This year is shaping up to be the a dream for all sim racers out there. Both Forza Motorsport 7 and Project Cars 2 are set to release later this year. These brands are heavyweights when it comes to Console sim racing, making for a heated battle to the number one spot.
While Forza definitely has the edge when it comes to longevity, Project Cars has quickly made a name for itself as a competent contender. The question is which will be better the next time around? To answer that we have to dive into each game and see what we are getting. Lets start with the veteran, Forza Motorsports.
Forza Motorsport 7
Forza has been around since 2005, debuting their flagship game on the original Xbox. 12-years of success go a long way in the video game world, making it no surprise to say that Forza is one of the best-selling games in the genre. But that’s not to say lineage is everything, just look at Grand Turismo for more proof of that. Instead, Forza has managed to improve their games time and time again. When it comes to graphics they are always well above par, while driver physics are good enough to enjoy. Their Motorsport franchise is a great mix between arcade and sim racing, allowing the casual user to feel like a race hardened vet. But truth be told, there is a pretty drastic difference between a true sim like IRacing, and Forza Motorsport.
Some of the key features of Forza 7 come in the form of insane 4k graphics, something you will want the Xbox One X or PC to really exploit. Then there is your choice of 700 cars and 30 tracks. While that doesn’t sound like much each track has several configurations, resulting in over 200 configurations combined. There will also be some new features like dynamic weather over race distance, no more stagnant rain races. Then there is Forza’s age-old customization system, but now it even includes a customizable driver to really immerse you into the game.
All and all Forza is looking to be quite the package, and I look forward most to the updated weather system for some added realism. I just hope they brought in a better racing format. I felt Forza 6 was sorely missing a proper practice and qualification settings. And having a starting grid based on the best car was just lame. If they fixed that we should have one hell of a fun game on our hands.
Project Cars 2
But then there is Project Cars 2. Project Cars was an interesting animal because it was basically a crowd-sourced effort. Because of that, it had some backlash when it wasn’t ‘perfect.’ The game itself was really good but lacked some features we know and love from years of Forza spoilings. The car selection was extremely limited, not customizable and overall slightly boring. Then there was the driving physics. They were actually really good if you had a proper sim setup with time to dial in all the settings. But if you were like the majority of us trying to use a control, well you were pretty much SOL.
Now Project Cars 2 is looking to improve on their relatively successful first outing, with a game that looks much more promising. Pre-release reviews are all saying that PC2 has fixed its lackluster controller handling without losing their sim style mechanics. The game is also getting a healthy boost of cars, going from the original 70 cars to now having 182 total cars. That’s massive. Project Cars 2 will also have an edge when it comes to tracks, housing 38 total. No word yet on how many configurations that will entail. The other aspect of Project Cars 2 that is appealing is that it will have its own dynamic weather system, working on the one that was in the first game. This is set to be leaps and bounds better than Forzas.
When it comes to visuals Project Cars 2 also offers full 4k gameplay and a sound suite that is about as real as it gets. When it comes to appearance I don’t think either of these games has an edge. The difference will likely come down to the actual gameplay. And that is a pretty easy distinction to make. Want the most realistic experience you can get on a console? Project Cars 2 is your answer. Want a fun sim-like racing game that is a little more relaxed? Forza 7 is all you. Either way, you will likely have a blast. It’s going to be a good winter for those that like Sim racing, that’s for sure.