DriveClub: Revisited


I said in my review that DriveClub had a very good racing game hidden in it somewhere, but was massively let down by the number of difficulties faced within the online aspects of the game. It felt unfinished, broken and a bit of a let down, truth be told.

Well, 2 months after launch, Evolution pushed out the much-touted Weather patch, and along with it a bunch of gameplay and network fixes. Have they unearthed the mythical beast that lived within the launch day disappointment? I think it’s fair to say they have. DriveClub is now a racer that is definitely worth picking up. The weather effects within it elevate it even further visually, and it is eye-wateringly gorgeous to look at. It enhances the gameplay as well, for there are times when you’re set up to race down a Canadian or Norwegian track with nearly zero visibility due to heavy snowfall, as well as contending with even slippier roads and twitchier rear ends. It adds a layer of strategy into gameplay that was previously sorely lacking.

As for the online improvements, the biggest thing that I can say is that, well, it works now. Tearing round a track will now present several areas with different coloured challenge areas. Orange for drift, green for speed and blue for cornering. There is an inherent joy from seeing one of your friends’ profile pictures come up on the horizon and notching out a 1mph advantage over them in the speed challenge, or sticking rigidly to the racing line and knocking them off the perch on your leaderboard. I mentioned in the review that when it works, it’s great, and fortunately it’s working 95% of the time now. I haven’t seen the “Error connecting to the servers” message since I devided to venture back into it, and the way the mini-challenges ramp up in difficulty as you beat them is really fun as well.

Online races are actually playable now, and the madness of other actual humans instead of the aggressive AI makes DriveClub an altogether different beast. Fighting against people intent on making your car slide off the track, combined with the aforementioned weather, make it an interesting and difficult challenge to finish first in any class of race.

Possibly the coolest part of the game though is the challenges. Think you’ve hit a time that your friends won’t be able to top? Set a challenge and send it to them. They will get a notification (Which if they have the PlayStation App on their phones will show up on there) and then it’ll show up in the main menu, so they can jump straight in and attempt to beat you. It’s addictive and it’s great, especially when you manage to edge a win with less than half a second on the clock (as I managed to do with Asim recently).

However, the biggest question still needs to be asked. How did the game get to be released without (arguably) the most impressive visual code not on the disc? How did the game launch with the horrendous online problems that it had? It’s a question that’s being asked of a number of titles this year, and DriveClub appears to be the worst offender of it. It’s a trend that I want to see squashed next year, and it seems games are being delayed for more polishing time now (The Witcher 3 being a prime example of the last few weeks). I for one would much rather see a game delayed by a couple of months (Particularly if it’s due for release around the wallet-destroying month of November) than for it to be released broken. Sony and Evolution have publicly stated they were “embarrassed” by the debacle around the game’s launch, and rightly so. Launching a visually stunning online focused racing game without the most visually stunning code and with a broken online infrastructure is simply unforgivable. Thankfully, they’ve pulled it round, but I can’t help feel that this would be a much easier ride if they’d have just delayed its release until now.

I’ll leave you with this video, which shows just how stunning the game looks, regardless of how terrible the guy behind the wheel is (It was my first time in an Aston in the wet, leave the comments alone please ;))


Editor-In-Chief - NGB. Started writing for NGB in 2013, 3 years later I was running the show. I love what we do here, if you want to get involved, get in touch! PSN/Xbox LIVE/Steam - Winstano


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