Driveclub mini-review

DRIVECLUB™_20141209162948

To say that Driveclub didn’t have the best launch would be as much of an understatement as suggesting the Titanic was lightly scratched by an ice cube. Initially a launch game for the PS4 and a much vaunted marquee title as part of the expansion of PS Plus, the game was hit with two delays, controversy over the contents and conditions surrounding its ‘free’ PS Plus offering followed by server issues at launch that weren’t resolved for 4-5 months, leading to an embarrassing 8-month delay to the free version for Plus members. It didn’t help that it was released at the same time as Forza Horizon 2 dipped into view and made a very good impressions with its open world driving.

Now, though, Driveclub has blossomed from its ugly, lumpy caterpillar stage into a beautiful, aerodynamic butterfly and is actually delivering on the promise it showed at the PS4 launch event. Starting with the obvious, racing has never looked so good; there’s still no racer with cars that looks so good (Nissan even mistakenly tweeted a picture of an in-game car as if it were real) in such a wide range of settings, while the dynamic weather effects are second to none. It is quite simply beautiful.

2051366-704524_20130820_004

The progression system came under a bit of scrutiny on release and that still holds true to an extent; it’s decidedly old-school in the way it takes you through events and races, not focusing on a bigger picture and feeling disjointed. It would maybe have been nice to put a spotlight around the stunning tracks and scenery and keep you in that location a bit longer so you can learn it. What it gets wrong in progression it ultimately makes up with its social element; challenges and clubs. Challenges are simple to issue and are fun to take part in, while clubs are also easy to join and as there’s a maximum membership of 6 people, you really do feel like you’re contributing to improving rank and earning bonuses.

The post-launch support has also been very impressive, with a good amount of free content as well as a very reasonably priced season pass (partially due to the issues at launch). A bikes expansion has also just been released which does a remarkably good job at giving a good biking experience, something even dedicated games can’t manage.

At the end of the day, Evolution have made the best of a bad job and have turned around what was fast becoming a joke into one of the best console racers we’ve seen in a long time, rivaling the Forza Horizon series and GRID. With the support the game still has it’s worth keeping an eye on, but this is a no-brainer for any racing fun who likes a slightly arcade-y feel

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s