Project CARS Released For Wheel (For Real)

“Here in my car I feel safest of all,” sang Gary Numan. “I can lock all my doors,” he added. “It’s the only way to live – in cars.” But what would our electric friend say about Project CARS [official site]. I phoned his agent, and, well, looks like I’m writing this news post.

After delay after delay after delay (I’m missing a few there), Slightly Mad Studios’ partially-crowdfunded car ’em up finally came out yesterday. It has a lot of cars and you can drive them around lots of places, but really you’re ‘supposed’ to drive them fast.

The doors are always locked in Project CARS, as I understand it. Hmm. Let’s see. I wish Gary were here. He’d know what to say. Well, let’s turn again to his old words of wisdom.

Here in my car
I can only receive
I can listen to you
It keeps me stable for days
In cars

It has been a long wait, one filled with torrents of screenshots and videos from Slightly Mad and folks who backed the game and got access to dev builds.

Here in my car
Where the image breaks down
Will you visit me please
If I open my door
In cars

I do agree that buzz around the realism of the graphics is a touch overblown. Yes, it’s pretty, but I do sometimes wonder if people ever open their eyes or look up from the pavement when in the outside world. Ah, I get it: “Here in my car / where the image breaks down” – we come to understand the real world through the fake and identify more with the fictional worlds we see so regularly than the real one many find so hostile.

Here in my car
I know I’ve started to think
About leaving tonight
Although nothing seems right
In cars

Gaz, mate, it’s on Steam now for £39.99.

Oh, I guess here’s the CARS launch trailer too:

29 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Wisq says:

    I’ve always loved the pattern of tire marks on roads, the way they sorta tell stories (particularly on highways). I imagine / hope that some of these games record those as decals during a single race? But I’d be curious if anyone has ever taken the next step and made them truly persistent from race to race — maybe even via occasionally compiling them together to form a new permanent texture layer.

    There’d be something amazing about returning to a track and still seeing a visual reminder of that particular mistake / success you made many many races ago.

    • NotToBeLiked says:

      Tire tracks fade after a while due to the weather, other races and cleaning. It would be really weird to see them persist that long.

    • Elliot Lannigan says:

      rFactor 2 lets the road rubber up over the course of the race weekend in a similar manner to real life, then lets you save the state of the track to load up again for future sessions if you want to play on a realistically rubbered-in course without having to wait for yourself and the AI (or online parnters) to run hundreds of laps. Granted this is focused more on what the rubber does to the handling of the car than the visual effects you’re referring to, but it’s the only game I’m aware of that saves the status of the track between sessions.

    • Mctittles says:

      Nascar Racing 2003 saves the marks from practice, qualify, free race day, and the actual race but it resets when you start a new course.
      I’m a fan of tire marks too and am always disappointing in a game when I spin in circles and can watch the previous marks dispensary as I make new ones. I wish all games made them persistent at least throughout the race. It’s not like adding another texture layer is too taxing nowadays. You don’t even have to record it in memory, just save keep re-saving the texture image.
      Also like it when bullet holes stay.

    • Jekhar says:

      There’s only one word for you: Skidmarks! link to youtube.com
      Or check out it’s spiritual successor Generally: link to youtube.com

      Disclaimer: Neither of those save the condition of the track between sessions. But hey, i don’t get many chances to plug my favourite top down racers around here. ;-)

    • P.Funk says:

      All week I’ve been playing Stock Car Extreme and in long sessions I can always look out for the spots where I wrecked out because there are the skid marks. Sadly no persistent skid marks. Sometimes though I drive past a point where I see a big rubber streak and wonder how I managed to lose traction there without noticing. Its rather instructive sometimes.

  2. DanMan says:

    Funny. I always thought it was:

    “Here in my car, I feel safe as the law”
    “I can lock up my doors,”
    “and it’s the only way in – in cars.”

