DriveClub is going to be a pretty crucial game for the launch line-up of the PS4. Not only it will be distributed freely (in a slightly souped down version with less cars and track) to all PlayStation Plus members — which means everyone that can actually play online — but it will bear the heavy responsibility of going head to head against the Forza Motorsport 5 ten ton gorilla.
Three of the things racing game fans (and online gamers in general) often ask about are whether a game is a simulator or an arcade racer and whether it has visual deformation for damage and weather effects or not. Those questions have been answered by Paul Rustchynsky, Alex Perkins and Col Rodgers of Evolution Studios in an interview on PlayStationer.net.
The response to the question on whether the game is simulator or arcade is actually quite interesting, as so far the DriveClub has always been defined an arcade racer. In this interview the developers do take a different approach:
Hopefully both. We’ve focused on developing a handling model which will deliver an authentic racing experience. At the same time, we want people to just be able to pick up the game, jump in and have fun and because of this, the handling model will be accessible. The game however is deep enough to allow the more dedicated players the ability to shave off those milliseconds on lap times by getting the right breaking points, focusing on hitting the apexes, understanding their cars and following the right racing line.
When asked about weather effects the answer wasn’t very precise, but did leave hope for implementation, especially after launch, while day/night cycle day will be in at launch:
This is actually a question that comes up quite a bit. Obviously, what we’re currently focused on is getting the game perfect and building a community around it first, but if there is a call for weather effects, nothing is currently off the cards at this point. The game that you play day 1 on PlayStation 4 is not going to be the same game you play a year down the line because it will have evolved a lot. We’re keeping the development architecture of the tracks etc very much open. We’re not closing off anything just yet. Time of day is something that will be implemented at launch.
Finally, fans of bumping all around the track (and other cars) in order to see how much they can damage their costly rides will have a field day with the game:
There will be yes. Obviously our focus is on the driving model, I mean, we’re not making Burnout, but the cars do damage, they deform and all that kind of stuff, so you are effectively scuffing up million pound supercars!
DriveClub seems to be very rich in features, and the nod to gamers that prefer racing simulations is a godsend, even if I don’t really expect the level of technical precision of a Gran Turismo title. That said, an authentic handling model is already much better than nothing.