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[PC] [ONE] [PS4] Project CARS 3

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[PC] [ONE] [PS4] Project CARS 3

Unread postby Masahiro9891 » 16 Jan 2019 22:50

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The head of Slightly Mad Studios, Ian Bell, recently announced on the GTPlanet forum that Project CARS 3 was in the works:

https://www.gtplanet.net/forum/threads/ ... t-12562764

IanBell wrote:You heard it here first. There will be a new pCARS, it's signed. I can't tell you anything but don't hold your breath on timings. We plan to blow anything else, planned by anyone else, out of the water... That will take a while.

Ongoing kudos to this site.


https://www.gtplanet.net/forum/threads/ ... t-12589872

Ian Bell wrote:I'll let you know that pCARS3 will be more 'focused'... More 'fun'... We went to insane lengths with variation in pCARS2 and with that comes infinite balancing issues. We've learned a lesson here and although we have no intention of reducing content, we know what we need to fix, where we made design decisions that were, let's call it, 'sub-optimal'... pCARS3 will be more of a spiritual successor to Shift, but with all of the sim goodness everyone appreciates... The key focus though is on fun and not biting off more than we can properly chew and digest.


https://www.gtplanet.net/forum/threads/ ... t-12591882

IanBell wrote:We're aiming to be multiplatform. Unless a major comes along with very large amounts of cash.
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Masahiro9891
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Unread postby Beakman » 06 Aug 2020 14:24

Project CARS 3 just became a must-have for me due to this:

https://twitter.com/Rushy33/status/1268230964976721925

Paul Rustchynsky @Rushy33 wrote:This is the game I worked on for past 18 months


https://twitter.com/Rushy33/status/1268245365003816961

Paul Rustchynsky @Rushy33 wrote:I was the Game Director


This gentleman is the former director of Driveclub, and it seems that other former Driveclub devs are involved too.

So, Codemasters acquired Driveclub's Evolution Studios from Sony, then disbanded it after the middling OnRush, then they acquired Slightly Mad Studios and put Driveclub's director in charge of Project CARS 3 to do a Need For Speed Shift successor. That's quite the racing pedigree.
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Unread postby icycalm » 06 Aug 2020 15:37

Official site: https://www.projectcarsgame.com/three/

Steam page: https://store.steampowered.com/app/9584 ... ct_CARS_3/

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"What Drives You" Trailer (4K)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NKJ43kuEDw

Added to trailer reel.

The official site says coming August 28, but Steam says 27...
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CULT LIVE: Project CARS 3

Unread postby Beakman » 05 Sep 2020 16:23

I had a ~4 hour session in VR, with a steering wheel with an 'H' shifter and a set of pedals with clutch. My stream can be seen here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNWno0OP0JE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLMbM5kMvIs

Please note that I didn't play at max settings since I did not realize at first that the graphics settings screen was only available outside of races. I did test max settings in following sessions. I also tested it in non-VR and a gamepad.

The stream is split in two videos because I had a crash that interrupted the stream. And that leads me to the first thing to say about this game: It's glitchy. I had a crash about every hour, white-colored graphical glitches were very common in the background scenery while racing (in VR or outside of it), and head tracking was jittery while in the menus, which made me feel a bit queasy (works fine while in race). Even after a couple of patches I still get the graphical glitches and jitter. Not a deal breaker but I hope they fix these things up. The game hasn't crashed for me anymore.

It's a good game, with intense racing —there's an AI aggressiveness setting, turn that all the way up— and a focus on fun over simulation, while keeping the realistic handling from previous games. Slightly Mad Studios announced it as a successor of the Shift games that they developed for EA, and indeed it has elements from them (e.g. the corner mastering minigame) but it reminded me more of Driveclub, which is exactly what I wanted.

The game made an excellent first impression for me since most of the races I played in the career mode were not in purpose-built tracks, but in public roads with beautiful scenery and even some drama in them (e.g. acrobatic airplanes showed up in one race in the Bannochbrae course, located in the UK countryside). Indeed this focus on open-road racing is suggested in the trailers, which goes in hand with having Driveclub's director at the helm... or so I thought. The open-road and city tracks are really nice but most of the track list comprises ugly-looking, grass-and-sand, purpose-built circuits. This is reflected in more advanced tiers in the career mode, where purpose-built circuit racing being all of what you get from what I can see in the menus. Now this is something reminiscent of the first Project CARS that I wish they took away. It's the reason why PC2 never interested me, although I've learned since that it has rallycross races... that are not present in PC3 either.

