Nearing The Finish Line: Project CARS Gamescom Trailer

Videogames' best puddles.

There’s all kinds of things I like to pretend I’m above, like throwing recyclable materials in the normal rubbish when there’s no space left in the recycling bin. I feel no need to pretend that I’m above loving some shiny videogame graphics, though. The Project CARS Gamescom trailer is, like every image of the in-development racing game, absurdly gorgeous. And embedded below, obv.

It was unexpected when racing games took pole position in the race towards photorealistic videogames, stealing the mandate from first-person shooters and speeding away before any other genre could catch up. Project CARS has other claims to fame – an unusual, pre-Kickstarter crowdsourced development model, and a broad variety of different motorsports included – but it’s the absurd collection of reflective surfaces, particle effects and physics wobbles that make me want to climb into its cockpit.

Project CARS is being developed by Slightly Mad Studios, those makers of the EA-published Need for Speed: Shift. If you don’t remember it, Shift (and its oddly named sequel, Shift 2: Unleashed) found a racing line midway between hardcore simulation and the arcade-y, accessible handling the Need for Speed series was better known for. It was also extremely pretty.

Project CARS isn’t being backed by any publisher, having instead been funded by its developers and the community. Unlike the now standard Kickstarter/IndieGoGo model, those community members who bought-in into the project will see a share of the profits made by the game during its first two-years of release. They shouldn’t have too long to wait either, as the game is due to launch before the end of the year.

Geez, this post is written like I just discovered driving metaphors. I will set that habit to neutral now, and hope you overtake me in the comments.


  1. CookPassBabtridge says:


  2. DrManhatten says:

    Looks good but I think Metal Gear Solid 5 edges it out in the looking good department!

  3. Cinek says:

    I love visuals in this game. Really delightful, on every single trailer and gameplay video I seen so far. Really hope this game won’t fail…

  4. battles_atlas says:

    Please tell me Project Cars has an upgrade mechanic. Without that incremental reward system that Gran Turismo did so well I just find all racing games a bit directionless (yeah, I just did that).

    • battles_atlas says:

      Oh wow I got mechanic in there too without even noticing.

    • iainl says:

      Really? That’s the bit I don’t like about Gran Turismo – if I want to go faster, I’d rather buy a faster car than have to mess with the design the manufacturer had.

      • battles_atlas says:

        So play any racing game on the PC, because every damn one lacks this, even though you’d imagine us desktop nerds should be a natural habitat for such things

        • iainl says:

          I agree, but the one thing console racers like GT and Forza can offer that we don’t have on PC is the kind of ludicrous budget to put reams and reams of licenced vehicles in the game. pCars seems to be going down the “relatively few vehicles, modeled wonderfully” route, too.

          Which does have its merits – I’m more just hanging off waiting to see whether I want this or Assetto Corsa.

    • Keyrock says:

      I’m not too keen on an upgrade system, though it wouldn’t bother me much if it was in the game. What I would like to see is detailed tuning. Stuff like camber, brake bias, shocks adjustments, gear ratios, etc.

      • Gothnak says:

        See, i hate tuning a car, however, i’d like it abstracted enough that you employ a mechanic or team of mechanics who gradually try tuning the car differently based on your driving style and lines around the track. You then work with them to either change your style or change the car setup to suit it. However, if i have to set the wing angle or camber or anything like that, i just fall asleep.

        • derbefrier says:

          For those that hate upgrading and tuning cars(if those people really exist) they could just take a page from Forza’s book and let players sell(or give away, or trade, or whatever)tuning kits on a marketplace. Its pretty cool on forza 2 and works well. I am like the OP though I won’t even look at a racing game that won’t let me tune or upgrade parts anymore, unless its a pure arcade racer but if it claim in anyway to be a sim and doesn’t have this feature I aint interested as that half the fun for me.

          • Gothnak says:

            Upgrading is ok, that’s just like pressing a ‘Make Better’ button. Tweaking is having to try out different values for everything, going out onto the track and then tweaking again. That isn’t fun, i just want to race.

      • ikehaiku says:

        There is extensive setup possibilities – as much as any other sims out there.

