The Community Assisted Review of Project CARS

Since the inception of PretendRaceCars.net, we’ve covered the final four months of development for arguably the biggest racing franchise to debut in the past decade, Slightly Mad Studio’s Project CARS. Using our insider access and boldly posting controversial info that other publications are too afraid to mention, our little site has gained notoriety for daring to share the ugly and sometimes downright deceptive side of the community assisted racing simulation. Four years after the game’s initial brainstorming session on the NoGripRacing.com forums, D-Day is here and the game is finally on store shelves. However, since this is a game whose direction has been decided and funded largely by the community, our review will differ from the traditional reviews I was once seen writing over at RaceDepartment. We will instead explore what the community is saying about the title, now that it has been released to the wild.

Yet, to understand what makes today so special in the history of automotive video games, we’re going to need to go back almost a decade to learn how we got here, and ultimately discover why Project CARS isn’t worth the ridiculous hype surrounding it.

c07c85be-d5e4-4baa-b303-033c5414f3c6The team behind Project CARS was once part of the historic SimBin development team, producing a line of fantastic games based on the FIA GT Championship of the early 2000’s, most notably GTR, GTR 2, and GT Legends. Now ancient in 2015, these games were once landmark racing simulations that were incredibly popular among PC gamers and received incredibly high critic scores in an era where gaming journalism was not seen as third party marketing.

Splitting due to creative differences (at least from what I’m told), half of the team went off to become Slightly Mad Studios, whereas employees not wanting to tag along with Mr. Bell retained the SimBin name and promptly began work on the Race series of racing simulations – most notably the Race 07 series of games that were very well received and featured many expansions that extended the life of the game. The group that made up Slightly Mad Studios remained dormant until 2009, when a partnership with Electronic Arts led to the creation of Need for Speed Shift, and eventually Need for Speed Shift 2: Unleashed in 2011. A year later, the team released Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends using many of the same assets found in the Shift series of games.

All three games were well-received by mainstream critics who admittedly didn’t play many racing games and had no idea what to look for from these titles, but absolutely despised by driving game enthusiasts. The lengthy list of complaints ranged from criticisms of the boats on ice-like handling model, poor PC performance optimization, shoddy gamepad controls, and lack of any genuine racing features despite Slightly Mad Studios billing the games as racing simulations. While a small group of modders set out to rectify the issues surrounding the Shift games with numerous tire model fixes and community patches, some of which were simply re-activating lines of code that were mysteriously disabled, the games were immediately tossed aside by your average driving game fan. My friend actually snapped his Shift disc in a fit of rage one night over a Career mode event that featured a ridiculously overpowered rubber-band AI. It was one of those games.

In April of 2011, a thread on NoGripRacing.com appeared, started by Slightly Mad Studios head Ian Bell. He outlined a “cunning plan” and proposed their next racing simulation would be based on a kickstarter-like funding model, where community members could donate funds and see their suggestions on the direction of the game directly implemented into the racing sim; a completely transparent development process that heavily relied on the community’s involvement, something which had never been done before. While some skeptics pointed out the poor quality and glaring issues seen in the two Need for Speed Shift games, Ian simply blamed Electronic Arts for everything. Given EA’s horrible reputation in the video game industry, this whole mantra of EA messed up the Shift games for no reason was regurgitated as fact because it seemed like something EA would do.

In early 2012, I bought into Project CARS with the lowest membership option available. To put it bluntly, it was Steam’s Early Access model, without being on Steam. Where it differed were the membership levels – users could pay hundreds of dollars to have access to builds that changed daily, a louder voice in the WMD Forums used to develop the game, and several other perks, like having an AI driver named after you. The community ate this up, and it was not uncommon to browse the forums and see guys who had spent thousands of dollars on Project CARS memberships in the hopes that there would be a return on their investment, because that was also a large part of this big idea. People genuinely believed they were going to get rich off sim racing, and that this game would de-throne Forza and Gran Turismo on launch day.

And there was no way that was going to happen. From my time with the early builds of the game, it was severely underwhelming. It felt no better or worse than Shift 2 Unleashed, and in some cases, I actually preferred Shift 2 over Project CARS. The content list wasn’t very good and was heavily Euro-centric, with several road courses I didn’t care for, and many european street, touring, and open wheel cars that hadn’t interested me in the slightest. Other games had much better driving physics, and the game itself was poorly optimized. You were better off keeping your rFactor install up to date.

