One of the gamescom preview sessions I was looking forward to the most was the DriveClub presentation since its description mentioned PS Vita Remote Play. However, due to a technical hiccup the session was cut short so there was very little discussed during the presentation which hadn’t been publicised before.
DriveClub’s game director, Col Rodgers, began the session by talking up the game’s unparalleled visual fidelity – everything from the screw-heads in the floormats to the accurate constellations in the night sky have been modelled with astonishing attention to detail. Col said that DriveClub is looking better every day as new visual details are added and Evolution Studios’ game engine is refined to take full advantage of the PS4′s powerful hardware. The team is still targeting 60 frames per second for the release build but aren’t making any promises since they’re already throwing so much at their current game engine.
During the presentation Col confirmed that there will be damage modelling in DriveClub but this won’t affect the handling or speed of the affected cars in any way. This was a design decision taken to ensure that no players are penalised for driving as fast and as recklessly as they wish to, since this is supposed to be part of the game’s appeal.
Col also talked a bit about the lengths Evolution Studios is going to ensure that each car sounds as realistic as possible. Eighteen different microphones are used to record the audio for each car, so players with top-of-the-range sound systems will clearly have their hair blown back by DriveClub’s raucous engine noises.
Col also spent a few minutes discussing what DriveClub’s positioning as a “socially connected” racer actually means. The game’s asynchronous multiplayer component revolves around social challenges which can be received via a dedicated smartphone app or on the PS4′s home screen. Players will be competing to not only be the top driver in their club but also to earn points for their team to push them up the online leaderboards. Players can create a challenge for other users on every section of the track, and you’ll be able to see which challenges are trending based on how many people in the DriveClub community are attempting them.
We were then shown a short video Evolution Studios had created to demonstrate how playing DriveClub via PS Vita Remote Play will work. The game’s community manager, Jamie Brayshaw, picked up a PS Vita without even having to turn on his TV and jumped straight into the DriveClub main menu to check out what his latest notifications were. He then chose a challenge sent to him by one of his teammates and was racing in no time, using the PS Vita’s R button to accelerate and the L button to brake.
Following the video Col reiterated that DriveClub is not attempting to be a racing simulator like Gran Turismo or Forza Motorsport but rather its emphasis is on driving fast cars on fast roads and enjoying social competition whilst doing so.
DriveClub will be available exclusively on PS4 when the console launches on November 15th in North America and November 29th in European territories. Head over here for El33tonline’s previous coverage of this next-gen racer from the studio behind MotorStorm.