OXCGN’s Project Cars Review


Project Cars is the ultimate racing-simulator for the current generation. It’s racing expectations hit you in the face from the moment you ‘press start’. And it is definitely not a game for everyone.

From the very beginning Project Cars feels like it assumes players come from an automotive background and would know their way around its complex menu’s. The lack of explanation provided in some areas can offer a confusing experience. I’m afraid that many people may form their own opinion on Slightly Mad Studios game before they have even pulled the right trigger to accelerate.

Take Career mode for example, players are immediately given access to the entire range of career modes on offer, from Go-Karting to Formula One, the freedom here is greatly appreciated.

However, many players will be completely lost as to where they want to begin, because Project Cars’ menus can explain things very poorly. The career modes offer no explanation besides a small logo/graphic of the type of race they will be involved in, so hopefully you can decipher them.

Once you think you have it right and press that A button – you’re locked into that Career type. No back button to change your mind.

But the good news is that you can run multiple careers at the same time. The downside is you’ll need to fill out your driver profile details for every time you want to investigate a new career mode. This may get quite tiring if you’re a naive car gamer just looking to find a race with a Nissan GTR.

Did I say Nissan GTR? Sorry, it doesn’t exist in the world of Project Cars. Nor do many other popular brands that you would imagine would exist in racing games of today. No Lamborghini, no Ferrari, no Subaru and no Nissan are just examples off the top of my head.

I feel this is a huge deal breaker for any car enthusiasts wanting to race in a similar car that they own in real life.

One great piece of news for Australia is the Bathurst track is featured here, but don’t expect any Australian cars. I image the latter part just caused you to slide your Forza disc back into your disc tray. By the time you make it into your first race hopefully you’ve left all your Forza knowledge locked up outside. Forget it all. Project Cars is a true test of skill, and by far it is the most unforgiving and raw racing experiences on the current generation consoles so far.

Project Cars is like learning to play an instrument, it’s a frustrating test of willpower until one day when you just pick it up and it just works. Along the way you will get penalised for touching the grass, love tapping other cars and just general loss of control. The game offers an insane level of customisation for your driver preference. From its difficulty, to tuning your car, to even the location of everything on your heads up display. For those true racing-sim fans – paradise. But everyone else, I must ask, how long do you want to be in menu’s compared to actually driving the cars?

There is so much driver preference customisation you may feel disadvantaged by just wanting to come home from a long days work and have a few quick races before dinner.

Forgetting Career mode, I found a much more enjoyable experience simply using the quick race feature found from the home screen. Simply pick any car and any track and off you go. I felt this was a great way to experience all that the game offered and was a much quicker learning process than from career mode.

In the brief time I’ve spent in multiplayer a large portion was waiting for matchmaking to work. Finding a specific game type with a similar class of car was a test of patience.  After waiting for 10+ minutes I finally was placed in a match that was already in progress and lasted 30 seconds before ending.

After that test, I used the quick match option featured from the home screen. Which was not quick at all, but substantially shorter than the earlier 10 minute wait. The result was a race against a completely random collection cars and classes. Was it a race? not really, in fact it was more of a test of who could stay on the track for the longest.

Multiplayer is a testament to the difficulty of this game. Forget the battle to the podium simply trying to reach 1 lap with no major incident is hard, whether your fault or not someone will stack and crash into you. In fact in one match, I had a player stack their car right at the pit lane exit and every player crashed one after another.

If you’re the type of enthusiast who hears the title ‘Project Cars’ and thinks of Dad working on his rusty 69′ Camaro for years until it’s restored to glory. Think again. In fact there is really no vehicle customisation available in the game at all, the cars are all already at ‘race spec’. If that type of project is your thing then walk away right now.

Graphically the cars look fantastic and very realistic, the amount of different camera angles to choose from is appreciated and really suggests they have thought about exactly what this niche group of gamers would want. Slow the car’s down and look at the environments and perhaps they’re a bit blurry but who cares you’re supposed to be going fast!

TL;DR

Project Car’s is a raw racing-simulator experience. And expect just that. This game is for the niche that have been dying for a true  racing simulator. If you can overlook the lack of vehicle-customisation and lack of cars on offer there may be a home here to truly test your skills. If you have the patience and invest the time you will find a considerably strong racing-sim that I’m sure will grow stronger as the months go by.

Project Cars is available now on Xbox One, PS4, and coming soon to Wii U and PC.

Pros:

  • Ultra Realistic Racing
  • Realistic Physics
  • Graphics
  • Niche game many have been wanting

Cons:

  • Ultra Realistic Racing
  • Lack of cars to choose
  • Matchmaking needs improvement.