But when I stopped caring about the game, things got interesting. Somehow, even more people bought into the idea that they’d get rich off sim racing, and the few thousand members who had invested into this little game by a dev team that hadn’t put out anything awe-inspiring had now grown to a whopping 80,000 members. And it was clear to Slightly Mad Studios that there was no way they could take input from 80,000 different people, because the game would turn into a mis-guided piece of trash. So instead of trying to take input from 80,000 people, they turned everybody into viral marketers.

This ended up ruining a large portion of the community surrounding driving games. A lot of people who’d taken an interest in pCars were not average joes looking for another game to play, but in some cases, they ran major news sites or had YouTube shows, driven by the potential ROI and substantial number of hits they’d receive from posting content about a supposedly exclusive game. This lead to a lot of these media outlets, ran by genuinely decent people, being turned into third party marketing tactics. VirtualR stopped doing reviews, announced their affiliation with Slightly Mad Studios, and promptly turned what was a fantastic driving game news site into a blog where 90% of the content was about Project CARS – sometimes just posting random hotlap videos on a slow news day. Team VVV Automotive, my personal favorite driving game news outlet, was now spending sixteen hour days making as many YouTube videos as possible about the game. Part of the reason I created PretendRaceCars.net was due to the ridiculous influx of Project CARS shilling on sites I used to trust. And venturing onto the WMD Forums, these weren’t even making an effort to hide their affiliation and intentions with the game. With #Gamergate blowing up, this was the wrong thing to do.

vvvEven sites like Kotaku were not safe from this intrusive style of advertising, as the popular gaming blog ran the exact same article about the graphics in Project CARS a whopping sixteen times throughout the course of a year.

pcars

While I had continued to try the new builds of pCars every now and then, I was time and time again let down by the progress being made. It didn’t drive very well. It didn’t run very well. The car and track selection wasn’t very good. The sounds were exaggerated beyond belief. And yet, despite this, a growing chorus of Project CARS fans appeared to pop up on every message board I visited, with grandiose claims of how the game would destroy Forza and Gran Turismo upon release. I didn’t get it. As a very accomplished sim racer, with championships across multiple different games, I didn’t think Project CARS was all that special. In fact, it kind of sucked. The few times I voiced my own opinion of the game, just in random message boards when the topic came up, it’s as if I cut the head off of someone’s dog. Out of nowhere, a legion of fanboys would come to either bash me, discredit me, or offer the same “the game is in pre-alpha and the new build released only to premium members is much better” excuse.

Through 2013 and 2014, the chorus of pCars is coming only grew louder. You could not visit a message board without seeing this huge group of guys praising a game that hadn’t even been released yet. I know through my time on 4Chan that viral marketing definitely is a thing, but this stuff was starting to shit up genuinely informative places, like the iRacing forums, 4Chan, Reddit, and RaceDepartment. It was like this weird nerd cult.

And after starting PretendRaceCars.net, I learned that’s pretty much what it was. In an effort to pump out news on a daily basis, I often simply had to visit the WMD Forums for five minutes. Our entire Slightly Mad Studios category consists of this creepy nerd cult trying to generate hype for their broken racing sim. An entire thread was dedicated to press articles released about the game, and anything that didn’t paint the game in a positive light, users would link the post, cooperate, and spam the comments section with the typical cries of “that’s an old build”,it’s pre-alpha“, “this bug won’t happen in the full game“, or “did you delete your user profile before installing the new build?” In one thread a guy straight up admitted to lying about upcoming DLC to generate hype, and in others there would be a tangible effort made to “dox” whoever had been writing negative articles about the game. Meanwhile, diving through some of the Quality Assurance threads, I’d see several users being pretty blunt and saying the game was nowhere near ready for release as numerous glitches were greatly affecting Gameplay – and as a result the game was indeed delayed twice in six months to iron everything out. The bipolarity of the WMD members, going from admitting the game was a rush job internally, to intentionally lying about features, to passing it off as the greatest sim ever made, shit up many different message boards that were otherwise very informative places.

whatshillinglookslike

3

untitled-3

admit-defeat

When I reported on stuff like this, as someone running a news site with insider info is supposed to do, I received comments that outlined the general level of maturity with these viral marketers:

1

2

Some guys would take things a step further, claiming I violated an NDA for simply taking screencaps of posts in the WMD Forum, and that Slightly Mad Studios could take legal action against me.

NDA

Sorry guys, they can’t.