    Ah well, could have been worse. :]

    • DanMan says:

      Oh, and I prefer this version:

      link to youtu.be

      • death_au says:

        Yes. Best version. I came to love this song via that mix.
        Also, with your version of the lyrics, I heard similar. The first part I got right( “Here in my car / I feel safest of all / I can lock all my doors” ), but I heard your ending (“and it’s the only way in – in cars”), but I always thought it sounded a bit… off.
        That being said, “it’s the only way to live” sounds far worse. For starters it’s got an extra syllable you can’t hear. What is up with that?

  3. SIDD says:

    ” it’s on Steam now for £39.99.” … or if you don’t want it NOW NOW NOW then it’s £25 on Amazon >here<<"

  4. Jason Moyer says:

    Been playing it for a few hours now, and it’s surprisingly good. The handling isn’t exactly Assetto Corsa, but in the GT and Prototype cars it’s pretty close (I’m not as convinced by the open-wheelers). The tracks are miles better than the Shift series. The engine sounds are phenomenal, the other sounds are kind of meh. I’m not particularly impressed by the graphics, either, although it looks ok once you turn off all the post-processing crap. Give me the natural, desaturated look of RBR/iRacing/Assetto Corsa any day over the weird cartoon world that ISI-engined sims always seem to inhabit.

    But anyway, it’s pretty good. Certainly better than I expected. Kind of surprised to see if getting any coverage here after Assetto Corsa was basically limited to a handful of Flare Path articles for some reason.

    • ButteringSundays says:

      It seems none of the writers here have any real interest in racing games, even here we get a pretty flippant post. Not a complaint but as a racing fan it’s a shame.

      Was the release of Dirt Rally covered here at all? If it was I missed it. Notable release, interesting release method – FUN. Think it’d be worth a mention.

      • Premium User Badge

        MrPin says:

        You seem to be unaware of Tim Stone’s “Flare Path”, which covers all things simulation. Check it out on Fridays (or use the search function).

        • Llewyn says:

          But even Tim is, by his own admission, not an aficionado of racing sims. Occasionally he’s included guest comment on them from other writers, but this is not common. It is a shame, not because we especially need more race sim writing – there are other places to get that, even if I don’t like them much – but because we need more Tim writing about them.

  5. trjp says:

    I came to this after a long (100s of hours played) love-hate relationship with Shift/Shift2 – wondering if I was buying Shift 3

    It’s not quite that – but it’s not GTR3 either, there are some really good bits (weather system, AI) and some quite bad bits (some cars don’t handle that well and there’s still a ghost of the dodgy controller issues which plagued S/S2 in some of the faster roadcars)

    It’s ShiftTR3 then – I’ll easily get my money’s worth out of it (I just managed to spend an hour throwing Karts around!!) – it does “span the gap” between the more hardcore simulators and the less serious racing games and I suspect it might not entirely entertain fans of either.

    Until it rains – then they might be entertained ;)

  6. harley9699 says:

    I’d like to see a ranged list some time of what people say is realistic/hardcore all the way down to the purely arcade level. It’d be very interesting (in case someone already knows of one). For me, driving games are third, after grog military and then space games, so I’ve played a ton of them and have my own thoughts about them all.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      I couldn’t do a realistic/hardcore/sim to unrealistic/arcade scale because to me there are 2 separate things being measured there: the degree of simulation and the degree of realism. Sure, you have the Codemasters games which tend to fall on both the non-simulation and non-realistic sides, but then you have other products that aren’t as clear. I’d rate something the rFactor series higher on the “simulation” axis than Assetto Corsa, because there’s no doubt that there’s more being simulated, but I’d rate Assetto Corsa far higher on the “realism” axis because the behavior of the cars and accuracy of the tracks is so much more believable.

      I used to have this argument with people back in the F1 Challenge/Grand Prix 4 days. There is no doubt that F1 Challenge was more of a simulator than Grand Prix 4, but there is no doubt (to me) that Grand Prix 4 was far more realistic than F1 Challenge.

      • Lamb Chop says:

        But more simulation means it’s closer to reality. Just ask any economist!

  7. SuicideKing says:

    I’ll admit – I really enjoyed the launch trailer.

