GSY REVIEW | PS4 Tuesday, October 7, 2014 | 3:00 PM

We reviewed DRIVECLUB

We reviewed DRIVECLUB

It’s all about motor-sports here at the end of 2014 and, after Xbox One’s most recent outing, it’s time to look at PlayStation 4’s exclusive and aptly named DriveClub. After a burst of videos and no less than two live streams, Gamersyde is finally ready to pass judgment on Evolution Studios latest racer. While the review comes with a new set of 1080p videos, among other details, but we’re also happy to announce that we’ll be holding another live stream on launch day starting at 10:15 pm where we can answer any additional questions. Due to time constraints the full review is only available on the French side of Gamersyde but do enjoy the new videos and our conclusion below.

Verdict


DriveClub is not a perfect title across the board at release but it’s very ambitious none the less. Technically, the developers have done a remarkable job of managing the atmospheric effects, even though full weather still has yet to be implemented – at least for a few weeks, but the handling of lighting is one of the most realistic and impressive implementations to date. Crucially the gameplay doesn’t let us down either with a broad range of content on offer to complement its variety of events that left us fighting for each and every star in true arcade spirit. The driving model is not without its subtleties as we quickly discovered as we gained access to upper class cars. Tracks are rich and well designed despite the lack of “stage races”. We hope that the addition of future content and patches will eliminate some of the minor issues we have with the game. Of course, for those concerned, we can’t forget that a chunk of the game will be made available to PS+ subscribers on day 1 as well. We’ll be eager to hear what the rest of the community thinks of the game!


Up side


+ Visually remarkable 90% of the time
+ Incredibly rich cloud simulation system (with more weather effects on the way)
+ A perfect blend of arcade and semi-realism
+ Handling varies greatly by car
+ Solid track design
+ A huge selection of tracks (counting reverse variations that’s 55 courses!)
+ Variable race conditions that change the dynamics of each race
+ Beautiful landscapes galore
+ Each of the available views feels great – cockpit is especially well implemented
+ Emulation of online challenges while offline
+ The promise of future content (weather, photo mode, replays, new circuits, etc)
+ The BAC Mono and the McLaren P1
+ Club Gamersyde – because we're worth it!


Down side


- Noticeable aliasing
- Visually limited damage model
- Engine sounds are disappointing
- Just one color in the builder mode
- AI can be frustrating
- Lack of different routes
- The music
- Some rather random penalties
- Lack of private parties
- No replay mode at launch (but soon!)


BlimBlim's thoughts


I strongly agree with our “test master” Driftwood but, as a relatively average virtual driver, I’d like to note some of the more frustrating aspects of the game. The fact that each car handles uniquely is, in general, a good thing but it also makes some of the later challenges almost impossible without the right vehicle which may not even be available until later in the game. I don’t mind restarting events dozens of times in a car game but when it turns out that my failure was mostly due to the car, particularly when coupled with overly aggressive AI, well, I found myself quickly switching the PS4 off to do something else. Another interesting point; the cloud cover system is not reset when you choose to restart an event which is an incredible achievement. What it means is basically that, for one run, you might have the sun in your face while the next will be entirely shrouded in cloud cover. Still, as this makes such a difference in terms of track visibility, it seems like an odd choice since it is impossible to experience the same conditions in any two races. For a game based heavily on the social link between players and the inherent competition one would expect that everyone would enjoy the same conditions for a specific event. Don’t think for a second that I dislike the game, however, as, when everything goes well and thankfully that’s most of the time, it is an absolutely stunning game both in terms of gameplay and visuals.

Environments
Extracts
Canada A to B
Canada A to B Other
Canada Cockpit Race
Canada Reverse No Hud
Drift
Miscellaneous
Ferrari Canada
Koenigsegg Scotland
Multiplayer
McLaren P1
Norway Downhill Day
Norway Hillclimb Night
Scotland A to B Night
Scotland Race
Scotland Track Final
Bac Mono Chile
Restart Light
Cloudcover Insanity
Crashes
Challenges
Paint jobs

All comments

Page 1 2 3 >>
Commented on 2014-10-07 15:39:21
Awesome guys. Thanks. And there is "no HUD" option. GREAT!!!
Commented on 2014-10-07 15:41:17
I wonder why this game has so many jaggies considering it's only 30fps?
Commented on 2014-10-07 15:44:30
;) Love the last point of the "up side". Now to the videos. Later.
Commented on 2014-10-07 15:46:48
God damn that is some comprehensive footage. Thanks for the review and all the awesome videos!
Commented on 2014-10-07 15:55:25
I gotta say it: Love BlimBlim´s constructive criticism. Thats what makes games better. Guys, thanks and congrats once again.

