The First Project CARS 2 Trailer

pcars-2-trailer-3It’s supposedly a leak, and not the final production Slightly Mad Studios have intended to upload on a public platform this far ahead of schedule, but proper moving footage of Project CARS 2 has finally graced every major sim racing publication – save for VirtualR, who openly state their allegiance to Slightly Mad Studios – early yesterday morning. Regardless of whether you loved Project CARS for the admittedly hefty return on investment it provided, were indifferent towards its existence, or downright hated it for a plethora of justifiable reasons, there’s a sequel coming later this year, and the marketing push isn’t that far away from kicking off.

As fellow PRC writer Severin Austerschmidt has been invited into the WMD program for Project CARS 2 as a guest of none other than Ian Bell himself, tasked with providing a consistent amount of feedback as the game nears completion, a lot of our readers have been curious as to how we would cover the “release” of this trailer. Would we pretend it didn’t exist, endlessly praise it in a not-so-subtle nod to our alleged overlords at Slightly Mad Studios, or rip it to bits in classic PRC fashion?

Today, I’m here to answer that question.

I don’t think the trailer is very good, and I’m left very underwhelmed by its contents. Yes, I’m aware that this is a “leak” of sorts, and Slightly Mad Studios didn’t intend for it to circulate in this manner, but it was still built primarily to introduce what the game is all about, and they could have done a much better job with the tools they have available. I’m told that this is currently the opening movie for the beta tester version of the game, so it can partially be forgiven that it’s an elaborate artsy-fartsy dickwaving piece primarily showing off fancy weather effects, but in my opinion it just doesn’t convey what an artistic piece of footage centered around Project CARS 2 should be doing this far away from release. You knew it would be in the hands of the general public sooner or later, so why not prepare for that specific scenario?

project-cars-2-trailer-7Let’s get all the fun stuff out of the way first. Yes, there’s Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Ford, the Long Beach Street Circuit, Rallycross, and even a Jaguar XJ220. The commercial success of the first game, coupled with Porsche’s newfound freedom away from the stranglehold of EA’s exclusive license, appears to have exponentially grown the list of content for Project CARS 2. There’s a serious increase in the number of cars and tracks compared to the original release back in 2015, so if the team get it right, there won’t be a shortage of stuff to do. I’m officially recognized as the number one Project CARS critic in the universe, but credit where credit is due, those of you who pick the game up when it releases this fall – or potentially Christmas – will have no shortage of things to race.

But new licenses and a host of impressive new weather effects – including snow and dynamic standing water accumulation – aren’t features that are particularly high on the list of priorities for hardcore sim racers.

And they’re the ones who the game was built for, right?

project-cars-2-trailer-2The first trailer for Project CARS 2 has been directed in a way that appears to introduce what the franchise is about, rather than show off why we should be getting excited about the sequel. I find that to be a bit silly; we already know what kind of game you’re getting with Project CARS – it’s been less than two years since the first one came out, and that was preceded by four years of both traditional previews and elaborate viral marketing campaigns. Project CARS certainly isn’t reaching Enthusia Pro Racing or D1 Grand Prix 2005 levels of obscurity, it’s a franchise that rose from the ashes of Need for Speed Shift & GTR 2, currently poses a very real threat to Gran Turismo on the PlayStation 4, and acts as an alternative to Forza Motorsport on the Xbox One. Composing a trailer nearly identical to the first – with close up shots of new additions to the lineup sitting comfortably in a showroom followed by boring landscape shots and the occasional car whizzing past the camera – does nothing to really blow us away and say “holy shit, when does this come out?”

And that’s very important. You knew your army of WMD members would undoubtedly leak the first moving pictures of this title sooner or later; you can’t have something so underwhelming in the hands of the public. You have to hit them hard and make them say “you know what? I didn’t like the first one because I felt let down by it, but this looks hella cool.”