For the casual racing gamers:

6/10

For the racing simulator fans:

8.5/10

El Presidente Receives A Warm Welcome From Playstation 4 Owners Across The Globe


The release of Tropico 5 on the PlayStation 4 marked the first time a Tropico title has been released on a Sony platform and the reception from PlayStation strategy players has exceeded expectations. Translating the precise controls of a strategy title to home consoles has always been a challenge but both players and industry reviewers have praised the precision controls found in Tropico 5 for PlayStation 4 system. The effort to provide this level of precision has been rewarded globally as Tropico 5 appeared in the Top 10 retail sales charts for Britain, Germany and Japan. Tropico 5 is also seeing success in the PlayStation Store Simulation category, as Tropico 5 rose into the Top 3 Simulation downloads in Germany and UK, and the Top 10 for North America.

Simon Hellwig, Global Managing Director of Kalypso Media Group, commented:

We knew that we had a very good product and hoped it would find a positive reception on the PlayStation 4 system. The consumer response went beyond our expectations, and clearly shows the effort involved in providing a quality strategy experience on the PlayStation 4 system has paid off for strategy fans and PS4 system players with Tropico 5. These are excellent conditions for the home console strategy genre and we look forward to expanding our efforts on the PlayStation 4 system.

Tropico 5 is available for PlayStation 4 system across Europe and Export territories as a Limited Special Edition boxed retail version containing a Tropican passport, island postcard and two DLC packs (Bayo del Olfato and The Big Cheese) for £49.99. The digital download version featuring the included DLC is also available from the PlayStation Store.

A New Era Of El Presidente Begins As Tropico 5 PS4 Release Date Confirmed For April


Our beloved leader El Presidente is finally joining the new generation. Prepare for a new era of Tropico, as Kalypso Media is thrilled to announce that Tropico 5 will be released on PlayStation 4 on 24 April across Europe and on the 28th in North America. Featuring full 1080p, a solid 30 FPS frame rate and remote play compatibility with PlayStation Vita, Tropico 5 marks the first time a Tropico game has ever been released on the PlayStation platform. New info on the Limited Special Edition of Tropico 5 has also been released. The limited edition of the game will include The Big Cheese DLC and the Bayo Del Olfato sandbox map, plus an official Tropican passport and postcard for no extra charge.

Tropico_5_Limited_Edition

Tropico 5 is a city builder and political simulator where players take on the role of the infamous bearded despot El Presidente and rule over the small banana republic of Tropico located in the Caribbean. Become a man of the people and create welfare and equality for all or submit to your own selfish sense of ambition and find ways to greedily fill your own swiss bank account.

Tropico 5 will be available through boxed retail and as a digital download via the PlayStation Network for US$59.99. You can watch the latest PS4 gameplay trailer below.

PS4 Surpasses 20.2 Million Units Sold Worldwide


Earlier today Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. announced that the console has cumulatively sold more than 20.2 million units worldwide as of March 1st. This demonstrates as per the email that the PS4 continues to have the fastest and strongest growth within the Playstation Hardware family.

In the press release, Andrew House, President and Global CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. states:

“We are so grateful for the enormous support from PlayStation® fans worldwide, and we are truly humbled that  gamers around the globe have continued to select PS4 as the best place to play”. “We remain steadfast in our commitment to deliver unique and interactive entertainment experiences powered by the network and the PS4 system’s deep social capabilities.”

After the information that the PS4 is the fastest selling console in Australia it’s good to see it be successful around the world after all that’s happened to SONY over the past 6 months.

Axiom Verge Release Date Revealed, Cross-Buy Confirmed


Axiom Verge developer Tom Happ has revealed, in a post on EU PlayStation blog, that the Metroid-like platformer will be released on April 1st – a date that I sincerely hope is not an early April fool’s joke. Happ also confirmed that the PS Vita version will be released shortly after, and that the game will be cross-buy – allowing those who purchase the game on their PS4 to get the Vita version for free when it becomes available.

In the blog post, Happ says:

It’s done! It’s through certification, has all of its age rating stuff done, has been localised into six languages (English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, and Brazilian Portuguese), and poked and prodded by multiple playtesters. Technically, you could play Axiom Verge today.

[…]

After hearing from so many people who are eagerly looking forward to playing it, I decided just to launch the PS4 version first. But people who are mostly interested in the PS Vita version should not worry. It’s definitely coming, and it’s definitely going to be cross-buy, so if you buy it on PS4, it will be ready for download on your Vita as soon as it launches there.

So with that caveat out of the way, I am a little freaked out to announce that Axiom Verge will be available for download on PS4 on 1st April for €17.99!

It is worth noting that €17.99 converts to AU$26, meaning the game will likely set us back AU$25 here in Australia when it launches. In the same post, Happ details several of the power ups that will available in the game, and explains how they will interact with the world – before leaving us with this head scratcher:

CleanBreakableGrizzlybear

Interesting.

We can’t wait to get stuck into the old-school platforming goodness that is Axiom Verge, and will be picking it up day one. Tell us what you guys think of Axiom Verge on Twitter @OXCGN, or on our Facebook page!

Paint A Pretty Picture By Deciding On The Last Tinker Box Art


On every SOEDESCO game so far, the community decided on the box art. The feedback from gamers has been really great and for that reason SOEDESCO wants to, once again, ask the community to decide about the most important aspects of a physically released game, the box art.

