As a person, you can never be good at everything in life. The same applies even when you’re a gamer and sometimes no matter what you do, you’re just going to suck at it. Racing games are one of those things that I can never seem to get good at, no matter what I do. So when Sal asked me to review the new racing game called Project Cars 3, I hesitated.
He then reassured, horribly I might add, that it’s easy as ‘Vroom Vroom’. At that moment, I knew that logic had left the room and that I was going to have lots of car crashes in the game. So let’s get into the review and see if it’s worth the ride!
What is Project Cars 3?
So what is Project Cars 3? No, seriously, what is it?
That was my initial reaction when I heard of the game. I may not have played racing games that much, but I’ve heard of Gran Turismo and Forza Horizon. So, how come I’ve not heard of this game when it’s already in its third installment? It baffled me and thus spurred me on to research more on the game.
The game is developed by Slightly Mad Studios (go figure) and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment (the reason why Dark Souls made you a rage gamer). In June, Bandai shared the reveal trailer of Project Cars 3 to the masses after an unexpected leak.
From the trailer, you could promptly summarise that it bears the making of your usual racing game. However, as someone who has played the game for some time now, I can safely assure that it is more than just your average racing game.
Project Cars 3 Gameplay Overview.
As with any racing game, the first thing on anyone’s mind is how well the controls are. Racing games require you to learn the ropes of executing proper turns, learning to brake at correct intervals and accelerating when necessary.
Mastering such a steep learning curve can take time; however, it might become quite tedious if you’re not sure how to improve in the first place. I went through a similar experience when I decided to try out Forza Horizon 4. The controls were notably sensitive to cater to an experienced player and not some inexperienced in such games. In the end, I was crashing during manoeuvres more than actually finishing the races.
However, this is where Project Cars 3 shines in terms of control. At the beginning of the game, the player will have the choice of deciding how he/ she wants to play the game. Depending on the decision made, players will experience the game very differently.
If you’re someone new to racing games, then choosing the ‘Beginner’ or ‘Novice’ path will help you a lot. By accepting these options, the game considerably simplifies itself to your level and provides you assist markers during races.
These assist markers are exceedingly beneficial to newcomers, as it essentially teaches you how to drive the car the right way. It will guide you on the proper path to take during turns, when to brake before executing turns and when to accelerate your vehicle.
And by following these helpful guides closely, you’ll gradually learn to drive the car without feeling like you’re not improving. As time passes, you can then choose to progress to the next level of difficulty to test out your learned skills at your own pace. The best part is that you can do all of this and yet enjoy the game entirely without being restricted.
However, if you’re quite experienced in racing games, you should probably choose the ‘Experienced’ or higher path. In doing so, you’ll receive close to none of the assists, but you’ll be able to tweak your driving experience as close to the real deal.
Every single option will be available for you to experiment and enhance according to how you want your car to perform. If you’re a real car enthusiast, then you’ll surely enjoy the in-depth experience of working on a car, that the game provides.
I’ll be honest; this is why I fell in love with the game right away. It caters to every skill level of any player and still allows you to have a good time in the game. It doesn’t immediately force you to get competent to progress, but instead, it lets you do it on your own pace while giving you the time and space to learn.
When it comes to a racing game, it’s pretty simple. You get a car, you win races with it and then proceed on with the next race. As time goes by, you continue upgrading it or switch to a whole new better one. It tends to become be tedious and repetitive over time, especially if you’re unable to win the race that you have to.
However, that’s not the case with Projects Cars 3. The game focuses more on the driving aspect instead of winning. In Career mode, the game concentrates on two areas, Road and GT. Each career is then further broken down to become Road E, Road D, etc.
To participate in each career, you’ll need a car that fits the career requirement. For example, in Road E career, players will be required to use a Road E qualified car only. The eligibility of the vehicle takes place in the garage, as you tinker away with various upgrades.
As you upgrade and downgrade your vehicle, the vehicle’s qualification changes accordingly. Thus, players do not have to switch their cars regularly to qualify for different career levels. You could essential even upgrade your starter car all the way to cover the entire Road careers whilst saving up your cash for a GT qualified vehicle!
