Happy Birthday: Project C.A.R.S. Is One Year Old

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a car, but they’re pretty clever things. Most people use them for staying out of the rain and storing obsolete cassette tapes and CDs in. Apparently, though, they can even be made race each other, which has been the topic of simulation for Project C.A.R.S., which is a crowd-sourced(ish) game developed by Slightly Mad Studios. That project is now one year old. It’s started to take its first steps, and can even say a few words. Bless. The team have talked proudly about its accomplishments, saying: “The title’s content has been expanded broadly as well as over 26 cars and 36 tracks are already available in Project CARS. Several high-profile car manufacturers have joined the game as Project CARS will feature vehicles from manufacturers such as BMW, Ford, Briggs Automotive Company, Classic Team Lotus, Gumpert & Ginetta among others.”

A rather fetching celebratory video can be found below. If you like shiny cars going quite fast, then it’s worth a look.


  1. wodin says:

    Car racing games don’t half look amazing these days..trouble is I’m useless at them. Doesn’t help I can’t drive in RL either.

  2. iteyoidar says:

    I’ve been playing the alpha versions for a while, though not the most recent updates, and I really hope this thing is successful. It’s the first PC racing game I’ve played that feels like a simulator without being mind-numbingly dull.

  3. Bonedwarf says:

    Been a paid up member since January. Each weekly build varies. Occasionally the controls go to hell, and last week the AI went utterly mad, but it’s an amazing sim so far, and is far FAR better than anything bloody ISI have done with rFactor 2. (Not that I’m bitter paying for a sim that has remained largely stagnant during this alleged beta… No siree…)

    • derbefrier says:

      IF you wouldn’t mind I have a question. How does this game compare to say the forza or Gran Turismo series? Are they similar in that the vehicles are heavily customizable from parts, to gear ratios, tire width and all that kind of stuff? I have been looking for a suitable PC replacement that has the vast selection of cars that the established console games do but cant seem to find one or alternately if a game like that already exists in a finished state for PC what is it?

      • Apex Pony says:

        It’s definitely more realistic than Gran Turismo has ever been, I’ll tell you that much. It probably won’t have the upgrading like GT has (I don’t know if it will, but I doubt it), but the setups are much more in-depth, even overwhelming after playing a game like GT. The driving is, while more realistic, a lot more fun, too, and not the glidy nonsense which plagued the Shift games, which were also developed by Slightly Mad. pCARS also already blows GT out of the water audiovisually and the game isn’t anywhere near finished yet.

        • derbefrier says:

          cool sounds like something I would be interested in. I like the deep customization aspect of the console games but its not a gamebreaker if this doesnt have it. I will give this game a shot.

        • Miltrivd says:

          Do you think the game is playable with gamepad? Despite its shortcomings I’ve enjoyed SHIFT 2 immensely but I do not own a racing wheel and I don’t have the budget to buy a decent one for now.

          • Bonedwarf says:

            pCars is being designed for consoles as well, so yes.

          • fr3d says:

            Perfect time for me to do some shameless selfpromotion:
            link to youtube.com

            The two newest are with all assists on the others are with assists off. The latest build 322 made playing with a gamepad a lot better, its still pretty hard without assists but its not impossible like it was before.

        • Cigol says:

          I think the Formula 2 cars in RF2 are pretty sweet personally, and that properly dynamic track is not to be sniffed at either. Will check out pCARS when it’s further along. It looks impressive at a glance but I’ve heard bad things about the controls/handling so I’m in no rush to sign up to another beta (seems all racing sims these days are just that, even Gran Turismo, lol)

          • Bonedwarf says:

            The occasional build has the controls go bananas, but it’s fairly solid. Don’t listen to the whiny fuckwagons out there. The sim community is brimming over with worthless twats who bitch about everything. Aside from the occasional build that goes nuts as I said, the controls are solid. I love them. They work fine with my DFGT. My mates with pCars have no issues either.

            And the setup options are very in depth. Definitely on the sim side, though you can cheerfully ignore them all and still have a blast.

            Finally, those who say “Oh it’s arcade” are talking out of their arses. I’ve been a hardcore sim racer for over a decade now and those who go on about realism… Unless I get to smash their legs with a sledgehammer when they crash in a game, need to SHUT THE FUCK UP!

            In short pCars is well worth dropping the lowest tier of money ($10 I think) for a monthly build to give it a look. It’s better value than iRacing (which I just quit due to them not policing total fuckwits) and RF2. (Which still amounts to almost nothing, content wise.)

            Speaking of RF2, they promised there’d be a six month beta when it was released, so gave an extra six months of online access if you didn’t buy the lifetime pass. Since then almost nothing has happened. There’s been a few additions, but they keep fucking with the mod packaging format, there’s almost no mods out, barely any track additions. The ONLY part I’ve enjoyed is historic Formula cars at Spa and Monaco, but even then they haven’t included enough skins to have a good full field ONE CLASS race without duplication. I find that omission alone staggering.