Car models are pretty good (on par with contemporary games) but I felt the cockpits in the VR mode of Gran Turismo Sport looked better. Additionally, I don't remember in which one, but either in Driveclub VR or in GT Sport the mirrors have actual 3D, stereoscopic reflections (you can perceive depth in them with your natural binocular vision, as in a real mirror), this is something that I haven't seen in any other driving game. In PC3 and every other VR racer, the mirrors look like 2D screens instead of actual mirrors. Another mark against PC3's VR is that the driver's body has no inverse kinematics animation, so if you move your head, you won't see the driver's upper body following your motion. Being fair, GT Sport is the only racing game that I've seen where IK is implemented.

There's an aesthetic-only damage model for the cars. In the cockpit view it looks glitched and awful compared to the previous games, which also featured mechanical damage. Then you have to deal with damage not going away if you restart the race, which is a nuisance if a bent hood is blocking your view. Other features lost from previous entries are pit stops, tire wear, and fuel consumption mechanics. Going by Youtube comments and Steam reviews, racing sim fanatics are pissed about the removal of those. I don't think it's a big deal since such mechanics are only relevant in long races that get very boring, while this game is focused on 2 lap races.

There's dynamic time of day and weather. You can begin a race in the afternoon with clear weather and end it at night in a thunderstorm. Weather effects are good but not on par with non-VR Driveclub. Even taking into account the aforementioned dynamic systems, lighting in general looks a bit flat, which is on par with PC1.

I think the Madness Engine is getting outdated. Hopefully they will move to the Ego engine for future games, now that Slightly Mad Studios has been bought by Codemasters.

Handling-wise, I saw no difference between PC3 and PC1 if you're using a steering wheel with force feedback. I went back to play the first game with the car I mostly used during my PC3 stream (Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI T.M.E.) and I felt no difference, it's equally good with the same assists that I play with (ABS brakes and one level of TCS). PC1 was completely unplayable with a gamepad unless you fiddled with a bunch of settings —deadzones, damping and whatnot— and I've heard the same about the second game. I'm happy to say that this is not the case with PC3. Handling is excellent and very reminiscent of Driveclub if you're on a gamepad, so if you were interested in the series but you're lacking a steering wheel, get this one.

Disappointingly, there's no opera. Not that I expect much from a racing game (the last one I played with good opera being R4: Ridge Racer Type 4), but at the very least keep the team manager from the Shift games! GRID lost the same aspect in its last release and now the purported "Shift successor" doesn't have anyone guiding you through your career, just some cutscenes before you begin each career tier.

Hence we only have the menus and music to mention as additional aesthetic enticers. The menus are nothing special compared with most games but are WAY better than the dry-as-fuck, almost MS Office-like menus from PC1 and Assetto Corsa. The racing music features some drum & bass tracks that fit a racing game. Notably, the music gets muffled in certain conditions, like in a crash. This is the first realistic car racing game I've seen that applies effects to its music depending on your actions, I can only think of futuristic racing games that do this (i.e. in Wipeout HD when you jump off a ramp). Menu music also has a degree of interactivity, with intensity "layers" that fade in or out depending on which portion of the menus you're browsing —becoming more intense the closer you are to racing.

Up to this point in my impressions it may look like PC3 doesn't fare too well against GT Sport and Driveclub, but please bear in mind that, those being PS4 exclusives, they are completely butchered while playing them in VR. GT Sport only supports racing against a single car in singleplayer quick races. Driveclub VR has disembodied driver hands, it loses all weather effects and its dynamic time of day, while having a reduced grid count as well. Both take a massive graphical quality hit across the board to make the puny PS4 to support the stringent framerate requirements of VR. On the other hand if your PC can handle it, there are no compromises in PC3: Up to staggering 32 car grids with dynamic time of day and weather, with all graphical effects available in a flat screen. How does it compare then with its PC competitors? Well, unlike its predecessors, the Assetto Corsas, and the DiRT Rally games, PC3 is not a dry, completely inartistic simulation that only caters to motorsports nerds. I gave the first Assetto Corsa and DiRT Rally 2.0 a try in VR, and as with PC1, I quickly lost interest due to their dryness. PC3 is probably the best VR car racing game so far. I still prefer the superb Wipeout: Omega Collection for my VR racing fix (incredibly, they made ZERO compromises in that one even with it being a PS4 exclusive and VR being added as a free patch!), but it wouldn't make sense to use a steering wheel there!

8 hours in, Project CARS 3 is a 3/5 for me. Consider it 4/5 if you don't mind the ugliness of purpose-built circuits as much as I do, or if you just got a VR headset and you're looking for your first VR racing game. Hit me up if you want to race.
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