Project Cars 3, as for the races themselves in each career, you do not have to win it, per se. As I mentioned earlier, the game focuses mostly on the aspect of driving while pushing you to be a better driver. The game ultimately doesn’t punish you for losing, but it penalizes you for driving recklessly such as crashing into opponents, going off track, etc.
Each career is broken down into four events, and each event consists of four different kinds of races. Each race consists of three random objectives that are related to driving professionally; such as clean overtakes, perfect turns, reaching top speeds, etc. By completing the objectives, you’ll be able to unlock the next race even if you don’t attain first place. You do need to fulfil all of the objectives, but as a completionist, it’s difficult to resist.
As the player completes more objectives per event, the next event will be unlocked. As you complete more events per career, the next career will be unlocked. The process is quite tedious, I agree, but it gives you an ample amount of playtime to try various cars and upgrade them to your own personalised specifications.
Fully aware, that some players might find it tiresome overtime, Project Cars 3 has also made it possible for players to skip careers and races by paying a small fee. By doing so, players will be able to jump straight to GT careers as long as they can afford. However, I do not recommend this method if you’re still just starting the game as you’ll need a GT qualified vehicle to participate in GT careers.
You can never have a car game without being able to customize your car. Thankfully, Project Cars 3 didn’t forget that either. As you begin the game, you’ll initially be able to customize your rider with different helmets, outfits and colours. I suggest you pick a good look because you’ll be staring at that avatar during your podium wins.
Right after receiving your starter vehicle, you’ll be able to access the garage and customize your vehicle in any way possible. There are so many ways that you can customize your car. You can choose to make it as unique as you want with deep customization to every single inch of your car. Or you can opt for simple customization by using team-based or manufacturer colours and designs. The possibilities are truly endless.
In most racing games, several decals and paint jobs are usually locked behind the player’s progression. As you progress through the game and gain higher levels, more customization options are unlocked. However, in Project Cars 3, players can access almost all of the customization options to create your dream car. The only options that are locked in the game are DLC content, and yet even those options are pretty limited.
After messing around with the customization for too long, I eventually had decided to go with an all-black outlook for my car. I even decided to change the license plate to ‘Batman’, because why not?
Over the years, the visuals aspects of a game have become as important as gameplay. And based on the trailer of Project Cars 3, I was expecting to be blown away by its amazing visuals of the game! However, once I start playing it, it left me disappointed. Never trust game trailers.
Maybe it was my over expectations and whatnot, but the game looked pretty standard in regards to its visuals. Don’t get me wrong it is a rather an attractive and striking game. However, as beautiful as it was, it didn’t seem to be as magnificent as it should have been.
The visual aspects seem to differ considerably when you’re in the garage and when you’re racing. In the garage, the vehicle looks remarkably detailed and stunning. However, during races, the car does not appear as impressive as it was in the garage.
As for the map, the details seem pretty generic and not spectacular for a current-generation game. At times, during races, it looks as though the quality of the background decreases when you’re in accelerating at maximum speeds.
However, the difference in visual quality is very evident during weather changes. My first race during a rainy stage map had me questioning if there was something wrong with my TV. The rain effects didn’t look as great as it should have been; instead, it seemed somewhat simple.
The Bottom Line.
Now it comes to the final question of this review, is this game worth your time and especially your bucks? I believe everyone can give it a shot; you might find something unique that fits your particular interest.
Although, the experienced race player might find this game somewhat less competitive and challenging than games like Gran Turismo and Forza Horizon. However, this is the perfect game for new players who want to want to learn and improve their skill level in race games at their own pace.
Project Cars 3 launches on August 28 for both PS4 and Xbox consoles, and Steam. The game currently offers two different editions and the prices varies accordingly.
Lots of content and fun gameplay but might be a tad lacking for hardcore racers.
– Lots of customisation.
– Fun to play.
– Caters to all skill levels.
– Visuals are not as impressive.
– Experienced players might find the lack of competitiveness disturbing.