This is because the original Project CARS wasn’t all that well received by the hardcore sim racing community it was originally built both by and for over a period of four years. Though the game fared well with mainstream publications – who are tasked with reviewing everything from Dark Souls to FIFA and sometimes don’t have the specialty skills to evaluate a hardcore simulator in their arsenal – sim racers who were originally hoping to use Project CARS as their go-to simulator for the next couple of years came away from the product fairly disappointed with the end result. Issues with nVidia’s PhysX plugin often resulted in bizarre irregularities like what you see documented above, whereas traditional users like myself not intentionally trying to break the game found the Career mode very bare-bones, the artificial intelligence well off-pace, and the menus extremely confusing – and that’s before we get to the actual driving portion. I’m not saying the entire game is a write-off, but for everything Project CARS got right, it got three other elements horrendously wrong, and a lot of users felt burned by it. Some cars were a lot of fun, others were downright perplexing in how they handled. Some tracks were incredibly accurate, others – like Sonoma Raceway in northern California – were anything but.

It wasn’t what a lot of people expected after four years in development, and because of this, they’re justifiably weary about the sequel. Introducing the game to the world with a near identical trailer that showcases visual fidelity above all else does nothing to calm our fears about the upcoming product.

Where’s the field of AI cars slicing and dicing among each other, now sticking to the track limits instead of aimlessly wandering into barriers they shouldn’t even contemplate running into. If there’s something as complex as standing puddles, please tell me there’s a dynamic racing line as we’ve seen in other simulators such as rFactor 2 and iRacing. You don’t need to tell us it exists with some length explanation in a developer diary, show it to us in action. Yes, you’ve acquired the Long Beach Street Circuit… but can we race IndyCars there? Give us a brief shot of Graham Rahal’s Honda tearing up the final sector. Let’s see cars rubbing fenders without being glued to each other and shooting off into the barrier. How about a clip of mixed class racing with a field of competitors that’s appropriate for the given discipline? Sim racers had to create their own app just to arrange an appropriate field of AI cars for endurance racing events… Will they have to do the same in Project CARS 2?

You don’t have to acknowledge the flaws of the first release and publish a list of things you fixed in the trailer to satisfy thirty people on RaceDepartment – merely show us things that weren’t possible in the original game. As a customer, I want to see “oh shit, they got oval racing AI working after not including it in the first game, I’m pumped!” A McLaren P1 sitting in a dark showroom does nothing to retain my interest after I’ve seen the same McLaren sitting in Forza’s showroom… and Assetto Corsa’s showroom… and DriveClub’s showroom… That sort of thing.

Yes, there were a lot of new cars, tracks, and weather options. Hooray! More things! All the things! Exclusive things!

But I didn’t learn anything about the sequel, and that really matters when many placed the first rendition of Project CARS firmly in the ehhhhhh territory. The bottom line is that I wasn’t captivated by what I saw. It was structured in the same manner as the original; cars in a showroom, look at these pretty graphics, and extreme close-ups featuring mere snippets of racing action where everything held together just long enough for it to be included in the video. I wanted to know why I should get excited about this game, and this trailer never once brought me to that point. Sure, it’s something internal, created as a placeholder or whatever, but Slightly Mad Studios knew one of their rabid fans would send it out to the general public sooner rather than later.

Didn’t they?


79 thoughts on “The First Project CARS 2 Trailer



  1. The only good thing about that trailer is the inclusion of the BMW E21 and Porsche 935, both in Group 5 spec. That’s good. But we have the DRM mod already, that’s shitting on everything else.


    1. Enjoying gaming on your IBM model 5150? As why would you have anything newer, since there’s always something better coming next year 😀 Two-Three years is a good release cycle IMO, it gives you enough time to play when the game comes out, get bored of it, find it again next year, get bored again, see a new game of a genre you like coming out, buy it, rinse and repeat. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So naughty WMD members are only leaking fancy screenshots and trailers but no actual gameplay from the game they’ve been playing for a year. Right…


    1. Exactly, all the “leaks” so far are game promoting stuff. Not one juicy drama news worth leak. Not even a normal gameplay leak… why? Because SMS doesn’t want people to leak that yet, only promotional pictures, videos, and features list.


      1. Lol. You know that you’re a bad conspiracy theorist when you think that some random footage with ripped music from a Pirates of the Caribbean 5 trailer was meant to be public.