            I’ve gone back to GPL for my 60’s F1 fix for now. I dearly want RF2 to be the success RF1 was as the game is superb. There’s just bugger all content.

        • dsi1 says:

          @Miltrivid: I’ve only played this game with a gamepad, obviously it can’t be as precise as a wheel, but I am competitive.

        • ChromeBallz says:

          At the moment i’d say it’s similar. You gotta remember that GT5 does what it does on PS3 hardware – The car models there do look better at the moment imho, but CARS comes incredibly close, it only really loses on the very fine details which GT simply does better (same with Forza tbh).

          Still, looking forward to this. My experience with sim racing went from Grand Prix 2 to pretty much nothing to GT, so i don’t really know what to expect :)

          Competition for iRacing maybe though>

  4. sharks.don't.sleep says:

    The sound of that early Formula 1-type cars! Eargasm.

  5. Bremze says:

    I’ve been meaning to get into this and I see that the game supports my trusty old Sidewinder FF wheel. Does this game suffer from the “asphalt is ice and grip is for the weak” mentality many racing sims are guilty of?

    • iteyoidar says:

      The cars feel like they have a lot of grip compared to most other racing games. It’s hard for me to say what they should feel like since the only cars in the game right now are lightweight racing cars with ultra-wide tires. Some of the older ones are pretty difficult to drive, but in cars like the Zonda the challenge is more in being able to actually push the car to its limits than to keep it driving in a straight line.

  6. Tim James says:

    If you’re more of a track guy than a car guy, do a Youtube search for the California Highway track.

  7. doklarok says:

    As it stands pCars is head and shoulders above other titles already!, and its still only 1 year into developement. The game is really starting to take off with new additions every week.
    All it takes is $10 / £8 to join the project. A community driven PC racing title that is already fantastic.
    Just check the videos available by Jonz and Halcyon on youtube and remember it can only get better.

  8. cHeal says:

    I disagree that it can only get better, because I’ve actually been on the forums and seen the insane discussions going on regarding game design. So far the developers are doing a decent job, hope they ignore the forums because 99% of it is people wanting an option to have this or that. Stuff that 99.9% of people wouldn’t want, but because its an option there appears there can be no argument against its inclusion.

    Anyways for the right now, what’s currently there its pretty epic. €10 and i’m racing DTM’s, Lotus 49’s, and stock cars regularly and its just great fun. I find the handling solid, but I’m not a twat about such things. For me, the handling just needs to be solid and feel right. Simulated rather than emulated, but I won’t have a spaz attack if the physics aren’t 100%, as long as they make the effort to model suspensions and brakes and tyre temps and all that, I’m happy enough. At the moment that is how they are going with it. Not 100% yet but its solid and fun.

    More important really is the AI, which is the “game” part of this. If the AI sucks like in the codemaster F1 games then I find it basically impossible to enjoy the game. What’s the point in doing a 2 hour race if the AI loses or wins because its code is buggy as sh*t? Pointless. It must be fair and it must be a challenge. In this area, CARS still has a hell of a lot to do. First corner accidents are common and the AI is a light on situational aware-ness. It’s crap basically.

    However the game isn’t even yet setup for proper AI, it’s still very much about testing functionality and if you can survive the first corner then the AI is fun to race against, just far too prone to hitting you when they shouldn’t. However it’s just basically impossible to tell how much improvement there will be in this area. Will the AI ever be right? Who knows, I see people on the forums already apologizing for the fact it won’t have good AI by saying good AI is impossible with current technology, even though Geoff Crammond achieved the feat back in 1996.

    Worth €10 for sure. I bought two F1 games in the past few years off Codemasters and have played pCARS more than both of them put together.

    Also the Lotus 49 is an absolute joy to master.

  9. SelfEsteemFund says:

    It looks/sounds EXACTLY the same as Shift 2, they’re even using most of the same models + tracks too so I’m assuming it’s still using the same poor engine? Comes across like they just used the pc community to fund a multi-platform Shift 3..

    Does anyone know if they ever fixed the ridiculous delay in Shift 2 or is that game still broken?

    • grundus says:

      I promise you, all that was bad about Shift 2 is gone. It’s the same graphics engine (you can’t deny the game was pretty to look at) but the physics are completely new and the tyre model has recently been changed, they’re saying it’s so complex that the console version will use the model they had been using up to the last update.

      Seriously, Shift 2 was EA’s fault and EA has nothing to do with Project CARS. Oh and I don’t think they fixed the delay in Shift 2, early builds of pCARS had the same latency but it was removed aaaaaaaaages ago.