Project Cars 3 – PC Review

Jari Välimäki

Project Cars 3

Slightly Mad Studios known for their racers Project Cars
and Project Cars 2 and titles for the NFS franchise is
back with their latest game, Project Cars 3 and it’s a bit
different than you would imagine, following that they were
heavily into realism previously.

In 2015 when Slightly Mad Studios released Project Cars on
PC and Consoles, it was hailed as a great Racing Simulation
title, same with Project Cars 2 in 2017. Since then the studio
has been snapped up by Codemasters, and today on the 28th of
August 2020, the official release date for the standard version
of Project Cars 3 is out (Premium version was released earlier).

The biggest change to the game is a total 180 degree hand break
turn from the simulation days of the previous titles, to what it is
now; more of fast paced arcade style driving game, which is easily
accessible to anyone new to driving games or battle hardened
veterans used to fierce driving on the highest difficulty settings.

When you enter into Project Cars 3, you will see a lot of things
that you’re going to think, this looks familiar.. and that looks
familiar, the layout of the career mode / main menu this time around
is in my opinion a pick and match from other great titles without
naming names, and honestly.. for me it works, it’s simple, clean
good looking and just works. Though there are some odd things
(most likely will be fixed with feedback) that after an race
you aren’t taken back to the main menu or next race,
and if you don’t concentrate enough, you just might re-start
the race that you just drove.. Oopsie Daisy..

I mean I do/did/still like the previous titles Project Cars 1&2
but 3 taking a whole new approach is absolutely fine with me,
I like my racing games and with the new structure set up for
the career mode, with challenges and shorter(ish) races to earn XP
and ingame currency to buy new cars, just keeps me interested
and excited what the next race is going to be like, as I said
the races aren’t like the previous titles, with laps in the
tens or twenties but a lot shorter, think of sprint-races here
instead, you got 2-5 laps of racing to do, catching up and with
challenges to accomplish during the race, be it master cornering
or draft behind an opponent, overtaking there is always something
in there to keep you challenged. Crank the AI difficulty up,
or turn off some assists and you’ll also reap larger rewards.

The game supports a large variety of wheel setups and traditional
controllers, unfortunately I don’t personally own a wheel setup,
so I’ve been playing with a standard Xbox controller,
and I can say that the game feels very responsive already with this,
and you can definitely feel the difference between cars and classes
their balance and grip to the track depending on upgrades and not.

While some might say the career progression in the beginning is
a bit slow and the car upgrades are a bit over-priced to what you earn
is fair, and I do agree with that, here’s hoping this bit of
feedback is also listened to, and it gets a bit of revamp and
more change $ in return for your driving abilities. Though remember
that whatever mode you are playing, you’ll always be earning XP
and credits for future purchases or upgrades, but a bit more
never hurts right?

Talking about the cars and tracks, and there is a lot of them.
You are going to spend a long time on the game, unlocking the
over 200 cars that are currently in the game, and there is a
variation of 120 global tracks in total so far. The game has a
season pass, that can be purchased separately if you did not
get the premium package of the game, which means there will be
a lot of additional content as time progresses.. more cars
more tracks, and maybe perhaps even modes?

Modes you say

Besides the conventional career mode, you have Multiplayer in
the game that is setup in the way most of you are familiar with.
Race in a open lobby against other players, or setup a private
lobby for you and your friends, there are also community challenges
for the title, with different kind of modes such as Breakout,
Pacesetter (3 lap time trials) and there will be also scheduled
events for official races.

How does the game run?

The game on my review rig, i5-9400 16GB-3200 RAM with a 2060 RTX
(6GB) runs the game with a mixture of High / Medium settings across
the board at 1440p around 60-90fps, which is more than decent and
fluid enough. If you got more horsepower under your hood, crank
those details up, as the game is good looking and has some fantastic
looking rain and splashes when you race in the wet.

You’ll see some of my settings with the screenshots above, and
screengrabs from inside the game as well.

Also I’ve uploaded some video of me playing the game on Stream,
so you can take a look at that too in action.

Project Cars 3 – First Look Stream

Final words.

Though Project Cars 3, took a different turn this time around from
simulation realism towards more of an Arcade style of game, the
racing is still fun, and just works already with an controller in
your hand, you can feel the different car classes and different setups,

It is accessible to anyone new or old to the driving game
genre, and with plenthora of content in the career mode, and other
modes, cars and tracks.. and more on the way, it’s a game you should
pick up if you’ve enjoyed other titles such as GRID (2019) or Forza.
If you are purely into Simulation driving.. still give it a shot,
It’s fun, good looking, and you’ll be occupied for a good while
trying to buy up all those cars, and trying something new is always
a good idea right?

Thank you to the Publisher for the review code.

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