Here’s what we thought of Project CARS 2

Project CARS 2 is the latest game from Slightly Mad Studios, and comes two years after the first was released in 2015.

If you’re looking for a realistic and immersive driving simulator, you should undoubtedly check out Project CARS 2. It is a punishing racing sim, but consequently the most rewarding to master.

For starters, you’ve got a ton of cars to choose from, that cater to any number of car enthusiasts. Everything from the 1978 Renault Alpine to the 2017 Acura NSX GT3 are driveable. Project CARS 2 features 189 cars, more than double the amount featured in the original.

PC2 includes 63 track locations with a total of 146 track layouts, so there’s no shortage of places to burn rubber. Azure Coast in France, Bannochbrae in Scotland, Mount Panorama, Daytona, the Dubai Autodrome in the UAE, the Nurburgring – we could go on?

Project CARS 2 manages to feel truly organic while you’re playing it, and that’s largely thanks to its dynamic weather system. No two races will ever be the same (unless you want them to be), and the weather conditions can actually be remarkably accurate to the location, depending on your settings. You’ll get an overcast Bathurst, a chilly, wet Nurburgring, and a windy Autodrome in Dubai. Or, you can play god in your own custom games, and make it snow in the desert. It’s up to you, but regardless of the choice, the effects are beautiful. Rain is significantly improved over the sequel.

Of course, the weather will affect how you handle your car. Here you’ll even need to warm up your tyres on the track before you even contemplating cornering, and some cars will take the first few corners a lot harder than others. If you find the default settings as far as handling is concerned a little tough, you can alter many of them, changing everything from subtitles on the radio to determining whether damage to your car will be purely cosmetic or if it will impact the car’s performance. They’ve really pulled out all the stops when it comes to customisation.

For racing enthusiasts looking to prove themselves on the track, the campaign is comprehensive, offering a number of racing disciplines to conquer. Players are mostly free to work their way through the lower tiers of racing, but you’ll have to prove yourself in some of the slower cars before you can really have a crack at the faster ones (the top two tiers). You can change the lengths of races, too, if you’re in a bit of a hurry.

If you prefer, you can jump straight into the multiplayer, and test your skills against others online. If you’re on console, you can partake in 16-player races – 32 if you’re on PC. You’re probably better off racing against other players, as the AI has a nasty habit of running into you if you brake too fast – which is bound to happen as you start out.

What do you need to take away? Project CARS 2 is a significant improvement upon the first, with a finely-tuned handling system, more tracks and cars to choose from than you could possibly ever race, and a reason to come back to the series even if you left it after the first. We’re in the prime time of racing sims at the moment, folks – it doesn’t get much better than this.

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