Project CARS: "Staged" Screenshots vs Actual Gameplay; Here's How The Game Really Looks

By Giuseppe Nelva

May 17, 2014

The visuals of Slightly Mad Studios’ Project CARS have been discussed a lot because seeing screenshots of actual gameplay is pretty rare. With “actual gameplay” I don’t mean that the screenshots we’re normally shown aren’t taken in game, but simply that they display complex camera work which is much different from what we’d see while driving.

That’s why today we’re going to show you how the game really looks on PC in Ultra settings, comparing staged screenshots taken by adjusting the camera to put the cars under the “best light” with exactly the same situation shown by the normal chase camera you’d see while driving (if you like external views, of course).

This is not to say that the game doesn’t look great. It looks awesome, especially considering it’s still a beta six months from release, and the cars are extremely sweet looking and painstakingly detailed.

It’s important to mention that even the “staged” screenshots use no visual tricks. They’re not what one would call “bullshots.” There’s no supers-ampling, no increased polycount or better anti-aliasing or textures compared to actual gameplay. We simply moved the camera around in a more flattering position, and that’s something that can be done in game with no additional tools. As a matter of fact you’d be even able to drive around like that, but course you wouldn’t see where you’d be going.

Obviously, you can (and should) click on each screenshot to see a full resolution version, and you should remember that we’re looking at a beta, so things are probably going to improve further, especially for what the environments are concerned.

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As you can see the game looks very pretty even in under normal camera conditions, but not quite as spectacular as it does with the right camera angles. That’s actually quite normal, and that’s why most trailers of basically every game are shot with an unlocked camera. Everything (not just cars) looks better under the right conditions.

That said, it’s impressive to see how much detail Slightly Mad Studios managed to pack into each and every one of these cars  (and there are several tens more, each of them with a large amount of different liveries), and it’ll be interesting to see just how far they’ll manage to push the game before release.

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Giuseppe Nelva

Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.

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