally happy with my purchase. I just wanted to let the next guy or gal know both sides of the coin.
But now, after about 3 weeks later, I'm feeling very frustrated. I'm hoping that the developers are working on some fixes, because this game has great potential.
Here is the good and bad:
- Great tracks! Most are real locations, and some of these tracks actually have a 'retro' version, putting your race back into yesteryear settings. And there are some great 'fictional' tracks as well. Except for the ice tracks, which I find impossible, the track variety is one of the best parts of the game.
- Good car selection, although I would like to see a few more American muscle classics. There's a 60's Camaro and Mustang, and some nice classic European models. I do realize that this is attempting to be a 'RACING' sim, though. So they are focusing on race cars, and sometimes the street versions they are derived from. I can do without the carts, though.
- Track and weather dynamics. Especially when it comes to water on the track; amazing realism. And you can set each race to have changing weather conditions; from sunny to thunderstorm to blizzard and everything in between. And if you pick a particular date for your location, the game will try to reproduce the actual weather conditions.
- Sound and graphics are very good. I've seen some reviews complaining about the graphics, but I don't see an issue. One improvement over PC1; the original had almost no actual tire sound, which I found to be a problem. To me, it's important to hear the squeal of your tires to tell you when you are reaching your traction limits. The new version allows you to have great control over all the different in-car and outside-of-car sounds.
- The menu is generally easier to navigate around than the original version, but with some severe annoyances that I will get to later.
- This is not a easy game to master, even with a wheel I have trouble keeping the cars on the road. Some of this can be improved by tweaking the cars suspension, tires, etc. But even this requires that you kind of know HOW a car works. It's not meant to be easy, though. It's aimed at serious racing fans.
- Saving car setups: the first version was a little confusing and clumsy, but do-able. This version, forget it! I don't know if it's just a massive bug; if it is then it's unforgivable that it was released this way. If it is actually working as planned, and I'm just not getting it, then they need to explain better on actually how to do it. I've read the manual, but I still am totally confused by it. UPDATE: the 2.0 patch has come out, and the setup saving feature is WORSE! It is now telling me that the save failed because I used profanity in the filename! I DID NOT! Checking the forums, I'm not the only one experiencing this. It's absurd!
- Replay bugs: I enjoy watching the race replays. In the first version, there were three bugs that showed up consistently for me. I was always bothered by the fact that the developers couldn't see fit to fix them. But two of them still exist in the new version! There is a shadow issue (no shadow) with cars that are far in the distance, making them look like they are floating over the landscape. Also, when a car gets damaged, the damaged car part (especially the hood) changes size depending on how far the car is away from the viewer. Sometimes parts that fell off of the car magically re-appear. These, I admit, are minor issues that don't affect gameplay, but the fact that the bugs are still here in the new version really bothers me.
- In the year or more before PC2 was released, I got the distinct feeling that support of the original was nearly abandoned in order to focus on developing the new. This is sort of understandable, but it leaves me concerned about the support of PC2 once it becomes clear that PC3 is in the works. Maybe I'm jumping the gun on that one, though. I guess we'll see.
- Too many options? This would generally be a plus, but it does add to the potential overwhelmed feeling you could get when trying to get more serious about playing. I put this in just as a warning that it's not meant to be plug-and-play; to really appreciate this sim you need to go deep into it.
- My final complaint may be caused by me, but I can't seem to resolve it. After trying to set and save suspension settings on several cars, these cars are now almost completely undrivable, even after I set them back to default settings. I feel like I've ruined them, and can't get them back to the way they were before I messed with them. I'm still trying to figure out what happened, but its left me frustrated with the whole setup/save issue.
The bottom line is this, though: I LOVE the game, and want to give it at least 4 stars. Right now it seems to have so many bugs (check the forums) that it's hard to give it a good review. I've played the new Gran Turismo demo; liked it very much, but I still think PC2 can beat it on several levels. It just needs to be fixed!