Get Out of My Dreams and Into My Driveclub

driveclub

Last year I lamented the situation Sony found themselves in with regards to the promised Plus version of Driveclub.  Last week, as I emerged from the hollow as a sort of Driveclub groundhog, expecting to see my shadow and six more months of delays, I saw something more curious.

I saw the headline “Driveclub PS Plus Edition now available”.

When I first saw the headline I took the same position as the Cardassian Senator Vreenak and hissed “IT’S A FAAAAAKE”; but as I loaded the PSN store on my desktop, I saw it there available to send to my PS4.  Quickly, I signed in and queued the download, as I had been looking forward to this game since before the launch of the PS4.

Now after as lengthy of a delay that Driveclub had, and after all the mixed to negative reviews the game had when it initially released, my expectations had been tempered.  Surely this game would, at best, be average.  Sorry, but I don’t have an “at worst scenario” for you.  The game is free and I have no data cap on my ISP, so there’s no harm or foul to be had.  As I got home and saw the Driveclub tile on my PS4, I clicked it half expecting it to launch Youtube – but no – there was an actual game there.  Well, almost.  The download hadn’t completely finished so I was limited to playing the intro race on a snowy mountaintop.

At first I wasn’t impressed with the default cockpit view.  It just didn’t look that great to me, something about the hands and the detail just seemed low quality.  Once the lighting in the environment changed and the weather kicked in though, I began to be pleasantly surprised.  The look of snow hitting the windshield as the wipers pushed it away looked pretty damn good.  A lot better than anything I had seen in Forza Horizon 2.  The next race I got into took place during heavy rain, so I put on my Sony Gold Wireless headset and it sounded exactly like driving in rough weather.  However, one odd thing was that there was no music in either of those races.  I’m not sure if it’s because the game was still downloading during both or if there’s just no music when racing.

Weather effects aside, how does Driveclub handle?  Well, it doesn’t feel like a sim (Gran Turismo) and it doesn’t feel arcadey, like Evolution’s previous Motorstorm games, but somewhere in between.  Personally, I prefer the handling and options in FH2.  I feel like I can drift more competently in that game than here.  In DC I found myself sliding into a wall or spinning out, but these things take a while to get used to and it’s still early yet.

In any case, this is just the start of my travels with Driveclub.  During the brief bit I’ve played it, it hasn’t been as engaging as Forza Horizon 2, but I haven’t been able to dive too much into what is offered.  As I play more and get a more of a sense of what it is I’ll speak to it on the pod.  Until then.

Mike

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