  3. Well as a graphics presentation, this trailer looks nice that’s for sure. However, seeing things like dynamic water accumulation and changing seasons makes me think that once again, SMS have focused on the wrong areas. I couldn’t care less about driving around Brands Hatch in the winter, sorry. I can’t help but think the resources and time that have been put into those features could have been better spent on getting the driving model into better shape. As it is, I would not be surprised in the least if this is another simcade title in the vein of the first pCARS and the NFS Shift games. Of course, SMS will probably keep telling us they have the most advanced sim out there, and that will continue to piss people off when it ends up not being the case.


    1. I´ve never seen a physics coder working on visual effects like weather and water. So how are these resources have been put in the wrong place?


      1. The problem obviously isn’t about having staff working in areas they aren’t qualified to work in. More like allocating more time and money to work on visual aspects while setting less ambitious goals for the physics. Or maybe it is an issue where they really could use to hire another physics guy but instead choose to bring on another person in the art department. Point is the graphics weren’t the problem and although improved graphics don’t necessarily preclude the possibility of improved physics, making this game into a proper sim doesn’t seem to be on the agenda.


        1. I don´t think it has anything to do with too few employees for physics-department. They have two physics-pros + several employees to develop the codes and system for it in the engine. The problem is more or less that either, they are just not able to create any natural and believable physics or they just don´t want to.


        2. The physics was never the problem with PC1. It was how this translated into the FFB. That was by far and away the biggest issue to how the cars felt. Sure there were other issues with the tyre model, but that was still the #1 problem.

          FFB has been addressed in PC2 and is still being worked on. Also don’t forget that SMS also mentioned that the entire team has grown significantly this time around, so there is a lot more money and resource to change a lot of things.

          I’ve not had chance to try it yet, but the first time you see the standing water model actually building up with water, is a real open mouthed “wow” moment. Hopefully driving through the water will work just as well.


  4. BTW I have PC Don’t particularly like it. It has been shelved after 30hs. Not particularly interested in PC2 and I would need some serious convincing, balanced reviews and recommendations to get my attention now. But certainly no postings here will swing me either way.


  5. Anyone remember these?


    But apparently SMS is now on board with all these “leaks”. PRC, where’s your marketing dishonesty exposed article? Were you bought by SMS?

    Of course this new stuff worked for them, everyone now knows what pcars2 will be and include, at least in the big picture.

    Ian Bell if you’re reading this: You could have just released some visual previews and details about the new game’s features instead of these “leaks”. But I bet the official stuff is reserved for E3 this year.

    One thing I don’t understand James, if all these devs and all these games are so bad, why are you helping promoting them? Paradox, of some sort.


  6. Yeah, all in all, it doesn’t matter to me what licenses and tracks and whatever they put in this one unless they fix the AI and offer a (likely optional) more forgiving tire model without constant spinouts in some vehicles. Those were my concerns and they remain. Trying to go “OOH LOOK IT’S PRETTY” again was what caused the first one to mess up, in my book.


      1. Sorry, but I can’t. And, honestly, I don’t like that video because It doesn’t do Pcars 2 justice.
        I’d just like to say that I love Pcars (in spite its many bugs) and I think that, right now, Pcars 2 is better or much better than Pcars in all of its aspects. But it is only my opinion, an many things can change before the release, for better or (I hope not) worse.
        I’m not going to try to sell you the game, better wait until a demo or extensive reviews.


        1. Although I think James’ arguments are reasonable, I thought the trailer was well done.

          The weather effects were compelling enough that I (momentarily) forgot that I couldn’t careless about racing in a blizzard.

          I’m also pretty sure I saw a Japanese works, or 1970s IMSA Datsun 240-280Z racecar flash by, which is very intriguing.


  7. Looks to be another eye candy affair where visuals will take front seat over the basic fundamentals of physics

    Nothing to see here, won’t get burnt twice learnt my lesson with PCARs NEVER AGAIN


  8. I wont stretch your asshole any wider James, I felt you covered this shit show appropriately. I just cant wait to read the reactions if your able to get your hands on a review copy, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. faaaaaaaark I thought I was negative towards Pcars , ” looks up ! ”

    ruecas comments do not up my enthusiasm for what’s coming .


