Project CARS not for the casual racing gamer
Project CARS represents a new breed of racing sim, and possibly one of the most true-to-life virtual racers ever constructed.
Right from the very start, the menu structure should give you an inkling of what the game is about to offer: stripped back aesthetics makes for an experience comparable to the functional interior of a racing car - rich in mechanics and easy on the trimmings.
Gone are the cheesy soundtracks and arbitrary points systems, but this doesn't mean that the game is lacking in features for the customisation junkies out there.
Don't like where the on-screen track map sits on your HUD? Simply move it somewhere else. Same goes for even the on-screen steering wheel.
If you are someone who favours steering wheel peripherals over game pads you can remove the on-screen wheel should you become distracted by seeing double.
The gameplay itself is, predictably, very demanding. There's simply no room for error here, a statement compounded by the fact that, even with all the aids turned up fully, the biggest of petrol heads may find themselves thrown into the deep end. Even the smallest of mistakes can lead to utter catastrophe.
Project CARS might not have the roster of some of the bigger titles, but it encourages you to master the nuances of each and every one of its 60+ vehicles.
I think it is a testament to the developers that this relationship with the cars gives the game a more personal touch than the likes of Forza and Gran Turismo, which feel almost tacky by comparison.
The career mode is predictably meaty, and is divided across open wheel racing, touring and GT racing, and prototype racing. The idea of the career mode is not too far removed from Codemasters' Pro Race Driver games, and the more recent Grid Autosport; the idea is to simply earn drives with various racing teams. Offers for stints in upcoming race seasons from team principals will come through your career email; all you need to do is accept the one you want.
Project CARS is extremely deep, which means that it isn't really for the casual racing gamer.
If you like your cars and you like the finer details of the motorsport experience, then this is your game. If, however, you are more of a Need for Speed fan than a Gran Turismo head then my advice would be to steer clear of this one.
PC / PS4 / Xbox One