During a closed doors presentation at E3, I was able to preview Bandai Namco’s upcoming racing simulation game (and follow-up to one of their previously successful titles) Project Cars 2. Fans of the previous entry have come to appreciate the depth and realism that the original Project Cars simulated. The next entry looks to push that even further and give fans an even more authentic racing experience.
While stood out to me initially is how much technological progress they have been able to make compared to the original game. Project Cars 2 updates to a fully physics based engine, which has clear benefits in several areas. Most impressively is its ability to control rainfall and the aftermath of it. When the rain falls it interacts with different materials in the game. Falling on grass causes it to become slippery and look noticeably wet while rainfall on pavement pools in areas based on the crown of the road and if the track has a drainage system or not. Several tracks in the game do not have a drainage system built into them to remain faithful recreations of their real-life counterparts. The developer from Slightly Mad Studios showing this to us boasted that if the track does have a drainage system and you decided to park your car so the tire is positioned over the drain, it would cause the water to begin to pool up in that area since the drain is blocked. Any time the weather switches there are a number of effects that it will have on your vehicle and the track. After rainfall has stopped, dry lines will form behind yours tires, giving areas of the pavement more traction for drivers behind you. Tire pressure can change based on the temperature swaps that occur thanks to the Project Cars 2‘s dynamic weather system. If you are taking corners to fast and heating up your tires, running them through a puddle of water will quickly cool them off. There are a lot of little details like this that hardcore racing fans are sure to acknowledge.
Fans can also look forward to a large selection of tracks to drive on. Bandai Namco reports that Project Cars 2 has the largest selection of recreated tracks in any video game ever. Using methods such as laser scanning and satellite imaging, they are able to gain incredibly detailed information about every bump, cross-slope, and structure of the track. They do this to simulate the track with as much depth as they do the cars that drive on them. The effort that Slightly Mad Studios has gone through to bring as much realism to the game is sure to resonate with fans who have an itch for realistic racing games.
Project Cars 2 releases worldwide on September 22nd, 2017. If you prefer racing games that are less based in realism and are more action oriented, check out my hands on impressions of Need for Speed Payback. Keep tuned in to Gamer Professionals all week for more impressions and stories from the biggest event in gaming!