Project: Cars 2015 (PS4)

Cars do NOT fishtail at 20mph. I felt angry and compelled enough with this modern car-game phenomena that I tweeted it to the studio.

Unfortunately, it was largely ignored. But this is a massive sticking point for me. For the scant experiences I have enjoyed in life, one thing I can say with some qualification is that I know how a car handles both on and off the limit and car game producers can’t seem to get it right.

It’s a shame that these car simulators can only really be enjoyed with all the driver aids on – from traction control, stability control and to braking and steering assists. This is in stark contrast to reality and I can only say that if a car in game is controllable only through the intervention of all these aids, then the developers have failed to create a car with realistic physics.

This is compounded by the terrible AI in the game with some laughable outcomes from the career races. I’ve uploaded a couple of videos of the AI and I don’t have to say much more really. I’ve quit single player now as it’s infuriating. Why does it also write off both current AND next laptimes when you touch the grass? It’s stupid and counter-productive to fun as in order to get a decent race result, you really need to do some decent qualification times. Which are impossible when they are constantly being invalidated.

It’s not all a shit fest though. It looks stunning. There aren’t many cars to choose from, but what they have is very well modelled, including crash damaged cars with car parts realistically suffering visible and effective damage.

Multiplayer is where this game is though and I’ve yet to laugh at a game as much as this game made me rip my insides up from laughter to the point where I wake a sleeping family.

I’m not that patient in game, so I quite often find myself doing poorly at qualifying for reasons above, thereby starting in 16th place. Which, ironically, is the best place to witness every single starting grid as 15 other cars barrel into the first corner fusing each other into a molten mess of flying car parts and signposts. It is obscenely funny to witness and never gets old.

If you are lucky enough to make progress, then all it takes is a little shunt from another player to have you face the opposite direction, going from 1st place to 13th in literally 4 seconds. And why do car games do that? Why do they engineer slides so that they always end up with you facing the opposite direction?

A disappointing game for me. It’s not very well replicated physically, but is still a bundle of fun online. Stick all the aids on and just enjoy the arcadeness of it all. My tip for best car? The BMW Z4 GT3. It’s awesome.