Every console launch needs a racing game, and Driveclub is the PlayStation 4’s racer of choice. I got to spend a couple of laps with the game, and I was shown the beginning of the future of gaming.
Driveclub looks wonderful on the PlayStation 4. Nothing about the visuals will blow you away, but it is definitely a huge step up from leading games in the genre like Grid 2 and the current-gen Forza series. Throughout my whole play time Driveclub kept a constant framerate and the textures never showed signs of clipping or pop-in. When the games are running this smoothly, it’s difficult to remind yourself that this is, in fact, a video game.
The racing in Driveclub felt tight and easily controllable. I always felt like I had control of the car, even at high speeds or drifting around corners. However, that’s not what made the game stand out.
The key feature that differentiated Driveclub from its rival – Forza Motorsport 5 – at the expo was the multiplayer functionality. Driveclub was the only game that showcased any kind of multiplayer integration.
At the start of my run, the PlayStation Eye allowed me to take a picture of my face. As I raced, I could see the times, scores and faces of other people who had raced the same course before me. While I was racing by myself, I could see ghost cars replicating the performance of previous drivers.
This level of interaction, even though I was just in a race by myself, pushed me to drive better. I wanted to clock a faster lap time. I wanted to be the fastest from point to point around the circuit. I wanted to drift around the corners perfectly to achieve a higher score than those before me. I wanted to be the best.
It’s the multiplayer integration that just occurs without you noticing which makes Driveclub a next generation game. Driveclub is the other argument for a new generation. Not the argument about better graphics, but about new ways to encourage perfection, competition, connectivity and that desire for just one more go.
I was thoroughly impressed with the Driveclub demo because it felt like it’s multiplayer features and smooth presentation could only be possible on a next generation system like the PlayStation 4.
This is a great example of how interactions with friends and other racers around the world is possible even for those who want a solo experience.
Driveclub is being developed by Evolution Studios. It is a launch title for the PlayStation 4 that I have now got my eye on. We will see how the full game turns out as it drives (sorry I just had to) into stores next month.