Trying to find the right balance between simulation and an accessible arcade racer can be like trying to parallel park, blindfolded, in a tank, in a one-way street in Cape Town, but Evolution Studios has decided to have their shot at the genre with Driveclub, but is this an association worth wanting a membership for?
Driveclub was initially supposed to be a PS4 launch title, but after a few delays the game has now launched a year beyond its original arrival date, and as a result, already has some competition in the racing category.
That said, while many games have incorporated online components, none have done so quite as thoroughly as Driveclub. Every single race, online or offline, is interwoven with the game’s social features, giving players more to think about while speeding through a track.
The primary single player mode, Driveclub Tour, holds most of the game’s content and is where a vast majority of the vehicles can be unlocked. There’s a healthy variety of tour events, from 12-driver races to time trials to drifting challenges, all culminating in championship showdowns which unlock the next series of events.
While some may be already concenred about that typical slog that may take place in similar racing game, Driveclub has a great variety of events to choose from, and players are able to decide how intense they want their tour to be, which makes the progression through the game feel more tailored the player’s liking.
One of the more unique features of Driveclub that makes it stand out is the objective system. Instead of just having the traditional parameters of the race to focus on, Driveclub wants players to multitask. Throughout any given race, a selection of face-offs (ranging from cornering, drifting, and average speed challenges) will appear dynamically on the track. These face-offs will have been predetermined by other players who have already completed that event, putting a personal touch on the single player events.
In terms of the visuals, the game itself is beautiful, and anyone who’s watched any of the trailers leading up to its release can take comfort in knowing it really does look as great in person. That said, there is the odd snag in the game – be it an invisible wall or overly-agressive AI opponents.
Driveclub is a solid racing game that’ll push the other rivals in the genre going forward. The clever implementation of an MMO-like progression system and social functionality elevate Driveclub above its flaws.