But this just goes to show the cult-like atmostphere the WMD environment and Slightly Mad Studios have encouraged over the past few years. And now that it’s out in the wild, they can’t hide that the game’s a pile of trash.

THE PERFORMANCE

First up, we’ve got a video comparing the FPS issues between the PS4 and XBOX One versions of Project CARS.

Both struggle to reach 60 FPS, and dance around the 30 FPS range during hectic on-screen moments. This sort of thing shouldn’t happen in a console game, and you’re an idiot if you allow yourself to accept this.

Next up, the PS4 version has this weird sort of motion blur going on that most people aren’t too happy with.

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https://i2.wp.com/i.imgur.com/bYWykzm.jpg

And this is confirmed to be an issue with the PS4 version:

lolwut

The Xbox One version suffers a much more serious glitch, causing the game to lose all sound at random points during gameplay.

xbox

And lastly, on the PC version, don’t bother playing this with an AMD Graphics card. It’s pointless.

amd

no joke

So none of the platforms the game was released on can play the game adequately. We’re certainly off to a great start here! Totally going to kill Forza and Gran Turismo, and totally worthy of a sequel.

PLAYER REACTIONS

pCARS64 2015-04-26 16-41-23-68

We’ve already done as close to a review as we can get of Project CARS, breaking down the game’s 1990 Winston Cup Stock Car in a detailed article that you should probably read, as it actively addresses the main aspects of gameplay I’m concerned with – vehicle physics, tire physics, car setup, and AI. In the end, I found the driving, racing, and physics to be as lackluster as my first impressions of early builds of the game back in 2012. Other games do it better, and I found myself having no reason to even consider buying pCars in its finished state.

Meanwhile…

oli

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Cue several replies jumping on the OP, followed by…

fana

john

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Not a good sign at all. So what do proper review sites have to say about it?

THE PRESS

PCGamer points out the gamepad issues we pointed out weeks ago:

pcgamer

GamesRadar points out the abundance of bugs:

GamesRadar3And DailyStar thinks it’ll soon be forgotten:

dailystar

THE CONCLUSION

I don’t know what to say, other than we told you so. It sucks that a large portion of the community was turned into viral marketers for a game described as “middle-of-the-road” and playing with a traditional controller “borders on impossible.” We pointed out the abundance of bugs mentioned in the WMD forums several times. We pointed out the internal discussions of poor controls. We had others confirm performance issues. We called the lackluster driving physics and shoddy AI. It’s a flop, guys.

Score: Probably not worth your time / 10

 ogre

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101 thoughts on “The Community Assisted Review of Project CARS

  1. The PC Gamer review was a gold mine- “most polished racer I have ever played”

    This is all you need to know about the state of the gaming “media” and how paid reviews still exist.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Reviews aren’t paid, it’s more of a mutually beneficial relationship, and trashing a game would cause the relationship to end, meaning no more review copies two weeks early, no more exclusive access to trailers… etc…

      Like

      1. Electronic Gaming Monthly and Capcom had a fit with each other after EGM gave an average review for the console releases of Super Street Fighter II in early-mid 90’s.

        Like

  2. It’s often telling that when a studio splits, all the talent goes with one team, then all the marketers and personalities go another.

    Like

    1. If you’re having fun, i don’t think it would stop any real appreciation if you have your own opinion.

      It really depends if you believe in the idea of the devs being able to fix the game after you’ve bought it or not, as to wether you give the devs at SMS a free pass to fix the launch problems. especially with the odd decisions about pricing and membership, funding, etc.

      the post’s not trying to claim the game is irredeemably bad, it could be patched. it’s talking about the hype for a game that’s hiding flaws from a potential audience during the release and marketing window.

      it’s for the undecided’s and those with grievances, like the game logic crashing, not being able to start a race, AI crashing into you or pit crews sounds like beta code, or a rushed release. For those who preordered, or read a review of pCars before buying, especially if they have a non-current AMD GPU, they’ve got a game they basically can’t play yet.

      they got boned.

      It’s probably not half as bad as Simcity 2013’s release, that game stopped working after a few hours during the first month for thousands of people, and the online servers are wastelands of tens of thousands of trashed cities. It took them over a year to get the play issues fixed from the release of the game, and it cost Maxis a lot of credibility to push out a broken game to market.

      they had a similar marketing related SNAFU, they never let reviewers play for more than an hour at a time so they’d never see any AI problems or city problems.

