Project Sim Racer: Part 4 – Project Cars 2 Review


Project Cars lets you create completely customized racing events where you can compete against computer/AI-controlled opponents. While they’re not necessarily as smart as real humans, they are definitely not slow, and they can be aggressive.

In addition to all of the fun weather and track conditions, you also have complete control over the racing format. Want to skip practice and just have a short qualy before the race? Go for it. Want to manipulate the various rules of the race, from penalties to pit stops? You’ve got that, too. Want to race against a bunch of total newbie wussies? Sounds like a yawn-fest. Would you rather try your hand against a field full of grizzled pros with 90’s-era BTCC aggression? Oh baby, now we’re talking.

You also have a convenient “motosport preset” setting that will help restrict the type of cars and tracks to something appropriate. Multi-class GT racing? No problem. Formula C mixed with LMP? Uh, sure. Indycar and Rallycross? If you must. All track day cars going door-to-door? It’s worth a shot.

After you get your fill beating up on the lowly computer, it’s time to get after what you really bought this game for: beating up on folks online. Fortunately for you, Project Cars 2 features an extensive online competition system that has been completely revamped from the previous title.


The online races lobby.

Slightly Mad Studios felt that online competition was extremely important to the game and really put a lot of time and effort both into the online system itself, as well as the licensing and matchmaking. For those who just want to get up and going with online racing, the browsing system has been optimized to find just the type of race you are looking for. With filters to sort by the type of racing (for example: circuit vs. oval), the length of the race, and other features, you can quickly get started battling other human opponents.

One caveat to this online system is that, without fixed event times, it can be difficult to find what you want when you want it. Sometimes you have to wait a while until an event to your liking is ready to go. Other times, you may have to miss practice or qualifying if you want to get in on something interesting. However, there are myriad online forums and other sites where you can find more regularly scheduled events to participate in.

While the lobby filters are useful, you can filter yourself out of any available races if you’re not careful, too.

If, after all that, you don’t find something you like, you can always set something up yourself.


Custom online events can be created at any time, and, much like the local events, you have full control over all of the aspects of the race, from the rules to the weather and more.

With both the events that you join, as well as events that you create, the option to work within the Competitive Racing License framework exists. The CRL is a ranking system that tracks three aspects of your driving: safety, skill, and experience. Participating in CRL-enabled activities helps you gain in each of these three areas, and advance your license. Your license and overall rankings determine what other racers you get to participate with. This helps to ensure that races are fun, fair, and close. Those knuckleheads that just want to punt everyone in turn 1 whether it’s lap 1 or lap ‘eleventy’? They will get stuck with low safety and skill ratings and not get to play with the big boys.


Here’s my racer profile, if you’re interested. I spent most of my time for the review in career mode or driving solo, and participated in two online races. I wish I had had more time to do some online driving.

For those who wish to compete against other humans but in a more isolated manner, there’s also time trials.


Modern time attack in video game form.

Time trials mode allows you to choose a car and a course and compete virtually head-to-head with every other time trialer out there. PC2 even gives you the ability to have other driver’s ghosts driving with you while you are trying to beat their times. It compares your times to those in the same car, as well as in the same class.

Overall, Slightly Mad Studios has put a lot of effort into the online system because they built Project Cars 2 with an eye towards eSports competition. In fact, they are so serious about eSports competition that they have a dedicated competitive sitewhere you can find out about the various partnerships and series that are running throughout the year.

On top of the eSports participation focus, Project Cars 2 features an entire suite of broadcaster tools to help promote races and series online. Live streaming on Facebook, sites like Twitch, and on other platforms has become quite popular, and broadcasting tools make it easy for someone to help stream and promote your events.

They are really taking eSports seriously.

The real question, though, is how seriously the world will take Project Cars 2. In many circles, iRacing is still considered the defacto standard for racing simulation and online competition. However, the last year has shown a number of “compete in game for in-real-life opportunities” across multiple titles, not just iRacing. With Project Cars 2 only being a few months old, there has not yet been significant opportunity for similar competition. However, that hasn’t stopped SMS from building exciting partnerships and or from coming off the line at full throttle.

What do you think? And, if you want to drive with/against me online, be sure to let me know!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *