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PC Project Cars First Impressions Review

Discussion in 'Project CARS' started by STANG KILLA SS, Oct 26, 2015.

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  1. Background

    Got my start in GT1-2 then moved on to Forza 1-4. Spent a good 3 years or so doing two race series a week in Forza 4. Also raced GTR and Nascar PC sims years ago. Then made the jump to PC and iRacing. Been doing iRacing semi serious for about 18 months. with a few othes on the side for fun (Dirt rally etc)

    well since the begining ive had a love/hate with iRacing. the lack of grip is so unrealistic and i hate the tip toe way you have to go around the tracks. the V6 tire model was a huge improvement in the right direction, but still has a way to go.
    Ive been looking into Assetto Corsa(AC) and Project Cars(PC) the last 6 months and finally pulled the trigger on PC.
    AC had the better car list, along with new car packs every few months. It also had the C7R which was HUGE for me. also had better ambient sounds like tranny wine etc. AC also had the bigger following. however PC had the visuals i was looking and richer sound tones in all the comparisons id watched.
    Ive jotted down a few notes from my first few hours on PC.

    One thing that worried me was PC was known to have poorer performance on AMD GPUs and in Windows 7. I have both. That held me off a few weeks, but ended up not being a problem for my setup(i7/8gb GPU).
    I also liked the Rain/Night/Beauty of PC vs AC.
    I set it up in Pro mode, no assists and 80% AI difficulty.
    I dont care for the automated driving when you enter the pits.
    Tons of options, and options for the options, you can customize everything in the game.
    I found the driving a tad too easy, but also very satisfying. that being said i finished dead last in every single race. twice i got second to last.
    Fast load times. Typically 6-7 seconds
    Tracks not laser scanned. i did notice a few tiny differences in a couple tracks. were a straight would be a tiny bit shorter, or a corner slightly tighter. but 99% of the time i couldnt tell the difference.
    Gearing seems really tall. 2nd gear would do 100mph in most cars. also a weird thing when stoped and trying to move in 1st or Reverse. the rpms would go straight to red line and the car would barely move. then after a couple times of this it would only do like super slow accelleration like a massive TCS system or something. but this only happened after a spin from a stop or something.
    I have not go into tuning, or FFB tweaks or anything yet. basically driven as default.

    One of the big things that drew me to PC is the Helmet view. WOW! turn all the HUD off and the Immersion is absolutly insane! The high pitched sounds are muffled just like wearing a real helmet, and the driver turns his head into the apex and also tilts his head into the corner too!(both with adjustable levels) also the focus blur is really cool. love this effect. It does make it a tad hard to tell how much steering input you have in the car/need at first, but you get the hang of it after a bit. worth it. I think you can also adjust how much head movement there is, bumps, speed etc.

    And the video that single handedly got me so stoked about PC was this video. This is the **** i signed up for when i got into sim racing. Ive watched this many times and it gets me so amped. just awesome.

    Id say it has a hair too much grip and a bit too easy at times. this changes weither your in a GT VS street car, but the Race cars are probly a tad too easy at times.
    The Braking also is a bit too strong/easy most of the times as well. i found myself braking way too early most of the time, as the brakes were more effective than they probly should be. also even at the limits of threshold braking its uneventful. the car is not moving around trying to kill you like it should be at that limit, its just planted and calm.
    There is kind of a lack of feel. there is no road feel on half the cars/tracks and this kinda leads to a lack of connectedness with the car at times.
    For now im gonna rate the physics some where between a Forza/Turismo and Dirt Rally.

    Most of them seemed too tough in crashes.
    my first few combos i tried the game on:

    I am very familiar with the RUF GT3 @ Laguna seca from iRacing so i wanted to try that combo first. Cornering Grip seemed almost unlimited at first compared to iRacing. but a rear engine RUF GT3 car should almost feel that way. im sure driving a real one wed say the same. Accell and braking had slightly less grip, than corning, but still a TON. I tried same car at Brands hatch and noticed less grip than Laguna. but still good.

    Next up BMW 1 series street car @ Catalunya. definatly grip limited. unsteered and slide and lower performance like a street car should. seemed slow compared to the RUF of course, but had a good sense of speed at the same time.

    BMW Z4 GT3 less grip than RUF, about right.