      In the era of DLC and GOTY/Dlx Releases, you’re being asked to preorder your DLC as well as the game itself. it depends on how SMS want to roll out apologies, patches or just sell content. I’d rather buy forza, or NFS, or Burnout 4…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Good to see how comments and articles in this little hate blog turned from a cocky ‘This thing will fail’ into epic whining and crying about your unexciting spreadsheet sims on life support don’t get any exposure outside your separation addicted circle of nerds.

    If i was ISI, Kunos, Reiza or iRacing.com, i would be super concerned about the mindset of my followers and how they represent their favourite game in public. Its pathetic.

    Disclaimer: Yes, i bought and own all of the games mentioned before and enjoy them, mildly looking over all the drawbacks and annoyances.

    And yes i’m glad to see a title coming that finally brings this genre forward and will eventually also result in increased interest for your favourites. I hope this tiny corner of the market will turn into something friendly and mature again soon.

    Like

  4. Score Site
    93 playmoments.de
    85 gameinformer.com
    83 PC Gamer
    88 multiplayer.it
    90 spaziogames.it
    90 digitallydownloaded.net
    95 games.it
    86 everyeye.it
    90 netzwelt.de
    90 gamesvillage.it
    85 jeuxactu.com
    80 gamewatcher.com
    80 insidegamer.nl
    60 The Daily Star
    90 gamesurf.tiscali.it
    70 gamesradar.com
    86 vandal.net
    93 hobbyconsolas.com
    80 psu.com
    86 es.ign.com
    87 xboxfront.de
    89 nl.ign.com
    80 level7.nu
    85 pu.nl
    88 meristation.com
    85 gamer.nl
    95 gamesoul.it
    70 trustedreviews.com
    90 gamereactor.eu
    80 hardcoregamer.com
    80 vrfocus.com
    90 The Daily Telegraph
    60 shacknews
    85 venturebeat.com
    85 bit-tech.net
    85 softpedia.com
    90 attack of the fanboy
    80 me.se
    85 gry-online.pl
    85 stevivor.com
    88 gamestar.com
    80 savingcontent.com
    90 gamersglobal.de
    90 gameswelt.de
    90 gameblog.fr
    87 BioGamer Girl Magazine
    100 Examiner.com
    85 ausgamers.com

    Average across 48 reviews : 85.08%

    LOL at this article! xD

    Like

    1. Ehm… Whole point of this article is that reviews are biased, so I fail to see logic in posting metacritic scores even if you do disagree with it.

      Then I do understand doing that just by reading the score and going bananas about it.

      Like

  5. When I initially bought in at the junior level the pitch was that the game would be free if it sold well and would actually pay a few dollars if it sold really well. That turned into a 20% off coupon that will make the game cost $40 plus the initial $12 that I spent for the membership which ends up making the game actually cost more than the $50 it would have if I had never ‘invested’ in the project. What a beautiful scam. (with the kicker being that the dollar amounts are too small to go to court over)

    Like

    1. It was never free to a junior member, always a discount. You will be getting profits from the game sales, and you have free dlc.

      Like

  6. Feeling so comfy right now i didn’t pre order this, shit i’m sure codemasters F1 2015 will also be bad, but not this bad, overall.

    It’s actually the articles i read on this site with it’s more unbiased perspective on things that stopped me getting sucked into any kind of hype, i took a back seat ( kek ) and i’m glad i did at least for the moment while they hopefully have time to sort their shit out, otherwise i’d be trying to enjoy this new game right now, and instead probably be all umad bro.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So, is this supposed to be impressive? Seriously, I thought the big selling point on this game was the awesome graphics, animation, tracks, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. 87 Metacritic store, already more than 10.000 active players on Steam less than 24 hours after launch…. yeah, you told us so!

    Seriously mate, find a new hobby, because you’re wasting your time here 🙂

    Like

    1. Implying those 10,000 active players won’t soon realize the game is a cumdumpster of bugs and start complaining and won’t keep playing. oh but it’s ok because “muh community assisted racing”

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Well..Being fair, there’s no way to tell how many of those are new customers and how many WMD members.

      I don’t know how to feel about this whole thing.
      I used to be a member of WMD and enjoyed being able to see the development of the game.

      Of course, eventually I got a refund and Im sad to see that the physics didn’t really improve a lot, performance continues to be really bad, the game still doesn’t look nearly as good in motion as it does in screenshots and that people are getting a low quality product overall.

