Unfortunately the multiplayer servers were not working during our test.
While testing this PS4 exclusive racing game we were astonished because Sony and the Evolution Studios were showing us great graphics but the content was not very diversified.
Let us start with the positive aspects: The first PS4 exclusive racing game does not only look great the driving controls are outstanding, too. The Evolution Studios are mixing simulation and arcade with a positive driving experience. The feeling of the vehicles is very authentic. The graphics are definitely worth a thumbs up. The environment, vehicles and landscapes are looking near photorealistic but the 1080p graphics only run on 30 fps.
The realistic realtime lighting makes sure that the atmosphere changes constantly especially during the day/night change. At the release date of Drive Club we had extreme issues with the servers. In contrast to the XBOX One exclusive Forza Horizon 2, Drive Club does not contain an open world. Instead it focuses on a series of single events in five different countries: Canada, Chile, India, Norway and Scotland. In each location the player awaits eleven asphalt courses. However the courses always lead us through beautiful landscapes where individuality is sadly missing. The racing tracks inside the scenarios are not very differentiated. Change only comes if you switch to another country. The range of vision is incredible and the lighting revives the game a little bit. Most courses in Drive Club are outstanding but rather static.
Unfortunately Drive Club contains only a few game modes. The player can choose between campaign, individual single events and the multiplayer mode. There is no split screen mode. The campaign consists of various single events which follow each other in consecutive stages from Rookie to Legend. In every race whether its solo or multiplayer the player gains experience points and reaches a higher driving skill. Through this he can unlock new cars.
There are very few and unimaginative cars in Drive Club compared to Gran Turismo 6. Most unlocked vehicles are super sports cars. Regrettably the tuning feature does not exist in Drive Club one can only change the paint job. The damage model is limited to optical effects but looks rather cool with all the scratches and bumps. The AI is behaving aggressively and has no fear to shove you.
In addition to that there are not many options and features in Drive Club: you cannot activate driving aids, no optional driving line indicator, no replays, no custom multiplayer races. The rain system which has often been advertised will be added in a patch soon after the release. Until June 2015 further more courses and cars will be available even without a Season Pass. Multiplayer Clubs were integrated into Drive Club. Here we can join together with friends to challenge other clubs online. You can unlock Club exclusive cars and race for records.
The driving model in Drive Club is not realistic but plausible enough. With the dynamic cockpit view the Evolution Studios simulate a tremendous right in the middle feeling. Grievously you can find many shortages. The vehicle fleet in one-dimensional, the choice of courses is very narrow and has no highlights. Nevertheless the game looks amazing and shows you in what way Next-Gen consoles are able to perform. We recommend testing the demo first.
Tested and written by Lias Kudla & Marcel Krafczyk