Okay, this has taken some time, because I wanted to be fair and thorough. Full disclosure, I love racing games, I have hundreds of hours in Project CARS 2 and I hold two of the fastest lap times in the game around Monza in the GT3 and GT5 Class cars. It has been hard not to see videos and sneak peaks of Project CARS 3 without feeling some excitement. It's a game I pre-ordered the second it was announced, having loved Project CARS 2 so much. I have tried to go into this review with the same mindset I approach all my Star Wars movies, ignoring any news/gossip/stories and having no expectations other than it being a racing game (which hopefully blows its predecessor out of the water).
I fired up Project CARS 3, wheel setup ready to go; a short intro video away and you are launched straight into a race. Straight into the action. 3... 2... 1... GO!... go?... Please go? What's going on here? I tried my keyboard and nothing seemed to respond either (at this point in time, I have been rammed by every car that started behind me as the AI seems completely oblivious to your presence on the track, but more on that later) so I was not given any opportunity to setup my controls and thrown straight into a race. I look around the room, find my controller and turn it on... and the car moves. We are off!
This has put me about 30 seconds behind the pack which is annoying but exciting as I am up for the challenge of chasing my opponent down. Three corners later and I have passed... everyone? The AI seems to be driving at 80Km/h and huddled together like a second grade football match. I finished the first lap with a 15-second lead and moved on to win the race with a 23 second gap - some tweaking the difficulty settings should fix that.
After the race, Need for Speed style, we are presented with 3 cars to choose from, so after being logical and weighing the pros and cons for the three cars on offer, I naturally chose the most powerful car: the Honda Civic. With my money spent, it was on to the career! Race one is set in a new location, a street track in China, and it's colourful to say the least. The racetrack looks like Pac-Man threw up after a rough night out. There are colorful little dots everywhere - brake here, apex there, exit on that point - it's nice if you have never played a racing game of any sort, I guess, but I make a note to turn it off. The car seems to roll a huge amount in the corners; mental note to tune that out later too.
The racetrack looks like Pac-Man threw up after a rough night out.
I pay to unlock the slot and try to adjust the ride height, which is locked until - you guessed it - I spend some money on a tunable suspension setup.
The online system is a hot mess.
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Slightly Mad Studios
Bandai Namco Entertainment
PC, PS4, Xbox One
28 August 2020
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