      In a way, I hope the project has good sales so the people who invested can get something out of it (expect for Micas, because he’s an asshole). But on the other hand, I can’t help but feel that the project was mismanaged, and that it tried to do way too many things.

      Assetto Corsa came out with just a few cars but they were very polished, and slowly rolled out more content just as good.

      Project CARS continued to announce content day by day, which mademe wonder if they could manage to polish it all up just in time. Turns out, they couldn’t.

      Like

      1. “(expect for Micas, because he’s an asshole)”

        Everything you said is true, however that line is particularly accurate. He was a punk-ass ever since he first appeared on nogrip.

        Like

      2. Look who I found shilling on the NVidia forums:

        Micas:
        “We’ll come back to this after pCARS outsells Arkham Knight.

        Currently #8 top selling game on Steam. Not released yet.

        http://tools.garry.tv/steamchart/?show=234630&range=30

        Not a triple A title? It’s better than Forza.. it’s better than GT. It’s better than Assetto Corsa. It’s better than any other racing game. And you might need to scroll down a ways to find Arkham Knight.. which is going to be a fantastic game, and I’m going to buy it.. but we’re going to out-sell it. ”

        Yeah…poor investments can influence credibility and even perception of reality….

        Like

    3. 10,000 players at launch means nothing, retaining those players would actually mean something – Evolve had 27,000 to start with but two months later struggles to hit 1,000. Most likely this is the highest the player count will ever be, at least until the inevitable Steam sale.

      Like

      1. 10.000 players at launch is…well.. probably just the people that have already funded the game from the beginning.

        Like

    4. What is 10.000 active players at launch? That is basically the number of active community members who have already funded the project. 10.000 active players is ridiculous.

      Like

    5. Whoops. Looks like you’re a bit outdated. Guess you forgot some reviews are on delay so they can investigate further. Sometimes honest reviewers understand that it takes time for inconsistency to rear its ugly head…

      Let’s look at the current scores from metacritic, since you still seem to still have some sort of misplaced belief in such nonsense:

      Shift: 83

      Shift 2: 84

      Project Cars: 85

      What a fantastic relative score! 4 years for a singular point. Clearly, the problem with SMS-developed games turns out to be SMS, not anyone else.

      Like

    6. Oh, and I forgot….

      AS also has a metacritic reviewer score of 85… Guess what the biggest difference is?

      An 8.7 user rating WITHOUT the benefit of thousands of WMD-Shill user reviews!

      Project Cars? 7.3

      If you’re going to use statistics to support your clear SMS-shill behavior, at least find something that doesn’t directly refute your own claims….

      I think knowing your WMD ‘investment’ level would be far more valuable to everyone than your misrepresentation of basic statistics.

      Like

    7. Evolve started out with around 300.000 players on day one and an awesome metascore as well, 2/3 months after release it barely has 3000 players most days and it’s metascore took a nose dive, it’s just a matter of time for everyone but “blind-with-denial” fanboys are the only player base PCars will have.
      Overhyped games usually turn out shit… And this is a historic fact, not an opinion.

      Like

  9. Disappointed that the only shill response is “muh Metacritic score and day-one player count”.

    The development of their fabled revolutionary ultra-realistic dynamical simulator has ended, and it shat out a bugged simcade game that caters to nobody, and is being overshadowed by Dirt Rally. A fucking Codemasters game.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The fact of the matter is, Codemaster’s has done something incredibly surprising. The current state of the default FFB is not the best and the devs have acknowledge it. After manually editing the FFB config, turns out there’s a great, great deal of potential.

      Project cars… Well, let’s just say it’s exactly what I feared it would be when I requested my refund for for my second-lowest toolpack. It wasn’t about the money, it was an expression of increasingly disappointment in SMS. In retrospect, I’m incredibly glad I went through with it and I have far more faith in codemasters getting dirt rally right than I do in SMS ‘fixing’ a title that is fairly intrinsically flawed in a great number of ways.

      After what, 5 bad codemasters titles in a row? Hard to believe what has happened.

      Like

  10. The thing is the bugs can be looked over they arre no stranger for proper race sims, however proper race sims have far more open dev and after ALL that BS cheese filled marketing we get a slightly improved shift 2.

