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Project CARS car list to get free add-ons with On Demand scheme

Michael Passingham
17 Jun 2015
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All the latest news Project CARS including final car and track list, wheel and controller settings and bug reports

Project CARS has re-branded its patch and content updates as Project CARS On Demand. The new scheme includes periodic free updates that will add cars, "brand-new items" (which haven't been explained) and "improved balancing and defaults".

The last point about balancing is important for a game that surely hopes to take on the likes of rFactor 2 and iRacing when it comes to competitive online play. Currently there are cars in certain classes that dominate any given race thanks to superior power, weight or handling characteristics, which doesn't make for a particularly varied field when all the drivers know there's only one car that can possibly compete.

Additionally, new community-made liveries will be added each month, as will the previously announced individual free car.

The developers have also revealed that the game's first track pack DLC will be available in July. The pack will include 12 tracks and we can safely assume that alongside all the free content that's being added, this will be a paid-for expansion.

Patch 1.4

This week, Project CARS patch 1.4 was released to PS4 and PC versions of the game. The Xbox One patch hasn't yet surfaced, though. The most important fix in this patch for many users is the work the developers have done on the game's AI. In the current version of the game, grip levels have a very small effect on the speed of AI cars, meaning that they're able to drive around on a wet track with slick tyres without losing grip or speed. Furthermore, tyre wear appeared to have no effect; AI drivers are able to run around at nearly full speed on worn tyres. Finally, many tracks feature corners where AI drivers are far too slow and don't use the full width of the track.

On the Project CARS official forum, Game Director Stephen Viljoen outlined the AI patch notes:

"* The AI loss of grip that results from tyre degradation as a result of wear is now more noticeable.
* The AI will now show much more realistic grip loss when running on slick tyres in the rain.
* First pass improvements on various tracks to enhance the AI performance and ability (Azure Circuit, Donington GP, Watkins Glen, Bathurst, Nordschliefe)"

There are more tracks to come with AI fixes, although Azure, Donington et al appeared to be the worst affected by AI bugs.

Elsewhere, there are performance fixes for Xbox One and PS4 versions of the game, including a "5-6%" performance improvement on the Xbox One and better CPU performance on the PS4.

Reviews roundup

Check out our review, where we go in-depth with the game's many strengths but many more weaknesses.

Eurogamer is impressed with Project CARS' initial release, but says there's plenty of room for improvement, particularly the online game modes

IGN gives the game 8.9/10, complimenting the game's graphics and physics, only looking for a slightly more varied and car roster

PC Gamer gives it 83/100, applauding the developer for sticking to its guns and producing a properly hardcore racer

Controller and wheel settings

In addition, controller users are struggling to find the right control settings, finding the steering in the game too twitchy. If you're struggling, this post in the Xbox One Subreddit might be of use.

Wheel users have found themselves even more bemused, with literally dozens of modifiers allowing them to tweak every tiny aspect of the game's force feedback. If you're using a Logitech G25 or G27, this guide on the Project CARS forum should help.

Inside Sim Racing's half-hour force feedback guide has also proven useful, so we've embedded it below.

 

Want to start sim racing now? Read our best sim racing games 2015 guide

PC SPECS, CONSOLE PERFORMANCE & HARDWARE

Minimum specifications: 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 or 3GHz AMD Phenom II X4 940, 4GB RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 260/ATI Radeon HD 5770, 25GB hard disk space

Recommended specifications: 3.5GHz Intel Core i7 3700 or 4GHz AMD FX-8350, 8GB RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 600-series/AMD Radeon HD7000-series, 25GB hard disk space

Console technical specifications: There's a small gulf in performance between the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of the game: PS4 users will get Full HD 1,920x1,080 pixel resolution at 60fps, while Xbox One players will see a slight resolution reduction down to 1,600x900 pixels, still at a smooth 60fps. No information on Wii U performance has been revealed yet. Preview builds of the game showed performance dropping from a locked frame rate when grid numbers were increased to the maximum, but the developer will let you tweak graphics settings (a first for a console racing game as far as we can recall) in order to guarantee a smooth 60fps.

All platforms will allow players to race against up to 45 AI opponents or 15 online opponents. Additionally, 64-bit PC players will be able to race against 31 online opponents.

The racing wheels and pedals supported by Project CARS varies between consoles and PCs. For example, only specific Thrustmaster hardware approved for PS4s and Xbox Ones will be supported at launch. Fanatec recently announced that their current crop of Club Sport steering wheels will work with Project CARS on PS4, while a new Xbox One-specific steering wheel - yet to be announced - will be required to play on Microsoft's platform.

PC, of course, is more open: Wheels from Thrustmaster, Fanatec, Logitech, Microsoft, Mad Catz and SimRaceway are supported. Click here for the full list.

Nvidia's SHIELD will also be supported, as will Oculus Rift VR hardware.

SINGLE PLAYER

The Project CARS career mode is a freeform game mode that will let you to start anywhere on the motorsport ladder. Typical email-style drive offers and event choice calendars will let you advance your race season. Also present will be fictional coverage of the racing world you're in and scrolling tickers of fan comments and discussion to give the game a more immersive feel.

A new video voiced by the studio's creative director Andy Tudor explains the the workings of the game's career mode. A few new pieces of information are revealed here, including how some sessions such as practice sessions can be simulated, as well as the constant presence of social media comments to get inside of the driver's head. The video, the first in a new series, can be seen below.

If you'd prefer to jump straight in, there's a full complement of single player race modes, allowing you to set up full race weekends, quick races and free practice sessions. There will also be dynamic weather, day and night cycles, safety cars and dynamic track conditions.

