Since Project Cars 3 has been announced, fans fear the game might lose its simulation approach. And yes, it is a different game now. This is not its true weakness though.
Photo credit: Project Cars 3 Twitter
As the sim racing market approaches oversaturation these days, it seemed necessary for the series to reinvent itself and reach a new audience. Project Cars 3 (PC 3) now wants to be more approachable than ever and lets players feel their progress step by step. This works in some points, but others don’t.
A new career without kickstart
Not being able to directly jump into every driving class of the overhauled career mode is the best example. You now have to start in the slowest road car class “E” and pave your way over the GT classes to the Hypercars. While beginners might not be mad about learning with slow cars, veterans will be bored quickly. It is possible to buy into higher classes on the paper. As you have to also buy mandatory cars by earned credits and have to obtain a certain driver level as well, this option doesn’t spare you much time sadly.
Experienced players can fortunately hop into the custom race mode and choose every track and car there. Over 200 cars plus 49 licensed and fictional tracks offer a broad selection.
It’s about the mission
Even a slow start doesn’t change the fact that the career is actually pretty fun. It motivates by giving you three goals to achieve at every driving event instead of simply winning them. Even if you don’t have to solve every assignment to progress, a missing target quickly catches your pride. Events can be of three different types: Race, Hot Lap and Breakdown (Drift Challenge). Also the aggressive AI keeps races unpredictable, even on the lowest aggression level. If you like that or not, depends on your taste.
The setup: Stop sign on a free road
Project Cars 3 also gives you the opportunity to customize your favourite rides by creating your own livery and tune their specs. The tuning is kept quite simple, comparable with Need for Speed Heat. Above that, you can also customize the setup of your car in many details. Starting from the pressure of your tires to the pressure of your brakes.
Unfortunately rookies don’t get to much explanation of how the changes will apply to the driving, while Veterans have to unlock most of the options first. Again, both sides could end up frustrated.
What game am i?
In the end, PC 3 might be the first step into the sim racing world for beginners, positioning somewhere between Forza Motorsport/GT Sport and Need for Speed Shift. It offers a lot of options to get close to the full simulation experience. But it doesn’t explain how to handle the differences, which could frustrate rookies at some point. Veterans might miss the full simulations approach of PC 2 eventually and turn towards one of the hardcore sims again.
Everyone who is willing to accept that Project Cars takes another path now, can definitely have fun with this game nevertheless. Overall, it’s not reaching its full potential and seems unpolished. If PC 3 gets another treatment, it might look very interesting in the future.