    Before release shills be like “best most advanced sim ever forget ac this wil shit on RF2”

    After release “you race simmers are nerds anyway”, “It was never meant to be a hardcore sim”,” oh all those other car sims are like driving on ice”, “at least can play on controller”, “harder doesnt mean realism” etc etc

    Apparantly your average pleb can smash world records on this game, but harder dont mean realism,right?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Give it to a dev that doesnt charge idiots to do viral marketing for em, or donate to modder of AC or RF2 will get far better bang for buck and you wont be encouraging the dumbing down of a genre.

      Like

  11. Rather donate it to a modder of AC\RF2, or pick up stock car extreme, not reward BS marketing and the dumbing down of a genre.

    Like

  12. I don’t see how this game got those scores with the fucking AI being as bad as it is. This AI is the worst in any racing game I’ve ever played. The same fuckers who gave NASCAR14 low scores for bad AI gave this game high scores and it has the same overly aggressive AI.

    Like

  13. I find your article great and it really shows how SMS has fucked the crowd funding-idea to get peoples money and then develop a game that is against most stuff people were giving their money for, but instead releasing a quite mixed quality mass market-racing game and unfinished product (after 4 years ;)) to get even more money. Ian Bell clearly just was looking for a way to get a money-source do earn even more money and become rich. This guy is not working for gamers, but could easily be in the management of Electronic Arts. They just did an upgraded version of NFS Shift with better (but mixed) physics and still lots of general SMS-problems from previous games.

    I had a smile at the part in your article where you show that lots of people were banned for criticizing the direction of development. I am one of those. At one point, I gave a shit on how much money and time I invested and that I could even get more money back. When I found out in which direction the game was developed, I said my opinion and…guess what….Ian Bell banned me. This guy can´t cleary stand critics about his products. What a weak man.

    And that leads to your other point. WMD has build up like a sect around SMS which, at a certain point, felt very ugly. They were spamming all over the web to find bad critics to strike against and up-vote their game on websites. This community can´t be respected since they are trying to convince you from the opposite whatever you say against Project CARS, like a swarm of ugly bees. They are just blind people not seeing how average their product has become while starting with a much more promising basis, probably because of the money they´ve invested and how much refund they get by sales. I can´t find any other reasonable explanation for their behavior.

    Even more funny. The magazines are giving quite good scores with their pretty superficial reviews (just some of them are very deep and honest and the score shows it), not giving people hints about the selling-strategy and how bugged and incomplete the game is. Ian Bell is selling an unripe fruit with Day-One-Patch, chargeable season pass and DLCs, splitted content for Limited Edition and Pre-Order…..JUST LIKE EA AND OTHER BIG PUBLISHER DO. How funny is that. Ian Bell is criticising publishers for their strategies, just to copy it with a crowd-funded product.

    Man, this guy clearly sucks and has fucked up the crowd-funding idea with publisher-like sale-strategies and empty promises. If there wouldn´t be so much blended WMD-members around, I would say Ian Bell is on the shit list of crowd-funding-fans and sim racing-fans.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is a really disappointing post from you, there are some bad accusations in there. At first I was really disapointed by your ban, and I wasn’t alone, many people from WMD actually wrote that they wanted you back and thought that your ban was unfair, but seeing this post changed my mind.

      Like

    2. I no longer believe for a goddamn second that EA was actually the problem with the shift series. I think everyone without some sort of emotional or monetary investment in pcars can see that now.

      When I checked out the Ferrari title, that’s when I really realized Ian Bell was lying to us at nogrip from the very start.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Game runs a solid 60fps at low/medium on a 7850 for me. Also, its fun and its the best simcade by far on PC. So.. in my case I see no downsides at all here. Btw, the reason why the game gets so much press is because what alternatives are there at the moment? Believe it or not the audience for people who enjoy racing games is vastly larger than the subset of enthusiasts that can only tolerate hardcore simulations.

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    1. the people making it are calling it a simulation, so you’ve basically still admitted they fucked that part up as well.

      Like

    2. That’s fine, and you may be right.

      The problem is Ian Bell did not represent it as simcade, rather as a simulation that can have assists enable for a simcade experience.

      Also, what driver are you running? What with phsyx-induced pipeline latency and clear NVidia-specific optimization, I’m fairly certain you are getting lower performance than even drastically less powerful NVidia hardware.

      Funny how the AS team really hasn’t required any specific attention from AMD. Maybe because they don’t use shitty libraries with pre-compiled binaries intended for amateur developers….

      Like

    3. “..what alternatives are there at the moment?”

      Are you serious? There’s Assetto Corsa, rFactor2, RaceRoom Racing Experience, Dirt Rally and even Stock Car Extreme. All of which have better physics and force feedback.