The second video in the series explains how the pit lane menus work before you head out on track, and can be seen below:

The game aims to produce 1,920x1,080 visuals at a constant 60fps, even when there are the maximum of 30 cars on track. 

MULTIPLAYER

In a similar vein to single player, the game's multiplayer allows for heavy customisation of race weekends. There have yet to be any public blog posts detailing exactly how online multiplayer will work in the final game. There is no split-screen multiplayer for consoles; you'll have to head online to get your multiplayer fix, which means paying for either Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus.

TRACK LIST

The locations in Project CARS include a mix of legendary real-world tracks and fictional layouts based on real-world locations. The list of tracks available at launch differs to the tracks that have been playable for early backers. For example, the official list does not include several kart tracks that had previously been announced and/or playable, and neither does it include the Nurburgring. Oval circuits including Indianapolis and Bristol Motor Speedway aren't present on the list. The full list of tracks hasn't been announced, but below are the circuits that are known to be available at launch.

Real-world tracks

  • Le Mans (two layouts)

  • Laguna Seca

  • Donington Park (two layouts)

  • Bathurst

  • Oulton Park (three layouts)

  • Road America

  • Imola

  • Watkins Glen (two layouts)

  • Brands Hatch (two layouts)

  • Dubai Autodrome (five layouts including one karting track)

  • Hockenheimring (three layouts)

  • Monza (two layouts)

  • Oschersleben (two layouts)

  • Silverstone (four layouts)

  • Zolder

  • Cadwell Park (three layouts)
  • Le Circuit Bugatti
  • Road America
  • Snetterton (three layouts)
  • Sonoma Raceweay (three layouts)
  • Spa Francochamps GP
  • Brno GP
  • Willow Springs (two layouts)

Fictional tracks

  • Azure Coast (point-to-point, five layouts)

  • Azure Circuit

  • California Highway (point-to-point, five layouts)

  • Glencairn karting circuit (six layouts)

  • Belgian Forest
  • Besos (two layouts)
  • Eifelwald (eight layouts)
  • Lakeville (three layouts)
  • Moravia Circuit
  • Sakitto (three layouts)

CAR LIST

Slightly Mad Studios finally released an official final car list earlier this week, giving us our first complete look at what to expect from the Project Cars garage at launch. Helpfully the list is broken down by version of the game, helping you decide whether it will be worth paying extra for the Limited Edition Car Pack or the Modified Car Pack. Slightly Mad Studios has also stated that all cars available at launch will be drivable without the need for unlocking them through DLC or progressing through the career mode. Slightly disappointing is the lack of Italian supercars, with no Ferarri or Lamborghini models making the list. This is most likely due to exclusivity deals with other games, including DriveClub on the PS4 and Forza Motorsport 5 on the Xbox One.

PROJECT CARS STANDARD EDITION

  • Alpine A450
  • Ariel Atom 300 Supercharged
  • Ariel Atom 500 V8
  • Aston Martin Rapide S Hydrogen Hybrid
  • Aston Martin Vantage GT3
  • Aston Martin Vantage GT4
  • Audi R18 TDI LMP1
  • Audi R8 LMS Ultra
  • Audi R8 V10 Plus
  • BAC Mono
  • BMW 1 M CoupÈ (E82)
  • BMW 320 Turbo Gr.5 (E21)
  • BMW M3 Gr.A (E30)
  • BMW M3 GT (E92)
  • BMW M3 GT4 (E92)
  • BMW Z4 GT3
  • Caper Monterey Stockcar
  • Caterham Seven Classic
  • Caterham Superlight R500
  • Caterham SP/300R
  • Ford Capri Zakspeed Gr.5
  • Ford Escort RS1600
  • Ford Focus RS
  • Ford Mustang Boss 302R1
  • Ford Mustang Cobra SCCA TransAm
  • Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth Gr.A
  • Formula Gulf 1000
  • Ginetta G40 Junior
  • Ginetta G55 GT3
  • Ginetta G55 GT4
  • Gumpert Apollo S
  • Lotus 49 Cosworth
  • Lotus 72D Cosworth
  • Lotus 78 Cosworth
  • Lotus 98T Renault
  • Lykan Hypersport (free DLC)
  • Marek RP219D LMP2
  • Marek RP339h (PM 06a) LMP1
  • McLaren 12C
  • McLaren 12C GT3
  • McLaren P1
  • Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16 Evo2 DTM
  • Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.8 AMG
  • Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG
  • Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
  • Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT
  • Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X FQ400
  • Oreca 03 Nissan
  • Pagani Huayra
  • Pagani Zonda R
  • Palmer Jaguar JP-LM
  • Radical SR3 RS
  • Radical SR8 RX
  • Renault Clio Cup
  • Renault MÈgane R.S. 265
  • Ruf CTR3
  • Ruf RGT-8
  • Ruf RGT-8 GT3
  • RWD P20 LMP2
  • RWD P30 LMP1
  • SMS Formula A
  • SMS Formula B
  • SMS Formula C
  • SMS Formula Rookie
  • SMS Kart 125cc (Kart01)
  • SMS Superkart 250cc (Kart02)

LIMITED EDITION CAR PACK

  • Sauber C9 Mercedes
  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe DTM
  • McLaren F1
  • Ford Mk. IV
  • BMW M1 Procar (E26/1)

MODIFIED CAR PACK

  • Ariel Atom Mugen
  • Ruf CTR3 SMS-R
  • Pagani Zonda Cinque Roadster

FREE CAR

  • W Motors Lykan HyperSport – Free Car #1