PS: what about the free-to-play version tracks? Are they any good?
Commented on 2014-10-07 16:04:39 In reply to TreyAndQuad4life
So mine is not constructive then. :(
Commented on 2014-10-07 16:14:57 In reply to Driftwood
Posted by Driftwood
So mine is not constructive then. :(
:-D
Commented on 2014-10-07 16:17:28
From what I've read here and on other reviews, not sure if you folks at Gamersyde agree, but Driveclub suffers from last gen AI opponents , omitted features (odd after a year delay), and has little depth. Seems to be they wanted this game to look gorgeous first and foremost, and the rest of the game suffers for it. A shame really.
Commented on 2014-10-07 16:45:44
was really looking forward to this as its the makers of motorstorm. But sites giving as low as 5 out of 10 makes me cancel my copy. Oh well, lets wait for a new motorstorm...
Commented on 2014-10-07 16:51:35 In reply to r2d3
Posted by r2d3
was really looking forward to this as its the makers of motorstorm. But sites giving as low as 5 out of 10 makes me cancel my copy. Oh well, lets wait for a new motorstorm...
Nevermind Motorstorm these devs done the amazing WRC games on PS2
Commented on 2014-10-07 17:03:01 In reply to r2d3
Posted by r2d3
was really looking forward to this as its the makers of motorstorm. But sites giving as low as 5 out of 10 makes me cancel my copy. Oh well, lets wait for a new motorstorm...
Yet more websites have given 8 and 9 scores and you know it. Guess that magically cancelled preorder is back on then?
Commented on 2014-10-07 17:14:11
Is the PS Plus Demo a permanent thing?
Commented on 2014-10-07 17:18:14 In reply to dargis49
Posted by dargis49
From what I've read here and on other reviews, not sure if you folks at Gamersyde agree, but Driveclub suffers from last gen AI opponents , omitted features (odd after a year delay), and has little depth. Seems to be they wanted this game to look gorgeous first and foremost, and the rest of the game suffers for it. A shame really.
FH2 also suffers from last gen AI, though the wider roads make it less obvious (and don't get me started on the drivatar system, it's terrible at best). And last gen AI suffered from previous gen AI too. :)

AI has always been left out in most games unfortunately. :(

That being said, it's a lot more frustrating in DC than in FH2.
Commented on 2014-10-07 17:40:25 In reply to Driftwood
Posted by Driftwood
FH2 also suffers from last gen AI, though the wider roads make it less obvious (and don't get me started on the drivatar system, it's terrible at best). And last gen AI suffered from previous gen AI too. :)

AI has always been left out in most games unfortunately. :(

That being said, it's a lot more frustrating in DC than in FH2.
Completely agree. I have yet to sample this mythical next gen AI in any current gen game so far.
Commented on 2014-10-07 17:44:22 In reply to andrewsqual
nope not buying it, too many average reviews. gamespot(5 out of 10) and eurogamer (60%) does it for me. Theyre reliable enough for me.
Commented on 2014-10-07 18:15:38
Geez at the aliasing! Average racer deserves the average reviews. Will download the demo and give it its 5 minutes of fame but ill be jumping straight back onto FH2 after. Its clear why there was a review embargo.
Commented on 2014-10-07 18:21:31
I never get the hype for this game, so not surprised it's inferior experience than the new forza after all.
Commented on 2014-10-07 18:37:08 In reply to Executioner_UK
Forza Horizon is ok. But the X1 controller is awful just like the 360's.

The crew's beta is awful. Boring as hell.

Project cars is very good and looking forward to the full game.

Not quite sure what you meant by engine sounds.

DRIVECLUB'S are among the most realistic recorded for a driving game. 16 mic's at various places in and around the car.
Commented on 2014-10-07 18:49:11 In reply to xgei8ht
Car engines don't sound too good overall though (some even remind more of a vacuum-cleaner than anything else). But then again, maybe the original cars sound awful and that's why. :)

Maybe 32 microphones would have been better huh?
Commented on 2014-10-07 18:49:55
Been playing driveclub all day and I'd give it a 6 or a 7. The sound is poor and the graphics are good but not the holy shit wow factor the previews hyped it to be. I didn't expect this to be as good as PGR but I had my hopes up. This game is average at best from my time so far. : (
Commented on 2014-10-07 19:22:32
Nice selection of videos.
Commented on 2014-10-07 20:14:11 In reply to r2d3
Posted by r2d3
nope not buying it, too many average reviews. gamespot(5 out of 10) and eurogamer (60%) does it for me. Theyre reliable enough for me.
Posted by r2d3
nope not buying it, too many average reviews. gamespot(5 out of 10) and eurogamer (60%) does it for me. Theyre reliable enough for me.
So GS and EG are reliable sites now?? When it suits your need u say - "oh yeah Gamespot gave it a 5/10, the game sucks." But when u need to act fanboyish, you say - "how dare they give this game a 5/10, Gamespot are the worst game site, they don't know how to review games"
Commented on 2014-10-07 20:15:55 In reply to Nietzsche
This message is in "Boulet Time" (TM), If you still *really* want to see it, click here

Commented on 2014-10-07 20:16:31 In reply to bobward
Posted by bobward
Nice selection of videos.
Thanks. :)
Commented on 2014-10-07 21:54:39
The graphics aren't amazing, although a lot if people claim they are. I bought this game mainly because of the 'amazing graphics'. The graphics are no more than good. The penalty system is completely stupid. If you hit another car, you get a penalty. But if the AI hits you, you also get a penalty. WTF? Then there is the penalty for driving just off track, and it seems random. Drifting is useless as the change that you hit another car is to high, that again you get a penalty.
The AI is stupid. Sometimes they overtake you like a slingshot, sometimes you can overtake them without any difficulty. It doesn't make any sense. I think rubber banding is the only form of AI implemented. I even wonder if they seem so aggressive because they are plain stupid and crash into you for no reason. How it's possible that there still isn't any weather system, is beyond me. After a year of delay? Come on.
I think a lot of the issues can be patched out (the penalty system and the AI). And the weather system as in the trailers should be great. But for now, this game is more in a beta state than in a final release state.
I would recommend for now to play only the PS+ version, and wait for a purchase after patches have fixed this game.
I also hope they bring some actual race tracks to the game.
Oh, and finishing first has the least rewarding video sequence ever. Just as you cross the line, the game freezes for a fraction and then stops with showing your car stopping in a heart beat. No celebration or replay at all.
Sound design is bad as mentioned
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