Sound the horns, tell the village elders, tell everyone you know that likes computer games... next gen gaming finally has a worthy racing simulator.
And it comes in the shape of Project CARS, cleverly named in homage to the fact funding for the game was raised by the community and the developers themselves, without the financial aid of a traditional publisher – hence Community Assisted Racing Simulator.
For anyone that was generous or brave enough to invest, the rewards are plentiful for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC gamers.
Developed by English team Slightly Mad Studios the aim was to create a “sandbox” approach to racing that allows the player to choose between a variety of different motorsport paths – including karts – and grants immediate access to all included tracks and vehicles.
To that end we are told there will be 74 drivable cars in this wonderfully detailed game, with 60 of these being included at launch.
There will also be more than 30 unique locations with at least 110 different courses.
The game really does cater for proper racing fans with events spanning multiple days, progressing from qualifying runs to the race itself, while changes in weather and lighting are dynamic.
It’s far from perfect, though.
Gamers will instantly notice the lack of Ferrari, Porsche and Honda vehicles while the single player mode during my time playing was desperately frustrating due to the often strange behaviour of the AI.
While I admit Slightly Mad’s approach to the genre and appreciate it is trying to move away from the likes of Gran Turismo and Forza, the open-ended nature of the game actually leaves you slightly unfulfilled.
There is something to be said for unlocking things and a progression tree in a game and this is perhaps too extreme a change in that sense.
However, Project CARS is still by far and away the best racing game available so far on next gen and does not disappoint, although it falls just short of being a must-have.
Version reviewed: PS4