    Then i went for the holy grail from above video. been waiting for this. BMW 320 Turbo Group 5 @ Nordschleife. Wow! orgasmic [​IMG]. had a huge sense of speed, but things didnt come at me too fast that you felt you could react or handle them. plenty of time to setup and take corner, but felt like you were flying too. first thought it had too much grip, but then i over cooked a few corners and it would understeer and go offtrack. I could really FEEL the turbo and power in the car. cool feeling. i later tried this combo again and while not quite as big of an impession as the first time it was still sweet.

    Mustang Boss 302 @ Road Atlanta in the rain. Obviously lower grip in wet. noticable big time. upper RPM sounds need work. good FFB/road feel. Fun but lots of work/driving.

    Ariel Atom V8 @ Monza. just right grip. had to slow and counter steer in corners on the street tires. had to be really carefull on the gas.

    Ford MK @ Brands Hatch. Impossible to drive. looped every corner no matter how careful.

    Mustang Cobra Trans Am Racer. Lively and a blast

    Sauber C9 @ Catalunya. Awesome car! slow shifts though.

    Force Feedback
    Mostly just resistance
    no road feel on most cars. some cars and tracks do have it though
    the wheel moves appropriatly when you lock up the rears and slide, or let go and let the wheel self center at the exit of a drift.
    you can feel the curbs and rumble strips when you drive over them.
    no braking FFB
    no traction FFB
    seems like you almost have to go offtrack to get much FFB of any kind.

    richer (deep tones) than AC, but lacks some of the smaller effects of AC such as tranny wine.
    the Tire sounds at the edge of limit sound great and realistic. Over the limit the squeels are bad and cheesy.
    Sounds change with view! chase cam has more exhaust note, helmet cam is muffled, etc. all different tones to each.
    gravel sounds like maracas at times
    Engine sounds sound a bit digital and cheesy at times, especially higher rpms.

    will go out of there way not to hit you, including going off course. for both passing, and if you wreck in front of them.

    Rain and thunderstorms are awesome
    wet track effects grip for sure
    Great effects
    colors and outside are grey and dull like real life outside cabin in rain. inside cabin still vibrant contrast. pretty real.

    no contest its pretty. all the lighting effects and little particles. damn nice visually.
    love the focus blur on the helmet cam
    im running with everything maxed out. no Frame rate issue. no clue what FR is but not glitchy at all. smooth. Im running a single 1080 monitor.
    brake lights are too bright
    the one thing that was set to low default, was the active grass or something like that. i tried this set to high and i had floating grass up at eye level and hgue bug. i have it just set to off now.
    had a few lighting artifacts (windsheild reflections) that would get stuck on the screen when you first started on a few tracks, but go away as soon as a new reflection hits the windsheild.
    the live marbles are badass. move and get kicked up when you drive over them. also the small ones even roll when the air of your car goes by them. awesome touch. same goes with leaves on tracks with trees.
    smoke is very real. this is tough to do. it appears, drifts, and dissappears very realistically.

    only spent a few minutes online so far.
    1st lobby i entered i got booted
    2nd lobby my car appeared to have been dropped from an airplane. just tubbling way up in the air.
    3rd lobby worked. appeared to be a practice or something. joined mid session.
    lets you create your own lobby, as well as do private lobbys. choose your own cars/tracks/weather etc.
    didnt appear to be many online only 2 lobbys with people in them.

    Ill anxious to get more time to see if PC gets the thumbs up or down.
    Curious how often new cars would come.
    they appear to do updates every month even with PC2 coming. every 2-3 updates appear to have new cars/tracks.
    also not sure if it will hold up long term as a sim ill run.
    definatly enjoying it for now.
    • Winner Winner x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  2. ouvert

    Premium Member

    FFB .. you can have decent feeling if you fiddle with settings for a while
    AI .. just no .. can`t agree :) but I`m using 98-100%, never tried 80% so it could be different, cant tell

    Other than that you sum it up pretty well .. if you came from PC scene it is nothing to write home about, if your grounds are in console gaming there might be few impressive things for you .. still probably best "forza like" simcade on PC .. which is what I was expecting/hoping to get .. had fun for a month, will keep it for few more weeks and possibly do one more career ...
  3. Project CARS is a Sim, not Simcade.