      And, I’m running the game with nearly all settings on Ultra/High (@ 60+ fps) and, honestly, I don’t think it really even looks all that great. AC is photorealistic by comparison.

      Like

  15. I’m not a shill nor do I own the game, but I think the Dirt Rally guys won this one. Just when you think pCARS is the underdog to Forza Turismo, Dirt Rally was the real underdog all along. Came out of nowhere and delivered a functional game.

    Like

    1. I have a weird stop start stuttering issue with it that others on steam report.

      I cant track the cause but the replay files set to read only helped a bit. I hope the community or codemasters tracks it down because when it does work it brings a smile to my face.

      Like

      1. I hope you can find a solution for this issue soon.

        Currently, the assets don’t appear fully optimized compared to other ego engine implementations. There could be some sort hardware-specific shader optimization that will need to be done.

        Though saying this will unfortunately not help you, I do get very smooth performance at native 2160p. I expect you will have a very enjoyable and consistent experience in the near future.

        When codemaster’s said their next dirt title would be focused on rally, I never, ever expected them to follow through. I really think we are seeing the basis of a true RBR replacement.

        (check out the manual FFB edits posted on some forums, really increased the feedback detail for me while we wait for further tweaks from codemasters)

        Like

  16. These mega res super realistic images we have all seen for years.Are they genuine, or does it require the very best gear?

    I have a GTX 680 and i run 99% on the highest settings it alows me to choose (VHIGH/ULTRA) and happy to get decent 50+fps.I reduced grass to off as its an fps hog and reflection res to medium (which should tn effect any PPIs.My game doesnt even come close to the hype photos. Textures only goes up to High there is no VHIGH or Ultra to choose.

    Look at the screenshots on Steam,and filter them by recent.Then filter them by most popular

    Night and day

    It looks like a SweetFX/DLL injection orgy on the pre release images

    Where the hype ophotos rendered BS or is my GTX 680 simply not diplaying certain ultra realistic PPIs due to its age?

    I always thought you could set any game to what you want,at the expense of FPS.Not being excluded from graphical effects (like you get if your GPU DX version isnt supported)

    Like

    1. Those screenshots are indeed often post-processed and usually downscaled from settings that cannot actually be considered playable.

      Like

  17. Thanks for these reviews…………looks like I saved my self some money. I will stick with rFactor and assetto corsa

    Like

    1. Its great if you have a mind set of Shift 3 and dont buy it on Steam for twice the prive of retail version.

      But it has stupid bugs, and i mean stupid. I did a practise session on Snetterton last night.Spent ages getting a controllable setup for my Clio Cup.

      Now im at Snetterton in my career,guess what. I go into setup section and low and behold my set up isnt saved as the default setup. OK so Ill load it up.

      OOPS we forgot to add that feature,but dont worry its saved as your pit strategy 1st pitstop. Wonderful so i can race properly when i go into the pits and tyou set my car to the setup up i saved last night, just not before hand.

      There are tooltips on each page your ON ,so in setup menu theres a really handy tooltip

      “Setup can help you get better laptimes blah blah. ”

      heres the killer

      “If your in doubt ask your race engineer what to do”

      REALLY!? I thought my race engineer was a lazy cunt that makes me do all the setting up,and onlyappears in my ear with generic information when im on track, and mostly on a bloody corner!

      Did they plan on adding this “talk to the engineer” during Beta? Are they forgetting to re edit tooltips?

      Like

  18. So…I have now had a chance to test the release version of project cars on my system…

    FFB is worse (even after tweaking) than it ever was with the shift series, OR the early dev builds of project cars… Just what the **** happened? It’s not at all immersive.

    Input latency…. There’s at least 5 ms of completely unnecessary input latency in the rendering pipeline. Why? No other title on my machine has this problem, nor have I never had the problem with shift 1 or 2, yet now we are looking at a pretty inexcusable level of latency.

    Graphics, fidelity? HA. That’s a goddamn joke If I’ve ever heard of one. Firstly, I’m running 2160P native. I know what to expect. Project Cars has the absolute worst distant object shimmering and aliasing I’ve yet to see at this resolution. It’s completely unacceptable. The shadows look terrible outside of the magic LOD distance, as do the track decals and all other objects.

    Of course, SMS knows these problems are not clearly visible in screenshots. Their solution? A terrible, terrible post processing implementation that does not resolve the inherent fidelity issue, their implementation only makes it worse.