    1. It is the best you can do, don’t speculate and wait for the final product. I am enjoying Pcars 2 in its actual, unfinished state, but there are still so many things to do/fix/improve/add that it is too early to come to any conclusion.


  10. ruecas you just didn’t seem to enthusiastic my friend , I realise its too early to come to any conclusions and I haven’t .

    I will buy the game without question as I do most racing titles ………… we will see how that pans out.


    1. I am seeing improvements in every aspect of the game compared to Pcars.
      For me, and I stress for me, default FFB is much better than in PC1, road feel is much better, weight feel and weight transfer, tires, car-to-car collisions, sounds, many cars feel different for the better…Of course, there are bugs and glitches here and there, but I don’t take that into account, there is still a lot of work to do. Is all of this stuff better enough for those who don’t like PC1? I don’t know.


  11. I’ve actually been enjoying the shit out of pCARS ever since I recently reinstalled and found some fantastic new FFB settings for my TX wheel. If they had just included these FFB settings in the first place, I wouldn’t have needed to wait over a year to actually enjoy the damn game.

    I’m serious. pCARS went from being a complete fucking joke to possibly my favorite driving sim. I never thought I would say that. If anyone here is interested in those FFB settings, let me know.


      1. Can’t you come up with anything beyond this repetitive “circle jerk” nonsense?

        Anyway. I haven’t been here that long, but hasn’t this site posted a shitload of criticism of the disaster that was pCARS? I just said the game was undriveable for *over a year* after release. The FFB was actually great during the final beta phase, then they somehow totally fucked it up. I decided to give it one last try by deleting every last scrap of pCARS and reinstalling. That didn’t help much. So, I went on a Google search for FFB settings and lucked out.

        In the year since the game released, people have managed to work out the correct settings for a variety of wheels. I got the settings for a T300 (closest I could get to my TX) and…Holy Fuck.

        Best FFB of any of my games. I’m at work but will post up those settings and the link to the page where it aggregates all the settings for the various wheel types.


        1. So, any chance of you posting the link? I don’t have T300, just a lowly DFGT, but FFB is the biggest reason I don’t play PC much, I just can’t feel the car, so I’m willing to try pretty much anything that might be an improvement…


      1. Hey, here are those settings:

        Thrustmaster Control Panel (I actually just set them all at 100 and it feels fine to me, the important bit is the in-game FFB settings):

        Overall Strength: 80-100
        Constant: 100
        Periodic: 100
        Spring: 80
        Damper: 60

        Project Cars:
        Force Feedback 100

        Tire Force 75
        Per Wheel Movement 0.00
        Per Wheel Movement Squared 0.00
        Wheel Position Smoothing 0.02
        Deadzone Removal Range 0.10
        Deadzone Removal Falloff 0.01
        Linkage Scale 0.00
        Relative Adjust Gain 1.50
        Relative Adjust Bleed 0.10
        Relative Adjust Clamp 0.85
        Scoop Knee 0.83
        Scoop Reduction 0.18
        Soft Clipping (Half Input) 0.00
        Soft Clipping (Full Output) 0.00
        Menu Spring Strength 0.40
        Slow Speed Spring Coefficient 0.90
        Slow Speed Spring Saturation 0.90
        Steering Gain 1.00 TS-PC / 1.15 T300 (For my TX, I set this to 1.25 and it seems better).

        Then, you need to use the “Jack Spade” FFB files. There’s a bunch of different types, but these are the best:

        Jack Spade: Folder 2. “Fy+SopLateral Mix”

        Here’s the link to the Jack Spade FFB files (currently v3.1):

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Good luck. Only tricky part is the Jack Spade FFB files. Just to be clear, you take the ones in the “Fy+SopLateral Mix” folder and put them in a folder you will create named FFB in your “C/Users/User Name/My Documents/Project CARS” folder. The zip file explains it all pretty well.