    • ikehaiku says:

      As far as I know, there is no upgrade mechanism – unless they put something like it in the career mode sometimes before release, but I really much doubt it.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      Yeah I agree with this. I also hope that you gradually unlock vehicles in the same way that GT does things where you start off in some slower stuff and gradually work towards faster, better cars. It keeps the gameplay fresh while incrementally increasing the challenge. Compare that to a lot of racing games (especially on PC) where you are limited to a choice between a lineup of near identical touring cars (for example) which, in my opinion, has much less longevity.

      • Artificial says:

        Definitely agree with this. The last GT I played was 4, and then all the other racing games I’ve played since that have been mainly PC arcade racers. I love that in GT you used to start off with some tank of a car like a Chrysler GT Cruiser and slowly won better cars, or earned money to buy different cars to enter different types of races.

        It’s so boring in games like Grid 2 where all of the cars just feel pretty much the same, and might as well all be imaginary fantasy cars that are just made up. I find it more enjoyable racing cars I see out on the road every day, at least at the start of racing games anyway.

        • Skrallex says:

          That’s what I like about Forza 5 (from the little I have played of it). Almost all the starting cars I see most days where I live (i.e. Toyota GT 86. God there are a million of those here, all those Uni students who can somehow afford them because rich parents).

  5. AshRolls says:

    I’m really interested in the ‘sandbox’ type gameplay for the career mode of pCars. I’m hoping it pulls a full world simulation along the lines of the Football Manager games.

  6. PopeRatzo says:

    Man, if they could do a project cars except an open world Criterion-style arcade racing game, with billboards and stunts and road-rage mode, I’d write a blank check.

    I really don’t like posting the same thing all the time, but I keep hoping that some game dev mover or shaker will be slumming here and read it and see that there is at least some interest in this type of game more than one every third year.

    • Keyrock says:

      Lots of people want Burnout Paradise 2.

    • grimdanfango says:

      So basically what you’re saying is:
      “Man, if only they could do a project cars that was the complete antithesis of project cars and didn’t bear even a passing resemblance to it…”

      Nothing wrong with such a game… but what would it have to do with Project Cars?

    • DeathCarrot says:

      Unfortunately, if it was CARS with ramps then you’d kill your suspension after the first jump. :)
      But yeah, it’s odd there aren’t really (m)any open world games that are made for steering wheels rather than gamepads, on PC anyway. As it happens the games I’ve played the most the past couple of weeks are CARS, Assetto Corsa and Burnout Paradise so it’s not like you can’t be a fan of both :D

      • grundus says:

        The Crew is actually really good with a wheel, it’s no Project CARS or Assetto Corsa but it at least has feedback (unlike, well, anything) and support for an H-shifter and clutch pedal. The only other open world racing game that supports that (out of the box) is TDU2, as far as I’m aware. I’m considering buying it for this fact alone but I want to play the next beta more before I decide.

        As for Project CARS, I haven’t played it for some time now but it has come on leaps and bounds, I hope it catches on amongst the non-enthusiast audience. I imagine may potentially have a tough time due to being too simmy for casuals and too casual for simmers but those who aren’t all ‘Give me rFactor/iRacing/nKP or give me death’ should find it a fun, slightly more relaxing way to drive.

        • Skrallex says:

          I too found that The Crew had some of the best Force Feedback and wheel control that I have ever seen in a driving game. I use a Logitech G27, and had thought that ETS2 used it well until I played The Crew beta (the first beta).

  7. Myrdinn says:

    Is it just me or does this game look worse every time I see it? It might be that other games just got prettier but I remember this game being near photo-realistic in my minds eye and now it just looks like a pretty racing game.

  8. LaundroMat says:

    Not that I want it to be the main focus of the game, but what about damage? I can imagine true-to-physics (and equally gorgeous looking) damage modeling would take a lot of horsepower, but to me realistic damage enormously improves a driving sim’s experience.

  9. pilouuuu says:

    Will the game run as fast as the trailer on my computer?

  10. trjp says:

    I’m just wondering if this game will actually release without showing any actual ‘gameplay’ footage at all ;0

    They’re super keen on “over shiny” and “raining” and “slomo” – none of which has any bearing on the actual game at all ;0

  11. bangermash says:

    hey, can someone refresh me how some (many) people have this unreleased game on steam? did they get keys as backers? was this a kickstarter game?