We all know the Xbox One has received a royal roasting since its announcement thanks to Microsoft's misguided policies, lack of focus on core gamers and inflated price, but there's a certain game that may just sway avid racing game fanatics: I'm talking, of course, about Forza Motorsport 5. Turn 10 clearly want Forza Motorsport 5 to set the standard of next generation racing games, which puts pressure on Sony to deliver an exclusive driving game of their own.
You would think they'd turn to the perfectionists at Polyphony , but while it's invetible that we will see a Gran Turismo game at some point during the PS4's lifestime, Gran Turismo won't be making it. After all, they're not exactly renowned for being timely.
Even Ridge Racer won't be appeaing for the PS4's launch, despite traditionally showing at every PlayStation launch line-up. Instead, Sony enlisted Evolution Studios, the team behind the MotorStorm series and last generation WRC games, to develop DriveClub, a concept the team have envisioned for nine years that encourages socially-connected team racing and rewards players even if they don't win the race. It also happens to have a rich roster of ridiculously detailed cars and miles of open road.
Drive Club was playable at this year's Gamescom, so of course Alan was on-hand to take it for a spin for the first time. And as you'll see, his initial impressions were positive from what was an all-too-brief play-through.
Visually, DriveClub looks very polished indeed and has improved considerably since the rough build shown at E3, and its car handling sits comfortably between arcade and simulation, rewarding skilled drivers whilst making it not too daunting for less experienced drivers to muster. In this regard, comparing it directly with Forza Motorsport 5 is perhaps unfair: unlike Forza Motorsport 5, it's not trying to be a hardcore simulation, which puts it more in-line with games like Grid 2. Leave the simulation to Gran Turismo in the PlayStation camp, I say – even if we have to wait another five long years for GT7. Then again, Kaz has previously stated that a PS4 port of GT6 isn't out of the question.
Our only concern lies with the disappointingly choppy frame rate. Despite receiving some refinement since E3, it still noticeably pales in comparison to Forza 5's impecibly smooth 60 fps, though judging from the video there is still a paletable sense of speed. If Evolution can polish this issue up, then Sony could well have a worthy competitor to Forza Motorsport 5 in the battle for next gen racing supremacy.
Expect more DriveClub coverage coming soon on the Team VVV YouTube channel, including an interview with the chaps at Evolution to learn more about its intriguing concept.