    I disagree with OP about Physics. I think 2 points about that:
    1st: I somehow have the feeling you ONLY drive Default Setup. Those setups have high grip so that you just can jump in and drive without having to worry. If you put in good race setups, it gets much more difficult.
    2nd: The feel of the car is mostly determined by FFB. FFB in Project CARS needs to be setup properly - further i wanna point out: There is no braking or traction FFB in the wheel in real life.
  4. Pretty good review, PC has something that other games don't have, I have been playing around with GTR2 and it's really good especially for such an old game. But PC has this eerie feel about it that you don't get with other games, the graphics are picture perfect IMHO and although I just use an Xbox 360 controller it's as smooth as silk. It has it's faults but they are quickly forgotten once you get on the track.

    I think I need to buy a decent wheel to see what all the hype is about with those.
  5. Yes a wheel is definitely the way to go.
  6. I and many others consider it simcade.

    In rl, you can feel via the pedals, in sim racing, the braking ffb is generated thru the wheel and it can be hard to distinguish between the simulated ffb and the ffb feeling like it's coming from the pedals.
  7. I dont care what you think it is. It has been PROVEN to be sim. Obviously YOU KNOW NOTHING DAVID IGNJATOVIC!

    Rubbish (at least in PCARS)
    In PCARS if you use the Fanatec Club Sport Pedals then it has Force Feedback on the brakes aswell on the gas. Having force feedback on the wheel when it should be on gas / brake is ARCADE
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. ouvert

    Premium Member

    :) proven by who ?

    FFB is strictly matter of taste and preferences .. some prefer FFB to be as "pure" as possible without any added forces that are not present in real steering (I don`t think any sim/simcade has it absolutely pure .. not even AC) and other like to have some additional forces to help with representation of forces you feel with your body in real car ... niether is worng or right, niether feels like real car ...
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. Proven by definition
    You know that AC has a lot of canned effects? Its not at all pure
  10. ouvert

    Premium Member

    by definition that it is simulating something .. ok, well for exaple if you consider Formula Rookie to be Formula Vee or Formula Ford and you claim it is sim we can settle that it is bad sim .. I rather enjoyed it as decend simcade .. cause it is by definition simcade as well :) not that it matters

    that is what I said ... "not even AC" .. eventhough it is claimed that there are no canned effects (if you don`t turn them on in setting) I don`t believe that, or my real cars are broken :)
  11. ;)Proven by whom? Silly, I know. Quite like this argument.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Lol, you just make this up as you go.....
  13. jlnprssnr

    Premium Member

    Just FYI, Project Cars on AMD GPUs profits a lot from the things Microsoft did behind the scenes in Windows 10. See this comparison video:
    • Like Like x 1
  14. You know that PCARS FFB is driven physic based? And you know that AC has mainly canned effect (at least V1.0 - maybe it has changed)? Those are 2 known facts

    With your sentence you suggest that AC has the most pure FFB, this is definitely rubbish.

    You cant troll better? Ohhhhhh - OWNED YOU!
  15. ouvert

    Premium Member

    well you sounds like you are just making things up as you go by throwing facts (that are not facts) arround :) and reacting to stuff that was never said (I said "not even AC hase pure FFB" - your reaction is "you know AC has canned effect?", I said nothing about pCars FFB - you reaction "you know that pCars has physic based FFB?"... :) ) .. you are certainly complicated fella to have discussion with .. :)

    Both FFBs are physic based and in both AC and pC you have option to add canned effects .. specifically AC is know for trying to have as pure FFB as possible (and that is not me saying it is fact, that comes from devs themself) eventhough some players were complaining that they are missing added forces (rear tyres, SoP, ...) they are used to have in games (ISI games specifically) ...
    Problem with pCars FFB is that it is
    A) bad if you don`t fiddle with settings
    B) pain in the ass to set it up right for every car ..

    personally I don`t think either of those games are really strong in FFB departmen .. in some cars I preffer AC, in some I made pCars works better for me ..
  16. Not sure what you count as "canned" effects in pCars because everything is coming directly from the physics. Yes, there are some FFB settings that you would not feel on a real wheel like the SoP setting (seat of the pants) but that one isn't canned in any way. It actually takes the same Fx, Fy, Fz and Mz vectors from the tires but takes them from the rear tires instead. It also takes additional queues from the G-forces produced. However, I always tell people to never use these. It will ultimately result in bad driving habits and will make it harder to master a car properly.