            I think you’ll really enjoy it. FFB feels quite lively, sort of like a cross between R3E and AMS. Physics on the 2 Group 5 cars feels spot-on to me, but what do I know? I’ve driven a 500hp RWD car with a live axle and rock-hard suspension, and I can say that the Zakspeed in the game certainly seems about right: You get that same goddamn skittering from the live axle when you try to accelerate, turn and hit a bump all the same time. You basically can have that axle doing 2 things at once – but not all 3!

            It’s fun as shit, especially on a damp track with 20 other cars. AI is kinda nuts, though. Way too aggressive and suicidal. Oh well, that just makes it more like a real online session if you ask me 😉


        1. Ah, so you’re basically just using Jack Spade files with some tweaks to the base settings. OK. Thanks anyway. Guess I’m out of luck to get FFB settings that work for me in PC, given that I don’t find Jack Spade files that useful, it still feels flat and lifeless to me 😦


          1. Jack Spade gives tweaks to the base settings in an info text file inside the zip for using together with his files.
            And using his settings and files with a T300 gives a spot-on FFB in a lot of cars. I don’t mind what people think about Pcars, it’s and excellent sim, in spite its bugs.


            1. I don’t mind what people think about PCars (nor any other game really) either, I just can’t feel what the car’s doing, even with Jack Spade’s files and tweaks. No amount of FFB tweaking seems to change that fact. Which means it’s quite frustrating to play for me (especially when combined with the suicidal AI).


              1. You need to use the *correct* Jack Spade files. Each set is quite different. You also need to use the settings I posted. Note that those settings are for Thrustmaster wheels. I’d advise you to go here:


                That’s where I got the settings for Thrustmaster. The thread also has settings for other wheels. It’s a lot of fucking work, and it took from May 2015 until now for me (and others) to finally get it all working right. It’s ridiculous, but I now have FFB that’s easily as good or better than any of my other sims.

                One key is “Arm Length”. That’s a per-car, per-track setting (Jesus, how fucked up) that needs to be adjusted *on every car* to about 2/3 the way to the right. Except on some cars, where you don’t have to adjust it. Confused yet?

                There is one great thing about it. You can use that Arm Length setting to dial out the “All the FFB in the middle, none at the edges” feel that Pcars FFB tends to have otherwise. The more Arm Length is set to the left, the more the FFB is crowded into the middle of wheel deflection. The more you move it to the right, the more spread out the FFB becomes – at the price of losing some detail in the middle.

                Get it dialed in right, and it’s amazing. But it takes literally hours of experimentation within the game. I resorted to keeping a notebook with me and noting down all the values. Why? Because Pcars doesn’t even allow you to save different setups at the same track. So, for each track and each car, you can exactly *one* setup. And if you make any changes, you need to manually write down the old settings because they get overwritten.

                It’s an unbelievable cluster-fuck and I haven’t seen anything so bad since I played some text adventure in the 80’s where you couldn’t save your game – they gave you a long code that you had to write down and then re-enter if you wanted to resume the game (I think early Nintendo carts has this too).

                They went to all this trouble. This game with great graphics and sound. Full VR support. Reasonable physics (depends on the car). And then they failed to include a very basic feature that’s been on every single racing game since…I dunno – maybe ever: The ability to save Setups. Fuckm even Forza has always allowed this. I had like 10 different settings for a lot of cars in FM4.


                1. I’ve tried all Jack Spade files variants and multiple different base settings as well. Didn’t really help. It gets better than the base setup, yeah, but still not good enough for me.

                  As for spending countless hours tweaking to feel the car properly, I guess I don’t have enough time and patience to do that. I do appreciate the tips and maybe I’ll try to do a bit more tweaking, but honestly I’m not holding my breath at this point.

                  And yes, their setup system is absolutely horrible.


  12. Say what you want about LFS. It has a more advanced replay interface than pCars, hahhaa.. WTF SMS?? Not to mention the engine sound issues in pCars if you run out of fuel then watch the replay, car has no engine sound because its stuck in out of fuel mode, hahahaha.

    I spent some money on pCars. 6 months after release they announce pCars 2.WTF ?? Fools are chasing money! Fool me once, ha! Never again suckas!!!