    Frankly, the game looks like complete rubbish outside of static screenshots. The FBB is terrible. The rendering pipeline latency is inexcusable (regardless of FPS, I’m rendering with decent minimum metrics).

    Honestly, this is ****ing unacceptable. Does no one at SMS have a native resolution above 1080p? The level of immersion is basically non-existent.

    I would choose AS, RF2, dirt: rally or basically anything else over this trash just based on rendering fidelity alone.

    Like

  19. I can confirm that it is impossible to play with a game pad on PC. Overall the game feels cheesy as hell. All hype, no substance. Just like a lot of for-profit universities, they’ve put massive efforts into marketing to get numbers but the actual product is not as advertised.

    Like

  20. We tested gamepad for hundreds, thousands of hours together and we pointed out the problems. Did we get a fix? No we did not. The same problems still exist in gamepad controls as year ago. They wanted to make the game more “user friendly”. That’s when i knew they want this to be just another Simcade rather than full simulator (AC). I was dissappointed. And even today i am dissapponted. I cannot go back in to PC again, i fell in love with AC and laser scanned tracks and…AWESOME gamepad support.

    The gamepad support was good in PC at some point, and the FFB effects were good as well, but something happened.

    Also, about the promotional pictures? They were taken with SweetFX enabled. I said about this in the forums “isn’t this lying to the customers?” Answer was something like “Anyone can get sweetFX” “Well, it IS gameplay image ;)” I think that was just HUGE bullshit.

    What pisses me off the most is that people blame the community members for shitty controls. If i’d be the one to decide, i would not have accepted these controls, we tried at the WMD forums, no one listened. That’s how i felt anyway.

    There was this thread on WMD forums concerning about 360 gamepad that was created in 2013 and is over 300 pages long. So there really was some discussion about the gamepad issues but we never got to talk with anyone who is actually coding the gamepad controls.

    Project cars is still not a bad game, but i am just dissapointed with it. I expected perfection, but what i got is pretty game with flawed controls and boring single player mode.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I agree. It is unfinished shit. Driving is not fun, it is fucking nightmare.

    And I think it is not just pad thing, because physics are weird and random, there is no pattern what you could follow. Rear wheel drive cars are totally fucking impossible to drive, FWDs and AWDs are just random.

    I have drove lot of (real) Escort MK1 and BMW E30 and both are really fun and logical cars to drive. In Project Shit Cars both feels like some fucking roller boards which are impossible to straight up from the drift. I have tried every possible controller setup and that wont help.

    And do you wanna hear some real joke? There is instructions at Project Cars forums for controller setup. You have to make different setup every time, when you change car class. Like if you want to drive carts, you go options and tune steering sensitivy to different than formulas. WTF? I have to fucking change my setup on MAIN SCREEN to play different car? I thought I bougfht car game, not a fucking setuping game.

    However, that really doesn’t bothers, it is just same what you put on the steering setup, you can’t keep cars in the track.

    How is possible there was made lot more realistic simulators severals years ago? Like Enthusia on PS2, it was 1560% more car-a-like than this fucking useless piece of shit. Gran Turismo (any of them) pisses over this rubbish community shit.

    I recommend: DO NOT BUY BEFORE THEY FIX THIS SHIT UP!

    Like

  22. This game boldly proclaimed the itself to be the best racing game ever. New life lesson…this is shit, this is Shinola and this is Project Cars.

    Like

  23. I was interested in the game, but after looking at the comments on a YouTube video, I was like wtf why are these people so toxic, when someone criticized or mentioned that they wanted more sports cars not just lm race cars. It specially cough my attention how everyone defending project cars said the exact same thing, “this is not a driving simulator, its a RACING simulator” or my favorite”if you want more stock cars go with other game, leave this game for us Racing drivers”
    After finding out the sms created cult-like community and investors, in not going to buy any product by SMS.
    Thanks SMS for creating a cult-like closed minded community. And finally thanks to the author now I know why ($$) they (the most likely investor)were closed minded and responding like assholes on YouTube.

    Like

  24. One man found a bug, which perfectly works on PC with GT3 car, if u turn off all assists, lead car into drift and then take full throttle – car will get back to trajectory. After that i stopped to use pcars.

    Like

  25. Man oh, man.. how I wish I would have read this review before I was suckered into purchasing this game. I bought the “Complete” edition… It’s complete alright, complete with bugs, glitches, landmines and mystical physics.

    Like

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