    It's also worth noting that pCars creates all it's effects through the main FFB channel of each wheel which means you get the full force effects even when you have spring and damper set to zero in your wheel's control panel / driver (just like iRacing and rF2, and it's recommended to have all the extra ffb stuff turned off/0%). This is NOT the case for Assetto Corsa. It uses the "canned" spring and damper stuff for a lot of things and is virtually mandatory for decent FFB (though this is still all down to subjective opinion like you rightly pointed out). Heck, just yesterday I discovered that AC even uses the auto-center spring for the actual driving. Most games use this ffb channel only for centering the wheel while you are in a menu.

    I think the whole "canned effects" thing has got a bit misunderstood over the years. The thing it used to mean was when a simulator used the additional "effects" channels of the FFB implementation of the manufacturers drivers, namely spring, damper and centering spring (or Periodic, Spring, Damper and Auto-Center in Thrustmaster drivers). When a sim used only the main FFB channel was it considered "pure". This all began with Reel Feel for rFactor when the guys behind the plugin noticed that rFactor was using a lot of the extra effects channels and thus removed them and instead used physics data directly to influence the main FFB channel. Dave Kaemmers sims had been using this main channel only ever since GPL and was thus considered "pure" FFB.

    @STANG KILLA SS: It is highly recommended that you do explore the FFB settings. They can be daunting but they are there for a very good reason. Unless you drive with a very high end wheel (and no.. Fanatec CSW v2 does not count as a high-end wheel), aka Direct Drive (arguably even the Accuforce isn't pure enough in it's power delivery), you'll need to tinker with the settings to linearize the actual FFB that the wheel produces.

    I highly recommend starting by getting some of the basics correct:

    Download the WheelCheck.exe utility that can measure your wheel linearity (it's provided by one of the iRacing developers which means it can be found on the iRacing forums but you can also find it all around the web with google).

    Within the game, make sure your FFB strength is set to 100%. This is probably the most important setting of all and bizarrely defaults to 75% on many wheels. You may also want to remove any damper saturation for the purest possible FFB.

    Then go into the more detailed FFB calibration screen and set your Deadzone Removal Range correctly according to the wheelcheck.exe utility and set Deadzone Removal Falloff to half of that.

    Then you have the Scoop setting. This is a pretty important part in linearizing the FFB going into the wheel driver. For instance, the Thrustmaster wheels become quite heavily non-linear at higher forces which you can counter act by setting the Scoop Knee to around 85 and then the Scoop Reduction to something between 15 - 25.

    All of this linearizing however will result in FFB that will feel pretty weak, at least if you are used to driving with strong FFB. The reason for this is the dynamic range that you'll want to keep for maximum details. There are however a myriad of settings to force the whole range into a tighter upper range and thus give you much stronger overall FFB, without clipping. What I've found is the best way to achieve this is by using Relative Adjust Gain and Soft Clip. This gets a bit complex and takes a while to get right so before I go into details it'd be good to know what wheel you are using.

    There's one "easy tweak" you can do to immediately get more FFB detail from each car and that is to lower the Fy setting in the individual car FFB panel (found in the car setup menu either on track or while in the garage in the main menu). I usually recommend setting this to about 60 to 80% of your Mz setting. So if Mz is left at 100 then try first by setting Fy to 60. If FFB starts feeling a bit odd at extreme slip angles or wheel lock, then increase Fy until the weirdness goes away.
    • Winner Winner x 1
  17. You said "not even AC hase pure FFB" - youre implying with this sentence, that AC has the most pure one. That is (imo) completely wrong.
    You do realize this is a PCARS thread!
    Language barrier makes things more complicated - sry for that ^^

    Fact is: Project CARS is a SIMULATION. Thats undeniable if you look up the definition of SIMULATION and even compare it to rfactor, iRacing, Assetto Corsa, GTR2 etc.

    Are you kidding me? It is well known that AC has many canned effects - but obvioulsy you wanna just ignore that. The original FFB from PCARS has no canned effects at all.
    Yes both are physic based, but as said PCARS 5.0 classic preset (which is default 1.0 FFB) has no canned effects at all. Assetto Corsas Default FFB has canned effects all over the place (at least when i tried 1.3 with Default FFB and my G27 (i loaded the specific preset ingame for it) and i tried the Nissan GT3 on Spa).

