Developer(s) – Evolution Studios
Publisher(s) – Sony Computer Entertainment
Director – Paul Rustchynsky
Originally intended to be a launch title for the PlayStation 4 back in 2013, Driveclub suffered from a yearlong delay until it was finally released in the holiday season of 2014, and was met with mostly positive reviews from critics. Criticisms were levied against the game’s alleged lack of replay value, but after playing it myself, It was obvious to me that the true problem with it wasn’t it’s lack of gameplay, but it’s lack of originality.
Graphics – 10/10
Like most game made in the exact same vein, the graphics on a technological standpoint are nigh on flawless. The cars and the scenery have all been painstakingly rendered to bring the game to the eighth generation on PlayStation 4. It certainly does well to show off the extra 10% of graphical rendering power the PlayStation 4 has over the Xbox One. Normally, I would also look at the conceptual side of a game’s visuals, but it would mean nothing, since the developers set out to make it look as realistic as possible as opposed to going for wonderfully weird or outlandish designs; even despite the game inherent lack of uniqueness.
Gameplay – 7/10
That inherent lack of uniqueness mostly stems from the game’s style of play, which by in large is the same as every other realistic racing game; only with this title, the developers looked to bring a sense of social interaction to the table by having multiplayer revolve around co-operation as much as competition. Somewhat like Forza, there is a small RPG element to it, in that experience points are earned in order to unlock more cars as well as more tournaments. However, it’s lack of exceptionality doesn’t necessarily make it a bad game; it’s more evolutionary than revolutionary. A small advantage this game has over other racing games, however, is that unlike Forza, there aren’t any arrows across the road put in place for the most part, to hold the player’s hand constantly.
Controls – 10/10
With countless racing games released across the sixth and seventh generation, there would have been some particularly serious problems if the control scheme wasn’t anything short of perfect; especially compared to it’s closest competitors. It could be argued that this in turn would add to it’s level of banality, since there were a fair few game like this across the seventh generation that introduced a few unique mechanics, such as Blur, but having it this way is certainly preferable to the developers taking a needless risk, and possibly ruining the game completely.
Originality – 2/10
Since this was originally going to be a launch title, and further judging by many other launch titles released across the eighth generation of gaming, I think it should have been expected that this game was unlikely to stand out to any great extent. Unfortunately, forgotten (at least temporarily, I hope), are the days of launch titles that would introduce players to gameplay like they had scarcely seen before. I saw with the likes of Knack and Ryse: Son of Rome to name but a few, but this title cemented this for me; even if it didn’t end up being a launch title itself in the end.
In summation, however, despite what negativity I may have perpetuated with this review, I ended up looking at it in a fairly positive light. I’ve played much worse racing games than Driveclub, and despite its lack of individuality, is a fairly enjoyable racing experience.