Now I’ve never played DriveClub before and racing games are not something I would normally purchase, but hey if it’s free, that’s always a positive and my mind is open to new experiences. First up is DriveClub PlayStation Plus Edition.
Now if you have a good memory you may remember this was promised very early on as a social edition with the PS4. Well now it has finally come to PlayStation Plus and after much waiting and ironing out of various issues they s ay it’s ready. Well it should be after two years. Anything that takes more than two years to develop and refine should be amazing right? #dukenukemforever well maybe not everything then.
It took me the best part of the night to download. The main game and internet update comes to a total of 10.03GB. This has to be completely downloaded before you can play online. I would suggest setting this to download overnight. I wish I had known how big the download was before I started, but I filled the time efficiently catching up with some Wayward Pines or should I just say two hours of Matt Dillon’s confused face, which coincidentally was the same expression I had on my face when I loaded up the game the next day to be greeted by another essential update. This time thankfully it was only 60MB taking the total downloaded to 10.63GB. PHEW.
DriveClub PlayStation Plus Edition comes with one location, India. It features 11 tracks, 10 cars which are unlocked via level and social progression and access to all game modes available in the main game. Additional tracks and cars can be purchased by unlocking the full game currently at a price of £19.99
It looks great. In fact it looks fantastic if that’s all you’re looking for in a racing game. Driving is easy, but driving well takes some serious skills. However the learning curve isn’t too steep and after a few hours I could manage placing in the top three playing against real people. It was a tense and enjoyable experience trying to get the perfect line around the track and choosing the best moment to overtake and then defend your place. Then just like going out for a meal with my kids the experience stopped being fun anymore and I associated it with frustration.
The menus are very convoluted. This may seem a somewhat trivial part of the game but when you spend a long time navigating them it can be quite frustrating to actually perform a simple task such as joining a multiplayer race. Who thought it would be a good idea to go through five screens to set up a race? Even just knowing how to set one up is a skill. It honestly took me the best part of a day just to figure out how to do this. No menu should be that badly designed. I felt I deserved an achievement just for finding out how to set up a race.
The choice of cars that are available from the start is just plain disappointing and there isn’t much room for customisation when they become available. There are only four different paint jobs to choose from all looking very similar to each other. It doesn’t do a great job to set you apart from the other racers on the track. AI cars seem to drive on a constantly perfect line making it very easy to exploit. You can easily smash into them on a tight hairpin and catch the lead. It turns into a very expensive game of bumper cars.
I cant help but feel DriveClub was meant to be something more something greater and more of a social experience. Taking more time to develop a game doesn’t provide you with a better product. You just end up overworking it to death. This honestly makes me sad because it’s such a well constructed game. The day and night cycles add a lovely touch and the weather effects are well presented but it’s not enough to save DriveClub.