It’s no secret that Driveclub had a slightly rocky launch when it launched last year. In fact, its launch was so botched that it tarnished what was, fundamentally, a very competent racer with a few cool hooks in it. With PlayStation VR now here, is the time right to revisit the troubled title?
Game: Driveclub VR
Developer: Evolution Studios
(Review code provided by publisher)
Let’s put aside Driveclub’s difficult launch. We all know it didn’t go too well, and we all know the story that transpired after it. Driveclub VR promises to have a much, much smoother release. Problems with the core online functionality of the game have been ironed out, and it feels like this is the second chance that the game probably deserves. When I initially reviewed Driveclub I gave it a 6. It was a solid game that had some severe problems denting the experience overall.
I’m going to focus this short review on the new technical aspects rather than the core game. I’ve written the original review and a follow up piece relating to the difficulties Driveclub has had, and how it’s a much stronger game than when it launched.
The first thing I noticed about Driveclub VR is that there is a downgrade in visual quality. This is absolutely to be expected, due to the hardware being used to run the game. The thing that I was surprised by was the slightly more sterile nature of the experience you’re greeted with. It’s simply a car on a track, that you can then get in and start a race with. Don’t get me wrong, it still looks really nice, but I anticipated a little bit more atmosphere for a title that was so visually striking in its original format. Once you’ve completed this initial race, the game opens up to essentially become a subset of the races and challenges offered up by the full game, but with the added immersion of being inside a VR headset.
And boy, do you get immersed! Whilst the graphical fidelity is on a much lower plane than that of the original game, the feeling of being in the world Driveclub puts in front of you is enhanced immeasurably when you have Sony’s latest gadget hanging off your head. The sense of speed is something that I’ve not really felt with any other game, and you truly do feel like you’re in the car. Stick a fan in front of your face, grab a racing wheel and you’re as close as you’re going to get to imagining you’re behind the wheel of the BAC Mono, or whichever other beast you decide to drop down into. Most of the tracks from the original game are included, and there’s a bunch of free-drive modes included as well as the standard career progression options.
Motion sickness was not an issue for me during my time with DriveClub VR, although I have heard that others have had issues.
In spite of the immediately obvious drop in graphical fidelity, Driveclub VR has a great sense of immersion that can only be achieved with VR, and the PlayStation VR headset produces an experience that I don’t think I’ve ever had from a racing game before. An impressive swansong for a game that never had it easy, DriveClub VR is well worth picking up if you’re grabbing a headset in the coming weeks.