Project CARS 2 Could Be Worth Buying Now

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Project CARS 2 is on sale for 85% off as part of Steam's Winter Sale, and may be worth buying for some people who've held off until now.

Project CARS 2 will be remembered in the sim racing community as perhaps the most divisive title in the history of the genre. A huge car and track roster, an impressive weather system and excellent graphics and VR are held back by inconsistent car behaviour and AI, varying force feedback quality, and lackluster sounds. But the title isn't a complete write-off, and at 85% off during the Steam Winter Sale this might actually be a good time to add the title to your collection.

In spite of some common criticisms, Project CARS 2 does offer features that are generally well-liked. The car and track selection is extensive, and rare cars like the Aston Martin Vulcan and McLaren F1 are present along with interesting tracks like the Porsche test track and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. PC2 offers players a career mode that allows you to advance between various racing series, and even offers bonus modes like Rallycross and karting. Races and driving sessions can be set up for day or night (or a transition between the two either way) and in weather ranging from hot and sunny to thundershowers to snow. The VR implementation is another strength, as well as support for triple screens.

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Some things PC2 has been criticized for include the frustrating AI racing, tinny sounds and inconsistent driving physics. The latter, compounded by force feedback that often lacks the same level of detail as its contemporaries, ruins the title completely for some users. Driving on certain car and track combinations can be a frustrating experience thanks to inconsistent behaviour between the cars. Group C and GT1 cars can be a blast to drive, whereas certain GT3 will require significant setup work to make the car drive in a similar fashion to any other sim on the market. Similarly, the force feedback can feel informative on some tracks with certain wheels, but other wheels and select tracks make even rough surfaces and curbs feel numb. AI racing difficulty will likely take a lot of tweaking to get right, and can vary greatly depending on the car class and track.

This isn't, of course, the most recent title in the series. Developer Slightly Mad Studios released Project CARS 3 in the summer of 2020. The title did improve in certain areas versus PC2, but the theme of the third game was notably different, and much of what makes Project CARS 2 fun was lost.

If you do decide to buy Project CARS 2, start with older content like the 1959 Aston Martin DBR1-300 or the Nissan R89C. If the force feedback isn't to your liking, there are FFB mod files that can be found in our Project CARS 2 downloads section. Rallycross racing can be a lot of fun as well, if you're looking for something a little different.

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Project CARS 2 is a racing title with some well known flaws. If you can see past these flaws, however, there are lots of fun driving scenarios to explore. At 85% off on Steam, this might be a good time to finally add this to your collection.

Let us know your thoughts on Project CARS 2 in the comments below if you've tried it. Is it deserving of the criticism, or are some people unnecessarily shunning a fun racing title?
About author
Mike Smith
I have been obsessed with sim racing and racing games since the 1980's. My first taste of live auto racing was in 1988, and I couldn't get enough ever since. Lead writer for RaceDepartment, and owner of SimRacing604 and its YouTube channel. Favourite sims include Assetto Corsa Competizione, Assetto Corsa, rFactor 2, Automobilista 2, DiRT Rally 2 - On Twitter as @simracing604

Comments

I don't think it deserved even half the hate it got.
For sure it's incomparably better than any forza or GT title, and does rallycross way better than dirt rally titles.
It has a lot of lovely vintage and road cars that are not present in other sims, at that discount it's worth trying for sure!
 
i bought it originally on xbox before i made the move to pc, and i could never get along with it, it just felt weird. and there wasnt tyre scrub, the more you turned, the more it gripped
 
As a "plug-and-play" sim-ish racing game, PC2 is probably the best out there. Plus, it's incredibly immersive and looks just gorgeous. Sort of a gateway drug into simracing without all the fuss associated with modding Assetto Corsa, setting up rFactor 2 or buying into iRacing.
 
I may give it a try at that price. My main concern is time. I already spend whatever free time I have on ACC, AC and AMS2. A fourth title to add to my already limited schedule? Hmmm... I don't know. I'll take a look at the selection of cars and tracks before buying.
 
Yeaaaa - nowhere near as bad as some people make out. It's got a large (100+) amount of car mods as well but it's does have it's issues IMO - the braking for starters which don't seem to work as well with Load Cell brakes as does Assetto for example. And it won't remember your moved seated positions and that's a big negative for me as it's crucial to getting the right FOV and feeling properly placed in the cars. I think POPS FFB file is very good also but it's not quite on the same level as Assetto. And the ghastly racing line - I don't use it but if you were new to it and sim' racing in general and needed it then I would be horrified. Also some of the car cockpits seem very basic and low end compared to Assetto and the audio ain't great but tbh as least it consistent across the board compared to Assetto where one car is fine by my ears and the next one could blow your ear drums up...

I've gone back to PC2 of late as tbh I like AMS2 but it's so inconsistent atm - sometimes it feels great and then it feels bad and I'm getting fed up with the constant updates. - so I had a go PC2 again and I was like this ain't so bad. (well apart from the braking).

If you are new to PC2 get POPs latest FFB file - it's worth it IMO!
 
It was my gateway sim. It had a lot of great elements combined its just the FFB and weird physics and raft of bugs really grated. Had Slightly mad decided to work on improving the game then I think it would be considered great, but alas they mostly abandoned it. There are better deals, AC is the best deal in the market still because its kept alive by brilliant modders.
 
Excellent sim IMO, although SMS bit off more than they could chew. Tried to do too much, a lot of it worked, a lot didn't quite work. As mentioned in the article, too much variation in quality. Needed long term support and patches and fixes. Some of my most memorable sim moments are in PC1+2. Endurance race on the ring, nighttime was fun in a masochist kind of way. Le Mans endurance. Coming across a GT4 car in my GT3 and just as I was about to overtake 2 LMPs roared past either side...my number 1 "F**k almighty" sim moment ever!!
 
It's worth it just for classic Spa in a Jag. Ok it's not at the 'sim' level of other stuff but it looks great in VR or otherwise and is fun if you're not expecting the ultimate sim. For a few ££ it's worth having.
 

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