Originally slated to be a launch title, DriveClub promised to be a racing game with a twist. Developer Evolution Studios claimed they had the idea for a persistently connected racer that lets players join “Clubs” to race against rivals as well as having a rich single player game for years and said that their vision could only be achieved on the PS4. With all that said, the game was delayed and expectations have reached boiling point.
DriveClub looks beautiful, with just over 50 cars each one is incredibly detailed with fully modelled interiors. Tracks are potentially even better looking, however, when driving by them at high speed it is easy to miss the small details and quirky detailing such as plastic bags flying by in one of the Scotland stages. There are 5 locations; India, Scotland, Canada, Chile and Norway. Each offers a completely new look; from snowy mountains in Norway to the dry sunny deserts of Chile, you will not get bored of the race tracks any time soon. There are around 11 tracks for each location including reverse tracks.
The following review is based on all single player modes as the online servers were not working properly at time of review.
The single player tour mode is where you will likely start. It is broken down into 5 difficulty modes; Rookie, Amateur, Semi-pro, Pro and Legend. All presented in a very sleek UI, everything is very fast and fluid and it looks great too. Another plus point that is worth mentioning are the quick load times, you can even restart a race within 2 seconds. Which, quite frankly is superb. There are 10 events in each difficult mode ranging from point-to-point races, drift events, multiple lap races, tournaments and time trials. Each race has 2 challenges that unlock stars which in turn unlock more racing events in the Tour mode. These vary from getting an average speed between certain corners on a track or hitting a specific top speed during a race and many others. My favourite is the fact that you don’t need to get first place in every race, simply finishing in the top 3 is what is required in most of the early races, quite refreshing.
You gain experience points during every race with various activities; drafting, gaining position, driving at speed and drifting to name a few. But you also get point and speed penalties for cutting corners, collisions with the track and your opponent, so you can’t really bumper car your way around the track, although it is possible when driving at a slower pace. This leads on nicely to the sense of speed, when barrelling down a long stretch of road at 140mph you feel every bump in the road through the rumble feedback and the slight shaking of the camera view, it is quite exhilarating and scary at times, and a crash is always imminent. Damage is just cosmetic though, so don’t expect DNF’s due to damage, which at first seems odd, but the more you play it the decision seems to be the right one.