|Publisher||Sony Computer Entertainment|
Not sure what any of this stuff means? Head on over to our E3 hub for all the deets.
If you look carefully at DriveClub‘s title, you’ll see it’s actually comprised of two separate words smushed into one. The first, “drive,” refers to the fact that you’ll be doing a lot of driving in the game—specifically of cars. The second, “club,” is a hint at the game’s social features, which allow you to partner up with other players to form a club, then compete against other clubs for virtual bragging rights.
I know, I know. It took me a while to figure it all out, too.
OK, so the concept behind DriveClub might be a bit simple. In an age when racing games are usually billed on fast-paced action, wanton destruction, and gratuitous explosions or obsessive tuning and highly technical simulation, merely focusing on the shared fun of driving fast in expensive cars seems a little, well, low key. And in a lot of ways, it is.
But how DriveClub actually executes on its premise is rather fascinating. Instead of just forcing players off into separate factions and putting them in head-to-head races, the game attempts to make competition less about winning and losing and more about improving your personal performance. There are a ton of ways to earn points for your club and improve their standing, from taking a corner at the perfect racing line to nailing a tricky drift to simply driving really, really fast. There’s a lot that’s still up in the air in terms of how these features will come together—and how robust the game’s more traditional racing features will be—but I’m certainly intrigued by what I’ve seen.
I was also impressed by how smoothly the cars handled. While the experience was miles away from a hardcore simulation, it didn’t slip into arcade territory, either, instead settling for something that’s accessible without being too over the top. It’s still early, but I’m optimistic that DriveClub will allow Sony to offer a compelling racing experience for the PS4’s launch—and, perhaps equally importantly, one that won’t step on Gran Turismo‘s toes when it inevitably roars onto next-gen.