Hot off Sony's live PS4 unveiling conference (if you were able to watch the live stream without a hitch then I envy you), Evolution Studios, the developer of MotorStorm and the PS2 WRC series, took to the stage to reveal their top secret next generation PS4 project. It's called Drive Club, and, according to Evolution Studios' Matt Southern, it's the game they have always wanted to make since Drive Club was conceptualised 10 years ago – even the name was trademarked nine years ago, apparently.
Drive Club is a first person, team-based racing game featuring licensed cars and online car clubs that takes full advantage of the PS4's new social connectivity features. Players will be able to race collaboratively with friends in teams, and teamwork is encouraged as Drive Club rewards you for playing in groups – even if you aren't at the top of the leaderboard. Your club can be then be constantly monitored on your mobile, which can also be used to send challenges for anyone around the world to attempt.
As you would expect from a next generation title, the level of detail shown in the live gameplay video was absolutely astounding, to the point that you could identify individual fibers in carbon fiber panels and reflections on the headlight bulbs – Project CARS must suddenly be feeling slightly self-conscious.
But before we get too optimistic, don't forget that Evolution's first showing of MotorStorm on the PS3 back in 2005 turned out to be 'target renders' rather than actual gameplay footage, so we can't say for sure whether or not the same is true for Drive Club.
A first person perspective was used throughout the demo, allowing you to fully interact with the interior, put on your seat belt and fire up the engine. Every possible intricacy of the astonishingly detailed car models can be fully examined – think of it as the next step up from Forza Motorsport 4's Auto Vista.
Of course, whether or not the same attention to detail will be applied to the driving physics remains to be seen. Evolution Studios has steered away from simulators having concentrated on the arcade thrills of MotorStorm throughout the current generation, so it will be interesting to see what route the physics of Drive Club will take. Given that former developers of Project Gotham Racing are on-board with Evolution, we wouldn't be surprised to see similar accessable handling characteristics, however.