OVER a week after PlayStation:VR launched it’s time to talk business. DriveClub:VR is a standalone game that is essentially a re-build of the PS4 ‘launch’ game. Which actually released almost a year after PS4.
Although Evolution Studio was disbanded by Sony after the abysmal launch, the developers since progressed and now, over 2 year later, it’s a solid racer. This is perhaps the downfall of the VR version.
The original game is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful driving games on PlayStation. Racing through mountains and beautiful vistas is a sight to behold.
DriveClub:VR is initially less impressive. The whole game has been scaled back to allow it to run at a native 60 FPS, up-scaled by PS:VR to 120 FPS to reduce motion sickness. Resulting in a big step down in graphical prowess.
Visually, Evolution studios have done just about enough to keep the feel of the original game. Racing around the circuits in exotic hyper cars at over 150MPH is truly stunning. The world whizzes by so fast you forget the drop in detail. Instead your living in the moment and fighting to keep control of the car.
The critically acclaimed weather effects of the regular game are absent, leaving you to race in only mild conditions. However, there is still night racing and cloud cover variety.
Entering the cockpit for the first time still remains impressive. The detail forced into the cockpits has you believing they’re real. Matching this with a racing wheel takes that feeling further as your virtual hands move with your own. Evolution Studio cleverly added a feature so players can adjust their seating position in the car. This makes the experience more comfortable and is also an aid against motion sickness. Which leads me neatly on to the game-play.
Every track on the original game and in the DLC packs are included in VR. Which on the surface seems great, but it can leave some users feeling a little green. Mountain ranges and ‘hilly’ circuits are common in DriveClub, causing a fair amount of motion sickness. Many reviewers struggled to hold onto their breakfasts with Digital Foundry deeming it a ‘vomit comet’.
Personally, I haven’t had an issue with the game. One thing to keep in mind is the way that you play. Having a steering wheel and chair set up seems to reduce the issue, tricking your mind into believing you are actually in a car. Take a look at the video below of me doing a quick race in the game:
For a launch game, Driveclub:VR is a strong showing of what is capable with PlayStation’s VR headset. It isn’t the best looking or smoothest experience but the handling physics, excitement and realism push the flaws to the background.
The sense of depth allows you to judge corners to perfection, clipping apex’s and hitting perfect lap times. The mirrors are instinctive, making you able to defend overtakes and keep your racing position.
Overall, DriveClub:VR is the game that we wanted the 2014 ‘launch’ game to be, and that’s not a bad thing at all.