  8. Anti-Skub says:

    I muted the Cars trailer and watched it with Gary Newman playing in the background. I don’t know what music was actually playing but I’m certain it wasn’t better.

  9. melnificent says:

    They had me at oculus rift support. Been playing it a few hours and when they patch the front menu to be vr compatible it’ll be pretty decent.

  10. kalniel says:

    I’ve got a concern about user reviews for this game – there’s still some kind of possible financial kickback for backers if it sells well I think, and so many reviewers have an incentive to sell the game. Wasn’t there some kind of legislation (or at least terms of use for various sites) around needing to declare this while giving a review? I can’t see it being enforced if so.

    • melnificent says:

      Yup, advertising laws prevent them from reviewing the game. So ANY backer that has a financial interest is barred. If you see any, report them, either to the site in question or the ASA

  11. rustybroomhandle says:

    Some things hurt more, much more, than cars and girls.

  12. derbefrier says:

    I hear mixed things about this game. I am no hardcore sim racer. I dont own a wheel or anything but for those that have it i need to know one thing. if my favorite racing game is the Forza series will i like this? It looks like it could be close to a “forza for pc” type game but i have also heard the controller support is kinda weak. For someone who prefers the “simcade” expirience over a full on simulation would you reccomend this game to me?

    • ButteringSundays says:

      IMO PCars is probably a good ‘Forza for PC’, as they’re both at a similar point on the simulation axis, I.e. Somewhere in the middle of arcade racer and sim (although I haven’t played the most recent forza, I dumped hundreds of hours into 3 and 4). Assetto is a little more toward the sim end, I.e. you’d really struggle without a wheel, I personally wouldn’t bother – as it’s a pretty crucial part of the sim experience.

  13. Calculon says:

    Im not a huge racing fan either, but every once in a while when I see sim games I get excited and think “well maybe I could really enjoy it…” so I picked it up.

    Im personally having major performance issues with the game. It starts fine, and I can get into a free-lap/practice session ok, but the second my kart hits the wall, or it goes on the grass, the game starts choking and stuttering like crazy. I’ve had to CNTRL-ALT-DELETE it a couple of times now. Also the vibrations on the gamepad go NUTS after an accident for a LONG time. It went on so long at one point that I shut down the game, they still continued, so I rebooted.

    Granted – my graphics card is now a little ‘older’ (5870) but the rest of my specs are still quite ‘respectable’ – Core i7 @3.07 GHz and 6 GB of RAM. Some people on the forums are reporting issues with AMD/ATI cards in general.

    My graphics settings are on ‘moderate’ on the game – definitely not cranked up. My next step will be to turn everything off/low and give it a try again.

    WRT to handling etc – the 125CC Karts are pretty bad. The 250CC Karts are more interesting and feel a bit more authentic to me (with very limited experience) – but they are still too powerful for me to get around a track without wiping out 30 times.

    For me, at the moment Im finding the game an exercise in frustration – not much else, but then again I guess Im not really part of the ‘hardcore’ racing sim crowd.

    • ButteringSundays says:

      You really have to enjoy racing to enjoy racing games, there’s not much getting away from that :) (unlike something like FIFA which could replace the sports theme with almost anything, being more about the mechanics)

      With regards to your controller vibrating, is it XEOX by any chance? I have one and see that issue on a few games, like it never gets the ‘stop vibrating signal’ – either way I just unplug the pad rather than restart, or better yet as soon as it receives another ‘vibrate signal’ it sorts itself out (so I only normally notice it as a temporary issue between ‘events’).

    • P.Funk says:

      Thing about sim racing is you have to pace yourself because compared to casual gaming there’s a very steep learning curve and a slow progression towards success.

      Some people would say you should just go balls to the wall and learn through mistakes but thats incorrect in my opinion. You should go only fast enough that you understand whats happening. Drive slowly in a modestly quick car and drive so that when you spin out or lose control you can start to say to yourself “I know why that happened” because if you don’t then you don’t learn anything.

      Its amazing how much less it frustrates you when you understand why you made a mistake.