    I would say that the default FFB of AC is more rich on details (especially cause of the canned effects) than the 1.0 FFB of PCARS. Without tweaking its overall a little bit better to drive with as you get more feedback. Is it more realistic? (imo) No especially because of the canned effects. Will you like it? This is all taste dependant and habit dependant.

    Now (PCARS Patch 5.0, AC Patch 1.3.4) things are different: In PCARS there are now 4 options:
    1) Use the Classic Preset = Default FFB in PCARS 1.0 - 1.4
    2) Use the Default Preset since 2.0
    3) Use Jack Spades Tweaker Files (there are iirc 6 options within them) in combination with 1)
    4) Do it all yourself and make a custom own - which is a pain in the ass to say the least

    Afais there are only 2 options in AC 1.3.4 (correct me if im wrong):
    1) Use the presets (in my case the G27 Seperate Pedals + H Shifter)
    2) Do it all yourself and make a custom one - i didnt even look for that tbh / so i didnt try it

    Imo: PCARS 3) > AC 1) = PCARS 2) > PCARS 1) ... not judging the custom variants
    But in the end it all comes down to taste.

    Devs say a lot ... in the end you can feel which one is much more clean and sharp and simulate dynamically. AC and pure FFB - im laughing, nothing pure there, so many canned effects (compared to iRacing, rfactor 2, PCARS).

    Nah its not bad at default - just not very rich on details. Bad would be something like Grid.
    I agree though its a pain in the ass if you wanna tweak it on your own.

    PS: Thanks bmanic for explaining it so that everyone can understand it
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2015
  18. ouvert

    Premium Member

    ok this could be neverending .. so my last one to this topic :)

    "not even AC has pure FFB" was ment like not even AC, as sim claiming to have pure FFB, has pure FFB (at least very exagerated road feel, at least) .. btw. after R3E before last patch I consider AC to have worst FFB for my taste ... so I`m really not going to defend it :)

    "pCars is SIMULATION" ... well whatever :) I chose to believe it is simcade, cause it helps me to enjoy it more .. if I aproach it as sim (whatever you consider sim to be) I would have to bother my mind with questions "how is this possible, how did I survive this" while playing it ... I don`t think title 'simcade' is something to be taken in offensive way .. it is basically sim which is targeting wider audience and make it more accesible for "average joe" player .. it doesn`t mean that its simulation si less complex (we all know pC has pretty complex physic model), it doesn`t make it worst game...it is just accesible, more forgiving in some regards .. makes you feel good ...

    I don`t drive race cars so I can only compare with all those different road cars I`m driving every day for a last decade or believe guys that drives race cars .. and if somebody, who I trust tells me, knowing he raced for example in Formula Vee that it behaves pretty much like in real life and than you try Formula Rookie that behaves nothing like that .. I could do some limited conclusions about it.

    FFB is again matter of taste .. I don`t think pure FFB is the way to go, and I can enjoy GSC, RF2, after fix even R3E, GTR Evo, pC and since last few patches AC too .. need for setting FFB per car was not helping in pC (specialy that if you wanna safe the settings you have to do it in garage (where you cant test it))

    I had fun in pC but for me it was replacement for aging GTR Evo as relaxing SP racing and since I couldn`t enjoy it offline (AI issues) I stoped playing it .. nor physics nor FFB are limiting factor for this game.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2015
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. per your definition: Assetto Corsa = Simcade ... it comes for consoles ....
    But nearly all will tell you Assetto Corsa is a sim ...

    Imo its insulting to call a Simulation, that is per definition one and devs worked hard for it to be one, Simcade, just because its comming for console and supports gamepad and easy Default Setups.

    Yeah i saw - communication fail ^^

    Formula Rookie is NOT Formula Vee ... its Formula Rookie. If it would be ingame Formula Vee then i would agree with you.
  20. ouvert

    Premium Member

    and you`re doing it again .. falling to false assumptions .. :) .. I didn`t even think about consoles while writing it ..

    and why are you are still comparing it to AC like ti is some holy grail of sims .. AC is getting better but it is still trying to find the right tyre model .. and is far from being done
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2015
    • Agree Agree x 1
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