    1. Get a grip. They announce that the team are starting to look at the next game, which won’t land for over 2 years after PC1 shipped, and you think that’s bad??

      All developers who intend to develop sequels do this. Just look at CoD, BF, Forza, GT, F1, Assassins Creed, GoW, Final Fantasy, etc. They have to be financially viable development houses after all.

      Now if they had said they would release PC2 within 12 months of PC1 launch, then I’d have been pretty unhappy too, but they didn’t.


  13. Interesting comments on pCARS from the man behind the Unofficial Community Patches for NFS Shift 1 & Unleashed:

    “As I’ve dug into pCars, there are so many problems. Incorrect spindle positioning in the suspension files, excessively high spindle/wheel mass in suspension files, Road chassis files that were reused for GT3 class cars that have most aero parameters disabled (failure to configure by SMS), diffusers that yield no actual downforce when checked with livetrace report, body inertia far too low on every car, failure to properly account for friction losses….I can keep going with all of the problems. Since there have been calibration issues with NFS shift, S2U and Pcars, how can anyone expect anything better from pCars2?

    So, who cares what pCars/Pcars2 looks like visually with multiple screens or VR, when the calibrations of the physics are so poorly done?”


  14. SEV is under DNA right ? So PRC is under DNA right ? So You are all f***ed. You won t be able to make your criticism like they were till release. The only solution you found is to act that you are not different than before…(like the tone of this article).


  15. These guys are idiots. In PCARS braking distances on the wet were 100.001% of the dry ones. Intermediate tyres were useless in most classes. And instead of announcing wet weather actually feel like wet and making compounds work, they announce dynamic puddles.


    1. Huh? I just ran an 30 lap race last night at Donington in light rain and we were slipping all over the fucking place. What are you basing this on? It felt exactly like driving a car in wet conditions, but not enough to hydroplane (plus, these were Group 5 cars with plenty of downforce).

      The first 2 laps were incredibly tough, as the tires were cold. After that, it got somewhat better but my braking points were completely different vs in the dry. It felt pretty damn realistic to me.

      Can you point to a specific car and tire where this happens? Just curious.

      Some of the cars seem great (the Gr5 Zakspeed, Gr 5 BMW and the Renault A442B), while the street cars in particular have fucked up tires that feel like NFS Shift 2 all over again.


      1. Monza. Turn 1. Heavy rain. Lotus 98T. I read about a compliant from a guy claiming to be braking later than modern F1 cars do in real life in similar weather. I didn´t believe it.

        Then I tried and compared to Monza 2008 qualifying braking points from onboard cams. And it was true, I could brake like 50 meters later than them in a shit box from the 80´s that arrived faster to the braking zone and should have taken far, far, far longer to stop.


  16. They should have just improved PC1,now i already see a dead franchise if it is based on sequels only to make big sell money initially but no physics improvements implemented. Guess it will be just another “Call of Duty syndrome” kind of thing sequel after sequel, more fancy graphics, pseudo weather simulation probably without windscreen wipers anyway, night and day simulation which is only relevant for 24h races. Fuckn stick to developing the phisycs concentrate on the tyre model and vehicle dinamycs geez we dont need a sequel every 2 years we need a proper CAR Platform for any type of cars, entirely moddable, customisable etc.give us more than a pretend sim.


    1. Who says they did not improve physics? It makes complete sense to do a sequel, they can make more money that way & give us a more complete game. I mean how long is it going to take them to get Assetto Corsa to implement basic features as well as more complex ones like weather that in truth will never happen. Are you so tight you can spend a few dollars on a new game every few years that’s less than the sum of a night out on the piss.
      And James is a complete spastic as this is clearly not a trailer as he point out but then goes to criticise it as if it is one. Completely pointless article, almost as shit as the one where he writes about some random guy trolling on you tube.




  18. Just to correct someone in the comments here regarding S2U UCP. I’m the original author (co-author with Matt2380) and I provided most of the initial content for the patch. Ermo just became the UCP maintainer, after Matt and I moved on. And yes, every game SMS makes is a bug ridden, typo filled, physics screwed mess. Trust me..I’m the guy that actually digs into these games.


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