New footage from upcoming racing simulator Project CARS 2 for PC, PS4 and Xbox One has surfaced on YouTube. Slightly Mad Studios’ new game is expected to launch later this year with support for virtual reality like its predecessor, and hopes to address the criticisms of the 2015 original.
We’ve known about Project CARS 2 since its controversial early announcement in June 2015, just a few weeks after the launch of the first game, which arrived in a state of inconsistent quality. Visually stunning, with an interesting career mode and plenty of content, it hoped to bridge the gap between PC and console racing sims. It received mainly positive reviews, but drew criticism from enthusiasts due to its bugs and questionable physics.
Although Slightly Mad Studios improved the game over the following months with several major patches, it never really reached its full potential as a sim, but eventual support for the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and OSVR headsets was very welcome, and well-implemented.
If you have suitably high-end hardware to match its demanding engine, it remains one of the most visually-impressive VR titles available.
Project CARS 2 is expected to enhance VR support on PC, but a potential PSVR mode for the PS4 version has not been confirmed at this stage. The original game was once due to support the headset, but the chances of it happening diminished over time.
Once again, Slightly Mad Studios had used their crowdfunding platform to assist the development of the sequel, meaning that leaks are inevitable, despite the more secretive development process this time around. A ‘trailer’ (above) recently surfaced on YouTube, which revealed a chunk of new, in-game footage. This turned out to be a placeholder intro for the game used for internal presentations, and does not represent the final quality of the game, according to the developers, evidenced by the variable framerate and placeholder use of music from Pirates of the Caribbean.
However, it does include some interesting looks at new cars, such as the Ferrari 288 GTO, Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo, Porsche 935/80, and Jaguar XJ220S (manufacturers that were absent from the first game), along with footage of new tracks like Long Beach, the rallycross track in Hell, Norway and a Canadian ice track. It also demonstrates some of the upgraded technology, with a significantly-improved dynamic time of day and weather system. With all of this footage coming from out-of-date builds, the final product should look even more spectacular.
Slightly Mad Studios CEO Ian Bell recently hinted at a September 2017 release date, and while it could slip like the first game, it sounds like they’re readying a marketing push very soon, with the real trailer due early this month. Bell has boldly stated that the title, which is still in development, has already ‘raised the bar for simulation’, with new rendering, physics, force feedback, drivetrain, differential and tyre modelling systems. Fingers crossed it can deliver, and continues with support for multiple VR headsets.