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Project CARS 2 fixes PC1's single biggest flaw
Gaming: sim sequel addresses fans' number one complaint
When he figured out that displacement of water could be used to calculate volume, ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes famously shouted ‘Eureka!’, leapt out of the bath and then sprinted fully nude through the streets of Syracuse to celebrate. We’re not sure whether anyone’s been collared by the police for indecent exposure in the streets surrounding Slightly Mad Studios’ London office recently, but the developer has clearly arrived at a similarly momentous breakthrough for Project CARS 2.
That breakthrough regards the handling for this sim sequel, which has come alive since we last got our paws on it. Cars now dance on the limit of grip, rather than snapping irritably at it, making it much more feasible to find and play with that drivable oversteer sweet spot. Unlike the previous game, it’s also now perfectly playable on humble joypad thumbsticks without having to roll your sleeves up and dig three pages deep into the arcane settings menus.
With those fundamentals finally nailed down, you’re left to enjoy a roster of cars and tracks so generous that Slightly Mad should probably apply for charitable status. Whatever your particular vehicular kink, it’s probably represented here, from the so-called holy trinity of hypercars all the way back to classic ’50s Le Mans sportscars. Combine that with 130 individual circuit layouts and more varieties of weather than there are on your phone’s weirdly comprehensive emoji keyboard and you’ve got the makings of the ultimate automotive toybox.
That doesn’t mean you’ll aimlessly drift from race to race, though. Project CARS 2’s career mode has been overhauled since the first game to provide a more satisfying journey to pro-racing glory. Invitational events, which put you behind the wheel of more exotic machinery, add a welcome change of scenery from the traditional motorsport ladder and make the most of Project CARS 2’s more diverse list of vehicles. One that adds Ferrari, Porsche and Lamborghini to its ranks, plugging the final few gaps in the series’ already stuffed garage.
It’s still the handling that’s the single most important breakthrough in Project CARS 2, though. You can have every car on the planet, but if they aren’t engaging, convincing and satisfying to drive, you might as well swap them out for mobility scooters of varying wattages.
Plenty of players felt justifiably burnt by the first game’s wobbly launch, hobbled joypad controls and sometimes unpredictable physics, but as earnest apologies go this is more than satisfactory. We’d rather have a racing sim sequel that’s improved in every conceivable area than flowers and chocolates anyway…