Developed by Slightly Mad Studios, Project CARS 3 is the latest entry to the ever popular Project CARS series. While the game is scheduled to be released on 28th August for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One; We got our hands a copy of the game and here’s our review. A big thanks to BANDAI NAMCO ENTERTAINMENT for allowing us to try out the game!
Let’s be frank here, I’m pretty sure no one here plays racing games, especially if it’s a Racing Simulator. With that being said, Project CARS 3 has a relatively straightforward story plot which is totally fine since it’s not the main selling point of the game.
Although there is a returning feature which is similar to a story progression, in the form of Career Mode but with this new title, they have improved this mode. Career Mode is a player progression system where there are five main rounds called Roads for the player to progress.
The Career Mode is split to 5 different Roads which are referred to as Road A, B, C, D and E. It works in a way where it’s similar to other racing games where you race across different categories with lower-tier cars and work your way up the ranks.
In the Career Tab before starting the race, players have different goals that can be achieved to get EXP which is used to level up your Driver’s level. These goals are called Road Challenges where players are presented a quad of activities to complete as they take the form of your typical Races, Hot Laps, Breakouts, and a Championship.
These races there are missions for players to complete and it serves as a token for players to unlock other Races/Tabs within that particular Road Challenge.
While the inclusion of adding progression in racing games isn’t particularly new in this genre, it’s always a welcomed feature to keep the player’s attention by setting up a clear goal for them to achieve which prolongs the game’s enjoyment lifespan.
The graphics of Project CARS 3 is stunning. It pays attention to some of the more minor details to its environment. In the middle of your race, players are able to see stuff such as an ongoing funfair in the distance when racing downtown.
While there can be arguments saying that this doesn’t matter since you’d barely notice it when racing but I’d disagree with it and retort by saying that this aspect would add into a game’s immersion and sucks you into the world of Project CARS 3.
The game also includes a 24-hour cycle system, where you might start your race during the evening and the time changes to night as well as dynamic weather conditions where the conditions of the race track might differ over the course of the race such as rain or snow, which further emphasize on game immersion.
The gameplay for Project CARS 3 is a mixed of emotions for the community. On one hand, Project CARS 3 is considered to be more accessible and easier to get into than previous entries of the Project CARS series which can considered to be a good thing for newer players to get onboard into the franchise BUT the downside is where they exchanged the more realistic hardcore simulation that Project CARS were known for that accessibility. Let me explain.
In this newest installment of the franchise, Project CARS 3 took away some of the elements which made fans of the series really upset. These elements are Pit Stops, Fuel Usage and Tyre Wear.
The CARS in Project CARS is an acronym for Community Assisted Racing Simulation which means that the community is put first. But by removing these elements from the game without any prior notice or interaction with the community is the complete opposite of the whole Community Assisted aspect.
Porject CARS 3 had previously sold themselves as a hardcore racing simulation but the gameplay for this game gives off a more simcade (Simulation-Arcade) rather than what the franchise sold itself as, which again isn’t what the community signed itself for, which have made the fans disappointed in it.
On the opposite side of the coin, if players are able to accept the shift in gears, pardon the pun, of the Project CARS 3’s direction, the game can serve to be a fun and well-rounded racing title which pays homage to the niche titles such as Need for Speed Shift, Forza Motorsport and Project Gotham Racing.
Putting aside the discourse, the gameplay is much cleaner than its previous titles which shows great improvement and not only that, the game offers a lot of in game content such as the Quick play, Custom lobby and the other various of scheduled events scattered throughout the game.
The game also offers a bunch of customization in terms of both visual and practical aspects which always increases player’s enjoyment.
Project CARS 3 also allows players to both buy AND sell cars from the massive pool of 211 cars. Which is a pretty cool element to have since most of the time players can only purchase cars, so if you’re ever in need to purchase the new sick wheels, selling off your old cars is the way to go.
There’s also daily discounts for 1 random car that go up to 50% which encourages incentive to log-in daily to check out the daily deals each day.
We tried out Project CARS 3 using an Xbox Gamepad and the controls feel pretty intuitive and planted. While not needing to tweak any of the base settings, the controls didn’t seem to be awkward in any way.
There’s also an option for beginners called Assist which various of different kinds of assistance which can help newer players ease the learning curve for racing games. The AI assistance also doesn’t feel like they’re holding your hand entirely which makes room for players to grow.
And on the topic of new-player friendliness, there is a new corner marker system in Project CARS 3 that helps ease casual players into the tight, sharp turns through the colored indicators that highlights on when to brake, turn, or to accelerate.
The handling of the cars are really responsive. The micro-adjustments in the race are made in response to feedback your thumb. All of which makes the game easy to handle.
A new feature exclusive to Project CARS 3 is Rivals which is a multi-player challenge. This leadership-based competition offers daily, weekly, and monthly challenges that are classified into three categories which are Hot Lap, Pace Setter, and Breakout.
Hot Lap is a traditional time trial competition where players seek to break their own race times, while the second records their consistency and average performance over three laps, all of which must be completed cleanly.
Meanwhile, Breakout allows drivers to smash through a series of polystyrene blocks, each with a points value, to find the most optimum route or drift style.
There’s also a returning mode of custom mode, which is considered to be the fan favorite of the series. Racing sessions are fully customizable from the tracks, to the type of cars, weather options and AI Behavior.
|Immersive environment with great detailing||Veterans disapprove the shift from Hardcore Simulation to Simulation Arcade|
|Suitable for New Comers and Casual Players||Removal of real life liberties makes the game less immersive in terms of gameplay|
|Option to bypass certain tracks through paying in-game coins|
|Outstanding amount of cars and customization options|
The score is base solely on the game itself. If you’re a fan of the previous hardcore simulation and that you’re willing to accept this change or that you’re a new comer to the franchise, the game can be pretty fun despite the backlash. Do check out their official website for more details of the game!
We tried out Project Cars 3 using the ROG Strix SCAR 15 which is the top tier choice for gaming for Windows 10 Pro. Rocking with the newest 10th Generation i9 processor alongside two GeForce RTX graphic cards and a 240 Hz/ 3 ms screen display.