Project CARS 2: The Best Racing Sim Ever?

After two years in the shop, Project CARS 2 has finally hit the course.

Created by the London-based Slightly Mad Studios, Project CARS 2 is a game that seeks to create the “ultimate driver journey.” How, if at all, does the title give racing fans that opportunity?

The most immediately noteworthy thing about Project CARS 2 is its vehicle lineup. The game retains most of the manufacturers that its predecessor, Project CARS, had in its wheelhouse: the likes of Aston Martin, McLaren, etc etc. Project CARS 2 ramps things up by introducing a new gallery of prestigious brands, including Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Porsche. The game’s stable of vehicles is more impressive than that of both the previous Project CARS game and most other racing sims on the market right now.

Getting to drive a nice car is all well and good, but what about tuning it? Project CARS 2 provides an in-depth suite of customization options. Players can adjust their car’s tire pressure, as well as dampening, suspension, gearing, and a host of other functions. The end result of all of these doodads is a game that knows that, to a hardcore racing fan, driving is just as much about what’s under the hood as over it. It makes for an impressive, freeing experience.

Once players fine-tune their ride, it’s time to race. Like its predecessor, Project CARS 2 paid careful attention to modeling its vehicles’ physics realistically. This ain’t no arcade racer; players who wait until the last second before pumping the brakes on a turn can expect to careen off the track and into the nearest crowd of spectators.

Also, don’t forget that the tires are stone cold at the start of the race; Project CARS 2 accounts for that and everything else when it comes to thermodynamics.

Project CARS 2 is easy on the eyes and impresses with its wide range of cars, but Slighty Mad’s latest driving tourney isn’t without a few bumps in the road. As of writing, the game has a humorous tendency to make players’ cars clip through their race handlers en route to the starting line. As amazing as a Carmaggedon-style vehicular homicide mode would be, Project CARS 2 isn’t that type of game. Additionally, a few players have complained that Project CARS 2’s physics aren’t realistic, but some of these lads have just come from losing a big race, so… no comment.

To Slightly Mad’s credit, the studio’s been attentive to players’ concerns on the Steam forums, and the driving experience has been a good one. Project CARS 2 may have its occasional bug at the moment, but these can’t compare to the horsepower of the game’s car selection and open-ended customization.

Racing fans and motorheads should consider Project CARS 2. It’s great fun for people who know what they’re doing, and makes itself accessible to new drivers through streamlined menus and thorough explanation of each car function. Plus, the online community is as active right now as it ever will be, so grab a vehicle and race for the finish.

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