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DriveClub review / Gamesradar (re-review)

When Driveclub arrived last year, it was a hot mess.
The servers were so flaky, not only was the game's main selling point - its online clubs - reduced to a scintillating game of 'can I even connect today?', Sony decided it was pointless releasing the PS Plus-exclusive trial edition.
Well, that's all changed. Not only is the PS Plus edition now on PSN, the original game has been updated (for free) in so many ways, our original review no longer reflected its quality. So it's time to evaluate the Driveclub experience once again.

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classic19875d ago

Playing the ps plus edition nd ppl this game is amazingly fun, visually best racing game i seen on the ps4. The sense of speed in this game is top to none in my opinion, im definitely upgrading tothe full version soon.

goathouse774873d ago

Holy balls, Driveclub really is fun.

This game is meant to played in cockpit view.

I love all the little presentational flourishes; the HUD is very active and neat, even though I prefer to turn it off whenever I can. There were flickers of disappointment with the environments but something weird happened to me the more I played. I think the graphics have a visual learning curve, in a way. You start to pick out the good stuff and your eye learns what to focus on. It has a certain something; it's very immersive. The presentation in Driveclub isn't always perfect, but when it sings it REALLY sings.

You see I'm like you: I hate racing games. I've always had my eye on this one, though. Now that I own it, the sim/arcade hybrid gameplay (which feels awesome in my hands) and gorgeous presentation/sound effects just works for me.

The thing about Driveclub's presentation is the incredible variability of the visual SYSTEMS it employs. It utilizes volumetric, dynamic cloud cover to diffuse actual physical light sources. If the game looks ordinary for a moment you need only wait for conditions to change.

Some will see the occasional sleepy-looking texture and immediately fail to digest the deep considerations that were made to put sterling visuals on underpowered hardware.

I think I know where my capacity to LOVE a pure racing game comes from. It brings me back to one of the best gaming memories I have: Super Monaco GP for Sega Genesis. That game set a precedent for me for getting immersed in a straight racing game and, for some reason, I get that same feeling with Driveclub.

Can you customize your car? Can you tweak and tune and make it yours? Thankfully there is none of that nonsense. It's just racing on gorgeous tracks inside gorgeous cars with (in my opinion) perfectly tuned driving mechanics.

HUGE amount of content. Tons of free stuff and the season pass is massive.

The handling model underpinning the great presentation needs to be recognized. This game is hardcore challenging and very nuanced. I really didn't quite know to expect that, going in. The handling model is perfect for me: not trying to be sim, but aiming instead for a fun metaphorical version of reality that is all about nuance, tension and action. Racing in this game makes my neck sore from the tension.

goathouse774873d ago

And yeah, drifting is so fun: you can usually opt for a clean line through turns OR drift. It usually seems like both are viable options, which is an AMAZING gameplay balancing act.

Tense.

That's the word. I wouldn't have known without experiencing it first hand and never really read anything about the game that pointed that out before I got it, at least that I remember.

Tension. Tension. Tension.

This is one of those games that is underrated because of a legitimate gripe (poor launch) but also because it's smarter than your typical gearhead gamer and goes over the head of the Forza/GT crowd, strange as that may sound. They mistake options for depth.

This game has immense depth, but it's sneaky how it's baked into the experience. The greatest graphical achievement I've ever seen, I think, but also a gameplay achievement.

Hardcore. Very hardcore.

goathouse774873d ago

I have a special category in my brain for stuff like this. I'm not sure why, but it seems like a universal truth that if a game has to overcome bigotry to achieve a semblance of underdog respectability, you can bank on it being somehow special.

Is it more compulsively playable than TLOU multiplayer or the enigmatic lodestone that Bloodborne is? No. But it's not nearly as far behind as it may appear.