Project Cars is back with the third entry to the series, but Project Cars 3 is far removed from the simulation title we all enjoyed in the past.
Slightly Mad Studios have gone for an arcadey feel to this title, with races that are short and snappy and move you quickly onto the next event. For someone who has a racing style that can be described as reckless, arcade racing games are much more style – but I’m not sure Project Cars fans will be that keen on the change.
You’ll start the game by creating your driver and going through some tutorial races to get you used to how the game handles, once that’s out the way you’ll buy your first vehicle and begin racing properly. Rather than being a driver for hire, you’ll race through ten tiers of car classes from road racers to hyper cars. Within the tiers are groups of events to take part in. You’ll need to unlock the different events by earning credits through racing.
Each group of races are made of four races, there are standard races, hot lap events and special events such as Breakout, which requires you hit targets to reach a certain score. There is also an event called Pace Setter, where you’ll set a target pace to achieve over three laps, it’s challenging but very rewarding if you meet the targets. As well as the races themselves there are three challenges assigned to each event, In some events you’ll be tasked with hitting a specific number of perfect corners or passes. Or to achieve a certain lap time. Meeting the requirements nets you more XP. Having the extra objectives keep the racing interesting.
But what is the racing experience like? As I mentioned at the start Project Cars 3 isn’t a simulation title this time around, instead you’ll find more of an arcade experience. This isn’t a bad thing however as it has injected some fun back into a game that took itself too seriously in the past. The handling feels great, cars stick to the tarmac in dry conditions and you can feel the lack of grip as you race on different surfaces and during wetter races. It feels like the cars are all quite similar within their classes, more experienced racers will certainly notice this. The AI keeps you on your toes with their intelligent racing and as you ramp up the difficulty the races get even more intense. To keep the cars you own competitive, car upgrades have also been added to bring your simple road car up to a racing machine that can keep up with the world’s best cars. It keeps you invested in the career as you progress through the different races.
Jumping onto multiplayer, there are Quick Play, Scheduled Events and Custom Lobbies. It’s varied enough to keep you coming back, especially the events which take place every twenty minutes and pits you against other races with similar abilities..
Graphically, the game looks great, especially during the rainy weather. Cars are fully modelled with all the views you would expect from a modern racer. The different circuits also look great with some awesome views as you race. The game is let down by the insane amount of visuals on screen while you are racing (these can be turned off thankfully) and the jarring soundtrack.
Project Cars 3 is a good racer that will work brilliantly for a new audience of racers, it isn’t the best racing game around but it does a lot of good things that will keep the more casual of racers back again and again.