Project CARS 3 is a very strange game to talk about. I say that because if you loved the realistic approach that Project CARS 2 took, then this game is not actually for you! Slightly Mad Studios threw the rulebook out of the window and rather than build upon what they had already created, completely changed direction.
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The Game Review
Now, I have to say that in all honesty, the very realistic approach that Project CARS 2 took was not for me. From having to have the right tires and handling that was very realistic it just never clicked with me. With Project CARS 3 they have gone for a much more straightforward, scaled back, and almost arcade approach to things.
The career mode that saw you trying to be a real driver and win a series of championships is gone. Instead, we have a “simpler” career mode that is more about winning different races and doing different things than winning a title. I thought it was pretty fun and fairly fast-paced. The way you earned money and XP happened at a pretty quick rate so I always felt that I was on the cusp of getting something new.
There is a decent amount of customization at play here, but not as much as in other racers. Still, it was more than enough for me, and being able to put decals on the car and the wheels was fun. I liked how you could get various upgrades for any car so you could take a pretty average car and build it up so it can go head to head with pretty much anything.
The presentation is a bit of a mixed bag. The cars look good enough, but when they take damage it looks pretty damn bad. The different racing locations feel rather bland and lifeless and in comparison, to games such as Forza, it does not do much to stand out in the way of its presentation.
A racing game is only as good as it is on the track and this is one area that I thought Project CARS 3 excelled in. I have to say that for everyone that likes the way this game drives, there will be a person that hates it, especially if they are coming to this wanting an experience like they got in the last game.
The game is much more forgiving when it comes to handling. You can smash into a wall here and there and not really have it affect the outcome of the race. Races tend to be fun and I found that most of the cars handled in the same way. I know for some this is a negative, but as someone who prefers their racing games more arcadey, I liked the way the cars handled.
The AI is a bit of a mixed bag. Sometimes they flat out suck and no matter how bad you screw up it is like they hang back and let you win. You can then go into the next race and have a really hard time keeping up. So, while the AI is mixed, I found that it made things a bit more unpredictable and on occasion forced you to really be the best driver you could be.
While I do not have any problem with the more streamlined approach to things that Project CARS 3 has taken. I do have one main criticism and that is the menu system. Wow does this game love its menus! Each menu that you go into feels like it has another half dozen or so for you to scroll through! They streamlined the rest of the game so I wish they could have done that here also.
I can see why some people do not like this game. With the 3 in the title, it was more than fair to expect an experience similar to what the previous game offered. I for one like this arcade approach and actually had fun with this game. I feel had they called it something Project CARS Extreme or some other kind of subtitle, people may have been more willing to accept the radical changes.
- I liked the fast pace of the career mode
- The progression felt like it went at a quick pace
- The more arcade-style racing really clicked with me
- You can tinker with your car in an easy to figure out way
- There are plenty of cars to drive
- Some people are going to be very mad about how different this game is
- The menu system is annoying as hell to navigate through!