Imre Schouten, marketing manager at SOEDESCO had the following to say:

SOEDESCO has done this kind of promotions for all its games so far. Consumer feedback has been really great and has proven to us that it’s worthwhile to get the community involved.

How will this work, so you ask. On the SOEDESCO Facebook page, gamers can vote on their favorite box art illustration for The Last Tinker. The most popular one will then be submitted for approval and be used for the retail release on PlayStation 4 and PC.

Fans can start voting right now on the SOEDESCO Facebook page, the artwork that has received the most likes will be chosen. And beside some tiny alterations, it will also be the art that will be featured on the box when the game is released later this year.  The poll is going to be open between the 12 and 17 February.

First Trailer Revealed For Rico Rodriguez’s Winter 2015 Outing In Just Cause 3


Square Enix and Avalanche Studios are delighted to reveal the very first trailer for Just Cause 3. The trailer, entitled “Firestarter”, takes a look inside the mind’s eye of Rico Rodriguez, the most explosive action hero in gaming. With this trailer, the Just Cause 3 avalanche is set off and nobody can stop it.

This trailer has been long in the making so the Just Cause 3 team are more than excited that it finally got to see the light of the world and because they like to talk about the stuff they do, here’s a short walkthrough of the trailer creation process with a few bits of additional info:

1. Idea

We wanted to show Rico’s internal struggle and drive. His home is being destroyed, his people are suffering. No surprise he is…not pleased. And what better way to show how Rico feels than take you into his head? Well, we couldn’t think of one, so there it is.

2. Storyboard

Once the idea was nailed down, the next step was to transfer it onto paper (well, in this case, digital paper).  Our super-duper design team drew all of the scenes needed to illustrate how the trailer should play out. Simples.

3. The more, the merrier

We knew the project was big, so we called in the experts. Taking the storyboard and bringing it all to life was the longest part of this process. But after many edits, tweaks, changes and add-ons, a shiny new trailer was born. And we sure are proud of it.

4. Music

In case you haven’t guessed it, the trailer features a cover version of the Prodigy’s “Firestarter”, recorded by the lead singer of a Dutch band De Staat, Torre Florim. While the Prodigy’s original sounds great, once we heard Torre’s version, we were sold. It fit perfectly with the mood we were trying to evoke with the trailer, and really helped it stand out. You can check out the full song here.

5. Gameplay

And a little message from Christofer Sundberg, Co-founder & CCO, Avalanche Studios:

I can already hear you saying: Just give us the gameplay!!! All I can say is: I know. We can’t wait to show you what we’ve been working on, and we take a lot of pride in it.  That’s why we want to make sure the first gameplay trailer we put out shows what Just Cause 3 is about, and that it meets both ours and your expectations. And that takes time. We don’t want to rush things and disappoint the very community that has been supporting us for so long. So, while you wait, please kick back and enjoy the soothing explosions of the Firestarter trailer. Soon enough, there will be plenty of holy shit moments to go around for everyone as we increase the mayhem level a few notches with the very first look at gameplay.

They have also released a batch of Just Cause 3 screenshots and concept art. Let us know which one is your favorite below.

Just Cause 3 is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC in 2015.

PlayStation 4 Release of Silence: The Whispered World 2 is Confirmed


Daedalic Entertainment’s upcoming adventure, Silence: The Whispered World 2, will also be released on PlayStation 4 as the developer and publisher confirms the release on Sony‘s console.Only a short while ago, Daedalic announced their first multi-platform-release with Silence: The Whispered World 2 and confirmed the game’s release on Xbox One.

Steffen Boos, Daedalic Entertainment’s studio manager, commented:

We now also have Sony’s approval and we’re looking forward to make Silence available to Playstation 4 players. This makes Silence a fully fledged multi-platform project; for the first time, we can release a game for the high end current-gen consoles which is an important cornerstone for the company. We strongly believe that narrative-driven games like ours will be well received among console players.

In Silence: The Whispered World 2, players accompany Noah who struggles to find his little sister Renie in the turmoil of war. Against all odds, he manages to follow her, only to find himself alone in Silence, the world he once traveled as Sadwick the clown. There seems to be no way back and Renie is lost in a war-ravaged Silence. Together with his sister he joins a group of rebels, led by a determined girl named Kyra. They’re the last bastion of resistance against the terrible seekers, mysterious creatures washing over Silence in ever growing numbers, while more and more of the people just seem to vanish. It is on Noah and the player to find a way back home from this dangerous place.

In new, completely 3D-clad visuals, Silence: The Whispered World 2 offers plenty of new content for players. On their quest for a way home players indulge in a touching, visually impressive adventure, with many secrets concerning Noah, his sister Renie and the world of Silence waiting to be discovered. Silence: The Whispered World 2 is scheduled for release in late 2015 for PC, Mac, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.